Category Archives: d’var torah

Psalm 126

This Psalm is straightforwardly post-exilic (for which see Sefer haWiki) but switches in its narrative perspective between before and after the return from Babylon, between gratitude and longing for return, helped by the profoundly non-linear mechanics of verbal tense and … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah, psalms, torah, translation-interpretation | 9 Comments

The Tower. A Midrash on Parashat Noah

I wrote this story four years ago, and it’s one I consistently love. Hope you also enjoy.  We thought we were special. Back when we were in Shinar, we could all understand each other, and everyone got along. But there … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah | 1 Comment

Ki Tissa

Exodus 32:3-8 And all the people took off the gold rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. This he took from them and fashioned it and made it into a molten calf. And they exclaimed, THIS … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah, torah | 2 Comments

Romancing the Scroll II

I think it’s official now, so I might as well admit it. My name is Michael, and I am a leynaholic. Leyn or leynen is an old Yiddish word that just means ‘to read,’ but when used in English, the word … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | 2 Comments

Poor Shmuel: A One-Act D’var Torah on Leviticus

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A married gay couple in their forties, neither of them born in to Jewish families, decide to convert to Judaism. A few years after their respective trips to the mikvah, the ritual bath … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah | 3 Comments

Learning to Love Leviticus: Parashat Vayikra

This post is dedicated to the memory of Steve Miller, one of our community’s Torah study leaders, who passed away unexpectedly around this time two years ago. We miss you, Steve. From the folks at G-dcast: I Didn’t Believe My … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah, Interesting Links, Observations, torah | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Let My People Marry! Parashat Va’eira

Reviving this oldie but goodie from 2010 as we pass from Va’eira into Bo’ … The Basics of Va’eira Diary on last week’s parshah, Shemot, by ramara Guide for the Perplexed: What’s a parshah? Here’s the full text of this … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah, Journal Entries | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Now Blogging for the Jerusalem Post!

My first of what will be at least a twice-a-month gig just went live today: Let My People Marry: Parashat Va’eira It’s a reworked version of a piece I posted on this site last year. Next up: Reflections from Jews … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah, Guest Blogging | Leave a comment

My Rambling Take on Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

Your Torah Toolbox: Full text of the portion from Chabad.org An animated take (one of my favorites) by the inimitable G-dcast ‘Numbers’ is a really unfair title for this book. In Hebrew, we call it Bamidbar, ‘In the Desert,’ which … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah | Leave a comment

D’var Torah: Day of the Big Wheel

Text of Vayak’hel and Pekudei, via chabad.org This post is dedicated to the memory of Steve Miller, one of our community’s Torah study leaders, who passed away unexpectedly this week. May his memory comfort all who knew him and learned … Continue reading

Posted in d'var torah, Observations, torah | Tagged , | Leave a comment