January 2015 archive

Laughing at Ourselves, Laughing at Authority

I want to share with you one of my favorite Talmudic stories from tractate Baba Metzia. The rabbis are debating whether an oven that had become impure could be purified. This may not seem like a terribly entertaining or amusing discussion- yet- it is God’s gleeful response which calls this story to mind right at …

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Pardes Jewish Day School Students Reflect on Parshat Bo

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh.  For I have hardened his heart’.” Exodus 10:1   What is good about being hard-hearted? When might it be important? Sometimes you need to stand up to a bully- Grades K-4 When friends are pressuring you to do something you shouldn’t do and you need to say …

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God’s Name, Heisenberg, and Humpty Dumpty

    Can you believe it’s 2015? Don’t you just want to stop the train, keep time from moving relentlessly forward, and freeze the moment? I think this is kind of a natural, universal human desire. We long for certainty in an uncertain world, we long for stability in a world of constant change. The …

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Who Ate the Garlic?- Jewish Teachings on Not Embarrassing Others

Who Ate the Garlic? As part of our Bar/Bat Mitzvah studies, I have the pleasure of walking to Starbucks with our young people and hearing each of their unique perspectives on life. Of course, Starbucks was closed on the day Ben and I tried to go there, but we still had a good chat and …

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Amazing Grace- Sources on Grace from Traditional and Surprising Sources

  Amazing Grace   Biblical   The Hebrew word “kheyn”, is derived from roots meaning, “yearn towards, long for, be merciful, compassionate, favorable, inclined towards.” a few references:   Genesis 33:11- Jacob urges Esau to accept his gifts; “God has been gracious to me- I have everything” Numbers 6:25- the priestly blessing; “May God’s face …

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