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Parashat Vayeshev: Unsettling

...The moral lesson is that just as strangers must not take for granted their right to live in their host country, so Jews must not take for granted their entitlement to the Holy Land not even after they have settled there...

Don't Give Darkness the Final Word: Parashat Noah

It all seems so delightfully innocent when our youngsters sing of Noah and the Flood: “And Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky…,” together with that wondrously optimistic conclusion: “Everything is hunky dory, dory, children of the Lord!”

But there is a darkness throughout the Flood account...

The King is in the Field: Lessons of Elul

For one month of the year, the month of Elul, we are responsible for deep introspection, with the goal of arriving at Rosh Hashanah, fully aware of ourselves, what we have done, what we want to do, and where we are going. Elul is our time to connect to Israel---ourselves, our people, and our land.

Even More Judaism From Arza

Vayigash: Reconciliation of a Family - and a Nation

January 4, 2017

As we see from the Haftarah, which fortifies the messages of the Torah portion, one must work to create the proper conditions to bring people closer through נגישות. The messages are timely, for today alienation, despair and hopelessness reign strong. 

Parashat Vayeshev: Unsettling

December 21, 2016

...The moral lesson is that just as strangers must not take for granted their right to live in their host country, so Jews must not take for granted their entitlement to the Holy Land not even after they have settled there...

Hayei Sarah—Isaac & Ishmael: Hebron’s Complicated Legacy

November 21, 2016

Around fifteen years ago I saw a documentary called What I Saw in Hebron, made by a descendant of a Jewish family who had lived in Hebron for generations until they fled after the riots in 1929. The film layered reminiscences of Jewish survivors with a cinema verité-style documentation of the few hundred current Jewish settlers (and almost as many soldiers who guard them against the 40,000 Palestinian residents of the city).  

Don't Give Darkness the Final Word: Parashat Noah

November 1, 2016

It all seems so delightfully innocent when our youngsters sing of Noah and the Flood: “And Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky…,” together with that wondrously optimistic conclusion: “Everything is hunky dory, dory, children of the Lord!”

But there is a darkness throughout the Flood account...

The King is in the Field: Lessons of Elul

September 6, 2016

For one month of the year, the month of Elul, we are responsible for deep introspection, with the goal of arriving at Rosh Hashanah, fully aware of ourselves, what we have done, what we want to do, and where we are going. Elul is our time to connect to Israel---ourselves, our people, and our land.