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?

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Yom Kippur 5775

Dvar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar October 4, 2014 

This drash starts in a bar. I know that’s a bit unconventional for Yom Kippur, but please bear with me. Last year, I met Tim, my spouse at a midtown bar for afterwork drinks with his colleagues. It was also a goodbye party for someone who was leaving. At some point, champagne was brought out, poured into flutes and distributed to all as part of his goodbye toast.

Of the 30 or so people there, who had their pick off the bar’s menu, no one had ordered champagne. Who would? Yet, because it was a toast, we all put down our beers, whiskey, cocktails to pick up flutes of fizzy wine. Toasting is an odd ritual when you  think about it.

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Parshat Re’eh 5774

Dvar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar, August 23, 2014 

Re’eh contains the laws of what you can and can’t eat- a system that evolves into Kashrut as we know it. And there are many rules. Rules about separate dishes and about kosher certifications, special rules that apply to knives especially if they are used to cut onions and chilis. And then there’s Passover!

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2nd day Pesah 5774

Dvar Torah given at Ramah Darom Pesah Retreat, April 16, 2014 

Hag Sameah.

Shortly in Musaf, depending what siddur you’re using, we will read the following words:

וקרב פזורינו מבין הגיום ונפצותינו כנס מירכתי ארץ

Gather our scattered from among the nations and our Diaspora from the edges of the world

והביאנו לציון עירך ברנה ולירושלים בית מקדשך בשמחת עולם

and bring us with rejoicing to your city Zion and to Jerusalem and your temple with everlasting joy.

ושם נעשה לפנך את קרבנות חובותינו … Continue reading