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Prayer

Nitzavim (Standing) – Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20

This week’s portion includes Moses’ last speech to the nation before the final poem that is Chapter 32 and the blessings in Chapter 33. Chapter 30 is often referred to as the “Return” chapter, including, as it does, references to both a physical and spiritual return to God and the Land of Israel. But a close examination of the verses in this chapter reveals a confusing sequence of events.

VaYigash (And He (Judah) Approached) – Genesis 44:18 – 47:27

This week’s portion begins with the most dramatic speech in the Bible — Judah’s plea to Joseph to save his brother Benjamin. “And Joseph could not restrain himself before all that stood by him . . . And he wept aloud . . . And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph, is my father still alive?'” (Genesis 45:1-3).

SHOULD WE MOURN FOR JERUSALEM?

August 1, 2017 By: Sondra Baras Today is the 9th of Av, the day according to the Hebrew calendar that commemorates the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem: Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple (which was a rebuilt version of the earlier Temple of Ezra and Nehemiah).  For centuries, this date marked the terrible fate that … Read more

Blessed is He Who Keeps His Promise – April 15, 2012

Today is the day after Passover and everything goes back to normal.  Last night we were up late washing and drying dishes, putting away the Passover dishes and taking out the regular dishes, stripping the beds from the company that stayed with us for the holiday, and starting on the mounds of laundry that always … Read more

Reflections on Prayer for Rain

The rains started last week. It was a long dry spell—too long– and when the meteorologists started predicting a storm, it was all people could talk about. The anticipation in the air was almost celebratory… as if an important guest was coming to town, or a popular sporting event was about to begin. The rain … Read more

Reflections on Leaving and Returning

July 2011 I just came home from being abroad for six days. The trip was my mother’s idea and it was an incredible one! My mother, my two sisters, Judy and Batya, and my brother-in-law Richie, live in America, all in the New York area, and my husband and I live in Israel. It’s hard. … Read more

Reflections on Jewish Music

I’m still on a high from last night. When I got home, it was really late, but I was so charged by what I had experienced, that I needed to unwind. I spent some time talking with my daughter before going upstairs, and read a few pages of my book before turning out the light. … Read more

Help Those Who Help Themselves in Sussya

Fall 2011 Sussya,  located on an isolated hilltop in the Hebron Hills, is a community characterized by incredible warmth and mutual aid. These people know what’s important: G-d, His land, and the future generations who will serve Him. While Israel has weathered the economic crisis better than some, many families are still hurting. The need … Read more

Thoughts on Yom Kippur – October 10, 2011

Just two days ago, on Saturday, Jews all over the world marked the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I wanted to share some thoughts with you that were part of my Yom Kippur experience this year. The fast began just before 5 pm on Friday. Clothed in white, our … Read more

Reflections on The Shema

August 2010     Yesterday, my daughter Avigayil came by with my 21-month-old grandson Amit, for a visit. He was being especially cooperative in letting her “run him through his paces”, happily showing off his latest learned tricks. As soon as she started singing “The Wheels on the Bus”, he called out ‘beep beep beep’, … Read more