Water From the Well Column

Words of Torah by Rabba Kaya

Sacred Boundaries

On Shabbat we honor and celebrate the magnificence of all of Creation. In psalm 92, the psalm for Shabbat, we sing: Mah gadlu ma’asekha Yah– How awesome is Your handiwork God, how fathomless Your designs. In our Creation story at the beginning of Genesis, Torah teaches that God transforms the world from a state of Continue Reading »

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Come Into My Garden

In the burst of springtime, Shabbat Pesach arrives as an oasis of beauty and love. It is the one day in our year in which the Rabbis established the practice of publicly reading the book Shir Hashirim/The Song of Songs. As we look at the text, we will discover that ‘The Song,’ like Passover itself, is Continue Reading »

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A Community of Heart

YouTube link to a musical piece – about art – from a consummate musician and artist, singer/songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins.  Last week we read the story of the Golden Calf, of the misguided attempt of the Israelites to find security in a god made of gold. Torah says that the people gathered together/vayikahel, single-mindedly, in Continue Reading »

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Nu… Why Purim?

This month, we will celebrate the holiday of Purim at which time we read the Megillah of Esther. Connecting with the child in us all, we celebrate this redemption story with costumes, groggers and levity. It is a time of joy when most of the long winter is behind us and springtime beckons. Passover, our Continue Reading »

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Transformation

Dedicated to my cousin Haim Shtrum z”l As this past week’s disturbing events unfolded, shaking us to the core as a nation, we have much to think about, much to process. As Jews, we can look to Torah for some wisdom about this moment. This week we read from the book of Exodus, the beginning Continue Reading »

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Circling Back Home

Jacob’s long journey is culminating as the truth is finally revealed to him. His son Joseph is alive after all. Jacob is stunned. He has been in mourning for twenty years. Now, suddenly, the world as he knew it is turned upside down. Torah tells us that upon hearing the news of Joseph’s existence, Jacob’s Continue Reading »

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Hanukkah Torah

Hanukkah, as we know, takes place at the darkest time of the year, not only because the days are the shortest of the year, with the least amount of sunlight available, but also because it falls in the last week of the lunar month. This is the time of the month with the least amount Continue Reading »

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Darkness and Dreams: The Month of Kislev

The Moon of Kislev is just past full. Have you seen it?  A bright light amid the dark night. The days are still growing shorter but there is light amid the darkness. It is in fact the darkness that allows us to see the light more clearly. According to our traditions, this is the time of Continue Reading »

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Weeping Tree

This week’s parashah, Va’yishlah focuses on the homeward journey of Jacob and his family. This entire portion seems to swing widely between the poles of blessing and calamity. While the overt context of parashah focuses on Jacob’s inner and outward journeys, the feminine voices within the family are struck down through tragedy and death. Much as Jacob/Israel can be Continue Reading »

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Thanksgiving Message from Rabba Kaya

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 »

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