שבת שירה

בשבת הקרוב, שבת שירה – אנו מוצאים חיזוק והשראה דרך שתי דמויות מרכזיות: מרים הנביאה ודבורה הנביאה ושופטת. כשחוצים בני ישראל את ים סוף, חוצים את קו העבדות לחירות. זה בעצם תחילת התפתחות בני ישראל –> לעם ישראל, “וַתִּקַּח מִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה אֲחוֹת אַהֲרֹן, אֶת-הַתֹּף–בְּיָדָהּ; וַתֵּצֶאןָ כָל-הַנָּשִׁים אַחֲרֶיהָ, בְּתֻפִּים וּבִמְחֹלֹת. כא וַתַּעַן לָהֶם, מִרְיָם: שִׁירוּ לַה’…” (שמות טו:כ-כא). Continue reading

שבת שירה – The Sabbath of Song

This Shabbat, Shabbat Shira, we find strength and hope in two strong women: the Prophetess Miriam (sister of Moses and Aharon) and the Prophetess AND Judge Deborah. In the former, upon crossing the Sea of Reeds, “Miriam…took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam sang unto them: Sing ye to the LORD…” (Exodus 15:20-21). Continue reading

Continuous Revelations – In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt that “…this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: …that all men are created equal.” Dr. King’s dream extended beyond healing African-American suffering; his vision was meant to impact and heal society as a whole. In 1895 Theodor Herzl shared a similar vision for Jewish emancipation when he stated that “the world will be liberated by our freedom…” (Der Judenstaat, “The Jewish State”). Continue reading

A Matter of Life and Death

This past June we made Aliyah. In less than two months we’ve been thrown into the complex reality that is life in Israel. We’ve mastered the rough seas of bureaucratic processes and citizenship requirements; we’ve found a wonderful neighborhood to live in, schools for our children, employment, and inspiration in the Cottage Cheese Revolution’s transformation to a call for Tzedek Hevrati – Social Justice. And then the sirens started followed by missiles. As a new immigrant, an Oleh, I was prepared for the administrative web of absorption – draining one’s every ounce of celebratory eagerness upon arrival to Israel. For this we were prepared, however there is no preparing for the unexpected – having to run for our lives to shelter from missile attack. We live in Be’er Sheva. In Be’er Sheva is where we imagine the start of our new lives and there is where I got a job as Director of Hillel at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Continue reading

MLK and Herzl: Continuous Revelation

In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt that “…this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: …that all men are created equal.” Dr. King’s dream extended beyond healing African-American suffering; his vision was meant to impact and heal society as a whole. In 1895 Theodor Herzl shared a similar vision for Jewish emancipation when he stated that “the world will be liberated by our freedom…” (Der Judenstaat, “The Jewish State”). Continue reading

Tikkun Israel – A Vision for 5771

The past couple of years were a time of concern and frustration on the part of Jewish leadership, who were in search of “next generation Zionists”. To these leaders I say “fear no more”. 5771 promises to be one of continued renaissance in the Jewish world. The Jewish People need not resign to past achievements to find the courage to confront the challenges of today. Instead, look to creative initiatives sprouting in communities across North & South America, Europe, Israel, and other communities across the Jewish world. A young and innovative generation has revealed itself as inspired and ready to take hold of their destiny; to form a “ViZion” for tomorrow. Continue reading

Feel the Shofar Blast!

In the midst of the month of ELUL, the month preceding the High Holy Days; it is during this month that the voice of the Jewish People – Kol Am Yisrael – is heard. Our People’s voice is heard every morning of the month after Shacharit/morning services – through the blasting of the Shofar – the ram’s horn (except for the first and last days of the month to make a clear distinction between rabbinic ruling and the Torah’s commandment to blow Shofar on Rosh HaShanna). Continue reading