Parashat Noach – Ça va bien aller

Parashat Noach – Ça va bien aller

The rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that has inspired art, literature and song and has become a universal symbol of hope and unity. From a young age, children learn to draw the rainbow with the proper ROYGBIV colors. They learn, in science class, that the...
Parashat Breishit – Let’s be cautious of haughtiness

Parashat Breishit – Let’s be cautious of haughtiness

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who read the instructions before assembling their latest purchase and those who toss the instructions aside because they “don’t need anyone to tell them how to do it”. It has been my experience (names withheld to...
Hoshana Rabbah – The minhag to eat kreplach

Hoshana Rabbah – The minhag to eat kreplach

As any self-respecting Ashkenazi Jew, I have a bank of key Yiddish words and expressions that I pull out on occasions where no other word will do. One such word, learned from my mother-in-law – who, incidentally, also does not speak Yiddish – is the word:...
Sukkot – Unity: An upside to the pandemic

Sukkot – Unity: An upside to the pandemic

We are evolved, sophisticated, forward-thinking twenty-first century modern men and women. We have walked on the moon, we have cured diseases, and we are exploring the universe in outer space and at the quantum level. We are the most advanced specimens our species has...
Parashat Ha’Azinu – A time to take stock of our blessings

Parashat Ha’Azinu – A time to take stock of our blessings

As the Aseret Yemei Teshuva come to a close, for most of us, they have felt quite different from almost every other year. Instead of feeling immersed in introspection and anticipation, our time is spent watching the daily tally of new COVID cases rise, watching yellow...
Rosh Hashana – Moving the needle a bit each day

Rosh Hashana – Moving the needle a bit each day

Every family has stories that get magnified over time and eventually become family lore. In my family, the story of my grandparents’ engagement and marriage is that type of story. Both families lived in Transylvania, and in the midst of the craziness overtaking Europe...
Parashat Ki Tavo – New beginnings present an opportunity

Parashat Ki Tavo – New beginnings present an opportunity

On my third trip back into the house to retrieve a forgotten item on the first day of school this year, the anxiety of the morning rush was mounting. Mask? Check! Wait, did you pack extra ones? No. Go back and get them. Start the car. Wait mom, I left the package of...
Parashat Shelach – Be a leader, not a follower

Parashat Shelach – Be a leader, not a follower

I would like to dedicate this Dvar Torah to all our graduates of the Senior Class of 2020. As you make your way into the world beyond the four walls of Hebrew Academy, may you all make good choices and reap the rewards they entail. If you grew up in the same era as I...
Parashat Behaalotecha – The menorah: symbol of our neshama

Parashat Behaalotecha – The menorah: symbol of our neshama

Our school year is rapidly coming to a close, finishing off in a way that none of us could ever have imagined back in August. But just as most of us are winding down and getting ready to breathe a sigh of relief, log off Zoom and possibly set up that backyard pool...