People ask, how was my time in Jerusalem?
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
These famous lines by Charles Dickens from his novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” in many ways sum up not only my experience in Jerusalem, but I believe in some ways the state of the city that lies at the heart of Israel and the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors and Palestinian residents.
A MIGHTY REAL DIFFERENT SPIRIT – So I was driving home from work a couple of weeks ago, and I had listened to all my Torah study podcasts, and I had listened to the Daily and Hidden Brain, and so I pulled over to look for something and noticed there was a new season of Making Gay History, and excellent podcast series featuring interviews with a wide variety of people who were pivotal in some aspect of the LGBT rights movement.
This season is all about the Stonewall Riots, so I thought, “perfect,” clicked, started listening and kept driving. By the time I got to Starksboro…
In our Torah Portion this week, there is lots of drama. Moses melts down and becomes a drama queen. Aaron and Miriam turn against Moses and God becomes a drama queen. But perhaps the greatest drama is the people’s obsession on getting some meat to eat.
May 10 2019: One of my earliest memories of Israel is really much more a memory of my father than of Israel. My father was definitely not a Zionist in his younger days. He was an assimilationist, who believed that Judaism was a religion, not a nationality, and felt our priority should be to blend into American society. My mother was a Zionist who would never forgive my father for proposing to her shortly before she planned to go to Israel as a nurse in 1948…
Rabbi David Edleson April 10, 2019 So, let me start with a question. Show of hands, who in here has been on a special diet of some sort in the past few years? Who’s not eating Gluten? Who’s not eating Dairy? Who’s doing Paleo, or Low-Carbs? Who’s not eating red meat? Low salt? Low sugar? […]
What Purim almost was Tonight was going to be a festive Purim-leaning Shabbat, but after the events in New Zealand, it isn’t right. It is important to remember that Purim itself is a holiday about a narrow escape from a massacre, a genocide. Purim celebrates that rare moment when such tragedy is avoided, but it […]
This week, we begin reading the book of Leviticus, or “Vayikra” in Hebrew. Leviticus is a very detailed training manual for priests at the ancient Jerusalem temple, and includes some of the most beautiful, and some of the most offensive laws in the Torah. We also get a blow-by-blow of each kind of animal sacrifice […]
BUILDING A SANCTUARY FROM THE INSIDE OUT PART I – Sacred Partnership We are here tonight to celebrate Shabbat, but also to install our new Board of Directors, to pray for their success, and to offer our support to them. It seems particularly fitting that our Torah Portion is Terumah, which describes the building of […]
…try to imagine the joy, the jubilation you would have felt if you had been slaves, then escaped with all your people, and then with an army hunting you down, a sea opened and you got across only to see those chasing you be covered by the waters. Just try and imagine that feeling of relief and release.
Now, try to remember the time in your life that is closest to getting out of a bad situation, escaping danger and attack, finally getting to the other side of a terrible situation?
Last year, when I spoke about this portion, I talked about the psychological drama going on in the battle between Pharoah and Moses, and the tensions between God and Moses.
There are three key moments in our portion that will remind us of all the drama going on.