Page 3 of 18

To threaten the Heavens

Thoughts on parashat Emor.

Another year goes by and we have parashat Emor again. At the end of this Torah portion we find the following story:

There came out among the Israelites a man whose mother was Israelite and whose father was Egyptian. And a fight broke out in the camp between that Continue Reading

You shall be holy!

Thoughts on parashat Kedoshim.

Kedoshim tihiyu – You shall be holy (Leviticus 19:2) – thus begins parashat Kedoshim. What does it mean to be holy in Judaism? It means ve’yareta me’Elochecha Continue Reading

Self-esteem vs. self-awareness

 Thoughts on parashat Acharei Mot.

After the death of Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu, God instructs Moses regarding the atoning sacrifices to be offered by the kohanim on Yom Kippur:

God said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come at will into the Shrine behind Continue Reading

Leave behind

Thoughts on Pesach 5782

This Friday at sunset we will mark the beginning not only of Shabbat, but also the festival of Pesach, which is one of the main pillars of our religious experience and our identity. Passover is a festival of freedom and joy, but also of certain duties and necessary sacrifices which are supposed Continue Reading

The crime and forgiveness

Thoughts on parashat Tazria.

The quality of our life, in all its dimensions – material, social, psychological and spiritual, is dependent on our morality, our culture and how we relate to each other on a daily basis. We can make our life heaven and we can make it hell – it is  in our hands. As the famous Continue Reading

Things we deserved and things we didn’t deserve.

Thoughts on parashat Shemini.

Does everything (bad) that happens to us happen for a reason? If so, where should we look for answers? In theology, science or our moral conduct as individuals or groups? The Torah portion for this week brings up this topic. On the eighth day, following the seven days of their inauguration, Continue Reading

A few words on forgiveness.

Thoughts on parashat Vayikra. 

There is a common view that forgiveness in Judaism is conditional and that there is no forgiveness without repairing the damage done by a wrongdoer. Broadly speaking this view is true, however there are some important nuances here. In the Tanakh forgiveness, as such, is inextricably tied Continue Reading

Defending our values requires sacrifices

Thoughts on parashat Vayakhel. 

Our Torah portion for this week is among those that deal with the building of the Mishkan / Tabernacle. At the very beginning of our parasha Moses speaks to the Israelites about the necessary contributions they need to make in order to build the House in which God Himself resides:

Continue Reading

Direct communication with the Eternal

Thoughts on parashat Tetzaveh.

To do the right thing is different from calling for or justifying doing the right thing. Practically speaking, these two do not always go together. Similarly, doing wrong/bad is different than trying to whitewash or justify the wrong/bad. Justified good is not particularly more good than Continue Reading

My musical / cantorial portfolio

 (Last update: 02/24/2022)

Prayers and cantorial pieces:

Music / Yiddish songs / Classical guitar pieces