Water From the Well column

Words of Torah by Rabba Kaya

Love fear choice

The Ground of Choice

Parashat Ki Tavo
Posted on September 16, 2022

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, we are witness to a grand ritual; a dramatization depicting the landscape of choices within which we all reside at all times.  One half of the Israelite tribes are told to stand on Mt. Gerizim while the other half of the tribes are to stand on Mt. Ebal. Continue Reading »

Spiritual Resources for Elul

Posted on September 7, 2022

Dear friends, Elul is the name of the Hebrew month that precedes Rosh Hashanah. It is a time for cheshbon ha-nefesh or “soul accounting” – looking inward and reflecting on the year that has passed. Our tradition offers us this intentional time to prepare for the new year, so that we may enter fully into Continue Reading »

July 29 service strawbery banke

Thank you!

Parashat D'varim
Posted on August 4, 2022

This last Friday night was inspiring and uplifting. Thank you to all who came out to the Kabbalat Shabbat service at Strawbery Banke, and all who shared their appreciation, both in person and from afar. I felt so lifted up. It is hard to find the words to express how profoundly moving it was to Continue Reading »

earth swallows Korach

An Attempted Coup

Parashat Korach
Posted on July 1, 2022

In this week’s Torah portion a man named Korach, from the tribe of Levi, a first cousin to Aaron and Moses, leads a rebellion against their authority and rouses 250 men to join him. Korach challenges Aaron and Moses, saying, “You take too much upon yourself, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of Continue Reading »

person in tallit

Building the Inner Temple

Parashat Beha'alotekha
Posted on June 17, 2022

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 »

baby bird

Bearing the Holy

Parashat Naso
Posted on June 13, 2022

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 »

women make america

Living a Life of Holiness

Parashat K'doshim
Posted on May 6, 2022

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 »

sanctity of life sheep & goat

The Sanctity of All Life

Parashat Acharei Mot
Posted on May 2, 2022

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 »

Opening Doors

Shabbat Hagadol
Posted on April 8, 2022

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 »

ark top with cherubim

A Tabernacle in the Wilderness

Parashat Terumah
Posted on February 3, 2022

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 »