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A Wider Field of View

Lekh Lekha 5779 / 20 October 2018

I had trouble reading Torah at morning minyan this week. I don’t think anyone could have noticed – it was a familiar portion and I had plenty of time to prepare. My problem had nothing to do with technical execution; it was something else entirely, something I haven’t experienced before. It began Sunday evening after dinner, when… Read More

Posted: October 22, 2018 by

Flood and Faithlessness

Noah 5779 / 13 October 2018

At first glance, parashat Noah appears to sit squarely within epic-movie territory – literally. Quite a few summer blockbusters have drawn from our Torah portion, with varying degrees of accuracy. But it would be a mistake to stop there; the Torah can be very interesting, but it has a deeper purpose than entertainment. That the flood story… Read More

Posted: October 17, 2018 by

Trees of Knowledge

Bereshit 5779 / 6 October 2018

Yesterday, as I was reading the New York Times, I recalled the part of parashat B’reishit in which Adam and Eve’s eyes are opened after they eat from the Tree of Knowledge.  You know the story, the serpent seduces Eve into eating from the one tree whose fruit was forbidden; she takes of the fruit… Read More

Posted: October 10, 2018 by

Petichta to the Prayer for our Country

Shabbat Hol HaMoed Sukkot 5779

Jewish prayer lives in dynamic tension between קבע – the stable text of the prayers – and כוונה, the focus of our heart’s attention in the moment. In order to bridge these two elements of the prayer experience, some 1,500 years ago prayer leaders began composing an introduction that became known as a “פתיחתא” (petikhta),… Read More

Posted: October 9, 2018 by

Mazel Tov Jonnah!

Jonnah Berger is a 7th grader at Julia R. Masterman middle school. He loves sports and is currently playing competitive tennis and soccer. He also enjoys playing cards, ping pong, and football. Jonnah has been attending BZBI and Neziner Hebrew school since he was five, as a proud member of the synagogue. For his Bar… Read More

Posted: October 8, 2018 by