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Hineni (Here I Am)
4 minutes | Aug 10, 2019
Episode 69: Minutes of Torah Devarim, Final Words, Tisha B'Av and Lamenting
On this Shabbat, we enter into the last book of the Torah. We begin the book of Devarim also known as the Deuteronomy. In Hebrew, Devarim means words and this book consists almost entirely of the final words of Moses, it is his farewell address to the Israelites. Oddly, this is the man who once tried to turn down the job on the grounds that he was not “a man of words.” As we begin Devarim the Israelites are standing on the bank of the Jordan River, poised to cross over and enter, finally, into the Promised Land. Moses stands for the last time before the people he has led for the past forty years, knowing that his days of leadership, and days of life, are coming to an end, and that he himself would not be allowed to enter into the Land. It is under these sad and dramatic circumstances that Moses launches into his final speech. If you knew you had one speech left to give what would it be how would you leave your mark on this earth. What message would you deliver? I imagine you would also remember the fun times and the sad times together. You might even Lament a little. Shabbat evening we begin the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av. Tisha B’Av is the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av and it is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. On this day, the ninth of Av, a series of major tragedies of the Jewish people occurred including the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem, massacres, pogroms expulsions Tisha B’av is A day that many believe is a day destined for tragedy. On this day we mourn and read from the book of lamentations and we lament. We ask Why? And How In the wake of the horrific tragedies that we experiencing as a nation, such mass shootings, family separations I take a note from the book of psalms and ask ad matai - how long will this go on? … How long will you feed your people tears as their daily bread, making them drink great measures of tears?” (Psalm 80:4-5). The end of the book of Lamentations asks God “why have you forsaken us and then pleads for us to be restored, for God to take us back and renew our days of old. Please take this time, this Shabbat, this holiday of Tisha B’av to sit with where we are as a people, where are we as a nation and we too can be restored to the days of old.
2 minutes | Jun 14, 2019
Episode 68: Minutes of Torah: Naso, Forgiveness and Restitution
3 minutes | May 10, 2019
Episode 67: Minutes of Torah. Kedoshim: We Are Holy Beings
6 minutes | Apr 18, 2019
Episode 66: Minutes of Torah: It's Passover Y'all! Time to Clean
2 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
Episode 65: Minutes of Torah. Pekudei: Be Strong
The Cloud is a guiding force for the Israelites and for all of us
4 minutes | Jan 25, 2019
Episode 64: Minutes of Torah. Yitro: Revelation
2 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Episode 63: Hineni (Here I Am) - Minutes of Torah: A Hanukkah Story
22 minutes | Dec 3, 2018
Episode 62: Hineni (Here I Am): My Authentic Identity
On November 1, 2018 I gave a talk on Authentic Identities at Elon University, where I serve as the Campus Rabbi. The talk was shortly after the horrible events in Kentucky and Pittsburgh. I shared my story and journey of becoming a Jew and a rabbi. I talked about the racism I face in the Jewish community, antisemitism and our current political rhetoric. I hope you enjoy this special episode.
2 minutes | Nov 22, 2018
Episode 61: Minutes of Torah - Vayishlach: A Wrestling Match
2 minutes | Nov 9, 2018
Episode 60: Minutes of Torah - Toledot - Rosh Hodesh - Rebecca Cried Out to God and God Responded
In honor of Rosh Hodesh. I am dedicating this week's Minutes of Torah to all the women who have felt silenced
4 minutes | Nov 5, 2018
Episode 59: Jewish Prayer - Asher Yatzer - Thank you God for Making Me Exactly Who I Am
Welcome to Episode 59 of Hineni Jewish Prayer. Today we will focus on the prayer that is often called the bathroom blessing. Thanking God for allowing one to do their business in the morning. I don't see this blessing as simple a bathroom blessing. I see it as a blessing thanking God for creating me exactly who I am
5 minutes | Nov 3, 2018
Episode 58: Minutes of Torah - Chayei Sarah: Building a World of Love After a Week of Violence
Welcome to this episode of Minutes of Torah. This past week has been hard for many of us and I am dedicating this podcast to speak about the violence in our country. Olam Hesed Yibaneh -We will build this world of love
3 minutes | Oct 26, 2018
Episode 57: Minutes of Torah - Vayeira: Faith and Justice
This week we are in the Torah Portion Vayeira. My plan for today was to continue our conversation on faith but something jumped out at me as I was reading this week’s torah portion. So today we will talk about faith and Justice.
3 minutes | Oct 20, 2018
Episode 56: Minutes of Torah - Lech Lecha: Going Out on Faith
This week we have another story about going out on faith. This week we read Torah portion Lech Lecha which means to Go forth or let’s Go.
3 minutes | Oct 12, 2018
Episode 55: Minutes of Torah: Noah and Faith
This week we enter into the Torah Portion Noach where God tells Noah to build an enormous Ark. God instructs Noah to build this Ark because God is going to destroy the world with a massive flood. Now keep in mind that Noah probably lives nowhere near water and I’m sure he thought “This is a Crazy idea!” but on faith and faith alone Noah builds the Ark as God has instructed him to do so. So, What is Faith?
2 minutes | Oct 4, 2018
Episode 54: Minutes of Torah - Bereishit: Created in the Image of God
This week’s torah portion is all about creation; creation of the world and all things that dwell on the earth. We learn that Human beings are created B'tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.
6 minutes | Jun 28, 2018
Episode 53: MInutes of Torah - Balak: Blessing the Stranger
In this week’s Torah portion Balak. Fear of the other is alive and well. The text opens with a fearful king dreading the arrival of the Israelites to his land of Moab. He tells the elders in Number 22:4 what he believes about the Israelites he says “Now this horde will lick clean all that is about us as an ox licks up the grass field”
3 minutes | Jun 20, 2018
Episode 52: Minutes of Torah-Chukat: Asylum Seekers
One of the things that I love about the weekly Torah portion is that so often when I need a passage to speak to me about what is happening in our world today the words are there on the page and they jump out out at me. This week we are in the Torah portion Chukat.
6 minutes | Apr 27, 2018
Episode 51: The Omer and Me.
Every Spring we begin counting the Omer on the second night of Passover. What is an Omer? The Omer is a sheaf or a measure of barley or wheat. The Omer is also the name for the 7 week period of time between Passover and and the holiday of Shavuot. On Passover we celebrate our freedom from slavery and bondage and on Shavuot we celebrate receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai as free people. In ancient times, the Omer period was significant agriculturally as it marked the period of time between planting and the spring and summer harvests. Over time, Jewish mystical tradition connected the Omer period with spiritual practices, about refining the soul, so we are ready to receive the Torah at Sinai So, Why do we count?
4 minutes | Apr 6, 2018
Episode 50 Jewish Prayer Elohai Neshama God Don't Make Junk
Episode 50 Jewish Prayer Elohai Nehsama God Don't Make Junk
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