divrei Torah

Thanksgiving Message from Rabba Kaya

Posted on November 24, 2020

Dear Friends, With both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the horizon, we are all surely struggling with anxiety and sadness over the safety of gathering together with family and friends. These are very difficult times and the specter of additional social isolation compounds our grief. In a recent Ministerium meeting of Seacoast-area clergy, we discussed the Continue Reading »

parashat hayei sarah jug of water pouring water

Water from the Well: Parashat Hayei Sarah

Posted on November 17, 2020

After the Trauma – Seeking Love By Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman, November 17, 2020 After the trauma of the Akeida (the binding of Isaac onto the altar by his father Abraham) and after the death of Sarah, the Torah seeks out healing. The Torah seeks out the only possible path forward for healing: loving-kindness-hesed. It is the path of Continue Reading »

Noah's Ark

Water from the Well: Parashat Noach

Posted on November 4, 2020

Build for Yourself an Ark In a world that has lost its way, a world in a which a violent storm is about to rage, G-d finds a righteous man and tells him: Make yourself an ark – עֲשֵׂ֤ה לְךָ֙ תֵּבַ֣ה  (Gen. 6:14). NoaH – נֹחַ whose name means “rest” is told to build an Continue Reading »

Ha-azinu:  Dedicated to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Posted on October 5, 2020

Inspired by Rabbi Shai Held. Dedicated to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In this second to last portion of Torah this week- Ha-azinu Moses lays down the song that he leaves as a keepsake for the Jewish people to remember their story and their covenant with G-d. In this portion Moses is reminded of his impending death and Continue Reading »

Phases of the Moon

Water from the Well: From Regret to Repair

Posted on August 31, 2020

We have just entered the month of Elul- a time of preparation for the High Holidays. In this month it is customary to recite Psalm 27 each day. This psalm includes the familiar song Ahat Sha’alti. It also includes a phrase at the very end of the psalm beginning with the word lulei– which means:  if only. We all have Continue Reading »

From the Rabba’s Desk: Change and Growth in Difficult Times

Posted on August 5, 2020

This month we are reading the final book of the Torah, D’varim. In it, Moses delivers an exhaustive farewell speech to the people of Israel, recounting their history, reviewing laws, and adding new statutes for a future life in the promised land.  The book begins with the words Eileh ha-d’varim, these are the words that Continue Reading »

Water from the Well: Parashat D’varim

Posted on July 28, 2020

These are the words These are the stories This is the way we make meaning of our lives. This Shabbat we begin the 5th and final book of Torah. It begins like this: These are the words that Moses spoke to all of the Israelites… Moses retells many of the stories of the past 40 Continue Reading »

Water from the Well: Parashat Masai

Posted on July 21, 2020

Do you ever feel like you are moving in circles—one step forward, 2 steps back? It’s impossible to know what to expect these days and the path just keeps shifting. Turning to Torah this week, parashat Masai, for some wisdom about the journey, we find an exhaustive list of the many places the Israelites stopped and camped Continue Reading »