Our God, God of our ancestors, we thank you for the numerous blessings you have bestowed upon our nation. Out of the many nations of the world, our country has been blessed with a singular opportunity - to demonstrate how peoples of many faiths and heritages can live side by side, and enrich one another's lives through friendship and the sharing of our unique traditions.
G-d beyond my understanding,
The sky has turned violent,
Crushing homes and lives,
Toppling the foundations of hope and sustenance.
Parashat Vayeilech is read between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a time of transition for all of us. We've brought in the new year with hopes, prayers, and the shofar, and we look toward Yom Kippur, where we are tasked with letting go of the last year and moving forward.
At the beginning of Parashat Nitzavim, we hear the phrase, "Today you are all standing." This phrase isn't referring to people simply standing, it means that the Jewish people stood together and entered into a Covenant, affirming the things that matter most.
Parashat Haazinu includes the word tzur, or rock, eight times. But in this case, tzur isn’t referring to just any rock; it’s referring to God, as the rock of Israel. Sometimes, a rock can have a positive connotation, like our friends that are always there for us.
Five days after Yom Kippur, we turn our gaze out to the world around us and take notice of the harvest season. Sukkot is a holiday that teaches us to appreciate what we have, while reminding us that life is fragile.
This week we enter the beginning of a brand new cycle of Torah reading with a parashah that has become controversial in today’s political climate: B’reishit (in the beginning).
Almost everybody knows the story of Noach. God tells Noach that there is going to be a flood that will destroy all living things, and it’s up to Noach to build an ark in order to save his family and repopulate the Earth.
A chapter in Parashat Eikev reads, “when you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless.” What does it mean to be satisfied, and what kind of power does a good meal have?