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Miriam: A Eulogy and a Tikkun

Hukkat 5779 / 13 July 2019

Amit teaches math and science at WB Saul, the School District of Philadelphia’s agriculture high school. Hosting shabbat meals is how he builds power for his union caucus, the Caucus of Working Educators. Talk to him about feminism and domestic labor in Jewish community. Otherwise, you can find him tending to plants in his garden… Read More

Posted: July 15, 2019 by

Living in Song

Shlah L'kha 5779 / 29 June 2019

Sometimes you steer the d’var Torah, and sometimes the d’var Torah steers you. Toward the end of Massekhet Sotah[1] there is a long midrash that parses our Torah portion, Shlah, in minute detail before sliding into a discussion of the incident during David’s reign when Uzza touched the Ark of the Covenant and got zapped by… Read More

Posted: July 3, 2019 by

Finding a Balance

Nasso 5779 / 15 June 2019

Early in his career, Reb Yaakov Yosef of Polonnoye used to fast every day during daylight hours, and one week each month he would eat nothing at all and drink only water for a full week. Even when he ate, he avoided any meat or dairy, partaking in a mystical practice known as the kanah penance. He kept his kanah penance… Read More

Posted: June 20, 2019 by

Join in Building Something Amazing!

The library program we began this year has been a huge success! We had a group of volunteers who went to Stephen Girard Public School each week to visit the fourth grade classes. Our core volunteer group was made up of three BZBI members, Rosa Esquenazi, Joanne Klein, and Debbie Pollack, and one neighborhood, Evelyn… Read More

Posted: June 18, 2019 by

Beyond Time

Shavuot Yizkor 5779 / 10 June 2019

Despite the near-universal acceptance in Judaism of 613 as the total number of mitzvot, the Torah itself never delineates a specific number. Instead, the idea of 613 mitzvot originates in the Babylonian Talmud: דרש רבי שמלאי: שש מאות ושלש עשרה מצות נאמרו לו למשה, שלש מאות וששים וחמש לאוין כמנין ימות החמה, ומאתים וארבעים ושמונה עשה כנגד איבריו… Read More

Posted: June 13, 2019 by