Water From the Well Column

Words of Torah by Rabba Kaya

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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After the Trauma – Seeking Love

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 loving-kindness that will enable the survivors of trauma and loss to survive and Continue Reading »

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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 ark, a place of repose Continue Reading »

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Ha-azinu:  Dedicated to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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 »

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From Regret to Repair

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 »

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