Water From the Well Column

Words of Torah by Rabba Kaya

Building the Inner Temple

With gratitude to Rabbi Enid Lader for pointing me to these teachings. On the day that the Mishkan [portable Tabernacle/Temple] was set up, the cloud covered the Mishkan, the Tent of the Pact; and in the evening it rested over the Mishkan with the likeness of fire until morning. It was always so: the cloud Continue Reading »

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Bearing the Holy

When I arrived at my yoga class this past week at Shilo Farm,  I was about to close the barn door behind me when I saw a sign that said, don’t close the door, look up, new life!  I looked up and there at the top of the door was a nest with the tiny Continue Reading »

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Living a Life of Holiness

We’ve been through a very difficult week regarding women’s rights within our nation. I want to bring you some stories I received this week about illegal abortions which occurred before abortion was safe and legal in our country, and the harm that ensued. Below is a story shared by my dear friend, Cantor Lisa B. Continue Reading »

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The Sanctity of All Life

In this week’s Torah portion we are presented with the rules around eating meat and the proper slaughter of animals for food or for sacrifice. The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelite people and say to them: This is what the Eternal One has commanded: if Continue Reading »

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Opening Doors

The Shabbat before Passover is given a special name: Shabbat Hagadol, the great Shabbat. One explanation for this special name is that it is lifted from a verse we read in the special haftarah for this Shabbat which directly precedes Passover. הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם אֵת אֵלִיָּה הַנָּבִיא לִפְנֵי בּוֹא יוֹם יְהֹוָה הַגָּדוֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא׃ Hinei Continue Reading »

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A Tabernacle in the Wilderness

Dear friends, This past week I lost a dear cousin of mine, Paula Shtrum, a year after the death of her beloved husband, Haim. In composing her eulogy, I found great comfort in this week’s Torah portion. I offer the following remembrance with gratitude for Paula’s precious life and in celebration of all those who Continue Reading »

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Hineini, Showing Up for Love

We are standing on the hinge of a new year as we open a new book of Torah. Exodus begins with the naming of all those individuals who descended into Egypt, and then makes the famous statement that sets up the entire Exodus narrative  וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ־חָדָשׁ עַל־מִצְרָיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדַע אֶת־יוֹסֵף: And there arose a new Continue Reading »

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It Takes Two

Dedicated to Nelson Mandela, who passed from this world on 3 Tevet (December 5, 2013). Like Joseph, who spent 20 years imprisoned in Egypt, Nelson Mandela spent a total of 27 years in prison. Like Joseph, after his release from prison, Mandela was raised up from the lowest place in society to the highest, becoming Continue Reading »

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Waters of Kindness

Our portion begins just after the story of the binding of Isaac. Several Rabbinic misdrashim relate a direct connection between these two events. Rashi sums it up this way (on Gen. 23:2): The death of Sarah is narrated directly after the Akeidah, because through the tidings of the Akeidah, that her son had been made Continue Reading »

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Carrying the Name of God

Who was Abraham and why was he chosen to be the founder of the Jewish people? We first learn of him, with his original name – Avram, at the very end of the story of Noah and the flood. He is a descendant of Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. At the beginning Continue Reading »

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