Against the Grain

Against the Grain

The Sages of the Talmud say that there were 10 times that Abraham’s faith in G-d was tested, and he succeeded each time. The final test was to follow the command to slaughter his son Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice. Although Isaac was the child for whom he...
The Stubborn Independent

The Stubborn Independent

Are the values and opinions we hold dear really our own? We all take pride in thinking for ourselves, but are not many (all?) of our personal positions an echo of the culture we were raised in, or drawn from the last social media posting we read? From the shop of...
Be Creative

Be Creative

In the beginning G-d created the Heavens and the Earth… The High Holiday prayer books have been shelved, the Sukkah is stored away (or at least that’s the plan), and we start reading the Torah again from the beginning. The custom of restarting the Torah...
Sukkos in the Rain

Sukkos in the Rain

We’ve all become amateur meteorologists. In the northeastern United States the weather during the past week has ranged from cloudy to fog to rain, with rain having more than a fair share. Under normal circumstances, we would stay inside under shingled roofs, and...
Erasable Permanent Markers

Erasable Permanent Markers

Yom Kippur is tomorrow night. What happens on this, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar? “Kippur” is often translated as atonement — to make reparation for bad deeds, and restore a relationship damaged by those offenses. That is a good description...
Royal Treasures

Royal Treasures

One restless night, Benny, who was having trouble making a living, had a vivid dream. His dream showed him, in precise detail, the whereabouts of a stuffed backpack with two million dollars cash, at the bottom of a dumpster on the Virginia shore. He woke from his...