Sukkot 5776

Dvar Torah given at Ohr Kodesh Congregation, September 28, 2015

Do you know the minimum size of a sukkah? What is the smallest a sukkah could be and still be kosher?

What I find interesting about this question is that for many halakhot with physical parameters some of the minimum requirements are quite well known. What you need for a kosher lulav and etrog, how much matzah we have to eat or what constitutes the basic components of mishloah manot. Continue reading

Yom Kippur 5776

Dvar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar, September 23, 2015

Throughout the liturgy of Yom Kippur we have recited line after line asking God to hear us, answer us.

We ask in plural:

משענה לרבקה בלכתה לדרוש הוא יעננו

May the one who answered Rebecca when she went seeking answer us

and in first person:

ה׳ שמע בקולי- תהיינה אזנך קשובות לקול תחנוני

God hear my voice, may your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication.

Over and over we cry out: Continue reading

More Tulips

This gallery contains 7 photos.

The Tulip Festival at the West Side Community Garden was so great last week, that I was back again. got a bunch of new images that I’m pretty happy with.

Vayikra 5775

Dvar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar, March 21, 2015

I’ve long been fascinated with the grammatical construction of “passive to avoid taking responsibility.” Perhaps there’s an actual technical name for this phenomena, but you should all be familiar with it:

“It spilled….” of course it didn’t someone knocked it over!

Or “it fell,” and its popular cousin, “it got dropped” Really? by who?

Continue reading