A Random Step

This Sunday I am embarking on a new adventure. I am starting a week-long class at Mechon Hadar. Again, not without trepidation. This is not exactly the place where the level of observance and Yirat Shamaim is according to my view of the world. And yet, I’ve decided to try it. For a very practical reason – there…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Korach / קֹרַח‎

This is a very hard Parshah. Honestly, aren’t most of them hard to digest? Here, we see that the fight for a better position, more privilege or higher standard of living is as old as time itself. Korach, a man of distinguished lineage and great knowledge orchestrates a revolt against Moshe and Aaron. When the…

Women Leadership in Orthodoxy. A New Reality.

Yesterday, I have spent my morning attending the graduation (smicha) ceremony of the Yeshivat Maharat that took place in the beautiful Kehilat Yeshurun synagogue of the Upper East Side. Not without some trepidation I went not really knowing what to expect. For some time now I have been fascinated with roles of women in leadership within…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Shelach / שְׁלַח

Every Parshah “accidentally” throws some very contemporary notes at you. Everyone knows how ancient the city of Hebron is. This Parshah points out the depth of its history by comparing it to a city, apparently, well known in the ancient word and stating that Hebron is seven years older. כב  וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב, וַיָּבֹא עַד-חֶבְרוֹן, וְשָׁם אֲחִימַן…

Talking About “The Other” – Pseudo Diversity in Action

Just have to rant. Thinking about it more and more lately. Brings me back to the theater of the absurd, Your  “blood pressure rising ” once the word “immigration ” comes up? Why is it at the low with the words like “rabbinate” or “Haredi”?   I have just returned from a brainstorming meeting for the…

Fish, Anyone?

I remember being intimidated by preparing fish back in Russia. But of course! You had to buy the fish and totally clean it yourself – scale, gut, etc… And, I’ve just seen that this is the way people recommend to do it now. What a great recipe! I am totally going to try this sans…

Verses of Pain, Food & D’var Torah All in One Shot

I guess we, the unfortunate souls trapped in the cement jungle of the biggest apple of the world – New York City are so used to the pollution we take for air, that once we hit the real clean air of the country, our bodies start to reject it. Right after returning from my mini…

Birthday Vacation – Made in America!

I’ve spent the last three days in Upstate New York, or more precise the Hudson River Valley. A couple of friends and I rented an Airbnb in Sparrow Bush, near Historic Port Jervis.  It was so nice. peaceful, quiet, relaxing. Driving through this area makes you keenly aware of the beauty of the scenic routes all around, as well…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Naso / נָשֹׂא

Since there is no way I will have time to write more this week, I’ve decided to share Dr. Ackerman’s view on the parshah: “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,’ Take a census of the sons of Gershon, as well, according to their fathers’ household, according to their families.’” (Numbers 4:21) Parashat Naso contains the…

My Birthday Shavuot

Shavuot was always my favorite holiday. I was always thinking that it was because of my bad relationship with winter and my love of warmth that always arrives with this holiday. I also preferred dairy over meat all my life. And then I found another reason: my Hebrew birthday! I was born on the 7th of…

Biblical Paradigms of Conversion: Avot, Sinai and Rut. A Shiur for Shavuot

Originally posted on joe wolfson:
Shavuot is the festival of the Jewish people’s conversion. The gemara in Masechet Keritut (9a) derives from the Torah’s description of Mount Sinai the necessary steps that a potential candidate for conversion needs to take. Shavuot is also the festival on which we read Megillat Rut – Rut, also represents an ideal model…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Bamidbar/בְּמִדְבַּר

This week we count. א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי, בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד:  בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית, לְצֵאתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם–לֵאמֹר. 1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the…