I took my children to an indoor video game arcade on a rainy day of Chol Hamoed. Most of the people there were children and teenagers, but two people really caught my attention. One was an elderly man playing video games all alone in a motorized wheelchair with an oxygen tank. The second was an elderly lady in a wheelchair, accompanying her
After his long introduction, R. Arama addresses the verses in order, to show how his reading fits the way the Torah tells the story. I will try to avoid repetition, share only the points that strike me as new. It does mean I will jump around, skipping repeat or more minor points. Discontinuity is my
Hachodesh - 5779
One of the more pleasant aspects of retiring and living in Jerusalem, is that my wife and I have begun celebrating Rosh Chodesh. Rivka comes with me to a shul, where they know how to sing Hallel.
Last time, we saw Rabbi Arama discuss the attempts of other Jewish thinkers to rationalize certain miracles, partially because they could not accept later prophets would outdo Moshe Rabbeinu. We have already reviewed one of Rabbi Arama’s replies, where he counters that miracles do not show the greatness
Did you ever buy a lottery ticket? I did a few times. I never won anything, but I felt like the dollar spent was worth the visions in my brain about how to spend the loot. The dreams were never about luxury cars or yachts. They were always about financial security for my family and educational institutions
There are movie stars who transmit this feeling that they’re really nice people. Sadly, that often means that they’re just good actors. Chris Pratt from “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies and the reboot of the “Jurassic Park” series is one such person, but in his case, I think that he’s truly a nice guy. He was on Stephen
Generally, we do not delay the performance of a mitzvah. For this reason, parshat Pikudei is problematic. In this parsha, Hashem informs Moshe that the final assembly of the Mishkan would take place on the first day of Nisan. In Shemot (52:2), the Midrash Rabbah teaches us that the Mishkan was ready to be assembled some three and a half
With the upcoming Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheni (which means Purim and then Pesach), I want to mention, “As If We Were There,” a book I published three years ago. It’s a set of daily readings, starting with Rosh Chodesh Nisan taking us through the end of Pesach which I honestly believe will reshape a reader’s experience of the holiday and
The late author Michael Crichton was famous for many things, including being the tallest writer in captivity at 2.06m (6 foot 9). But his greatest claim to fame was taking cutting-edge technology and making it absolutely terrifying, like space exploration in the Andromeda
We ended last time with R. Arama’s idea that Hashem turned toward Hevel’s sacrifice and ignored Kayin’s to make a point about avoiding overemphasis on the physical.
Kayin’s annoyance at the lesson shows why it was necessary. R. Arama thinks Kayin resented both the idea that he could not indulge
Terumah - 5779
Baruch Hashem! Throughout my professional life in Jewish education and youth work, I was never relied upon to raise funds. There was always someone else responsible to build the buildings, keep the