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Shema: Waiting For God

Simone Weil speaks in Waiting For God as a kind of readiness. The opening sound of the Shema is “Shhhhh” – be quiet – listen – be ready to hear – become someone who is waiting for God. The great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova wrote in...

Love With No Object

There is a way of loving not attached to what is loved. Observe how water is with The ground, always moving toward the ocean, though the ground tries to hold the water's foot and not let it go. This is how we are with wine and beautiful food,...

Arguing His Case

“And he said, ‘I have been exceedingly zealous/jealous for God, Power of Legions, for the Children of Israel have abandoned Your covenant; they have razed Your altars; they have killed Your prophets with the sword, so that I remain, by myself, and they seek my...

The Attached Cover

I was surprised to find another hint toward the etymology of Tefillah in this past week’s portion. “Any open vessel that has no attached cover – Tzamid Patil – is contaminated.” (Numbers 19:16) Patil shares the same root as Tefillah: P-T-L. We are familiar with the...

Amidah: Blessing 5: Expecting More of One’s Self

Another concept here is that we refer to God as our Father and as our King. When it says ‘Father’ or ‘King,’ it means parents or royalty. It doesn’t only mean the male parent, or the male sovereign. It’s just that the generic form in...

Tefillah Class 7/16: The 19 Steps To God: Step 3

1. Being Aware of the Words: “Aishet Chayil” is usually translated as “A woman of valor, who can find”. We infer that we search for a true woman of valor. I believe the accurate translation to mean, “(There is) A woman of valor. Who will...

My Problem With Globalization

The fruit on the left is known by a Jewish name: Mangosteen, although some pronounce it Mangostein. No matter the pronunciation, this magical, tasty and wonderfully shaped creation, one of the benefits of globalization, has challenged my choice of blessings. I will make the blessing...

Talking About Listening

Good listeners may be as rare, perhaps rarer, than good talkers. Most of us, in our friendships, seem to want more to tell than be told. We see, we use friends as an audience - and friends in their turn often do the same with...