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...
Parashat Naso – We were never meant to be the same

Parashat Naso – We were never meant to be the same

Classical music has always fascinated me. During my ten or so years of piano lessons, it never ceased to amaze me how composers could take eighty eight keys and bring forth music. Not so simple. I know, I have tried. Each key, each note makes a nice enough sound on...
Parashat Bamidbar – Rain’s formidable power

Parashat Bamidbar – Rain’s formidable power

Years ago, on Shavuot, our family was hosting some friends for the lunchtime meal. While awaiting the requisite cheesecake, the kids perched themselves on the sofa to watch the spectacular display: the rain was coming down in sheets, water was coursing down the street...
Parashat Bamidbar – The value of each and every soul

Parashat Bamidbar – The value of each and every soul

When young children are learning their numbers, they take great delight in counting everything in sight. “Mommy, look two cherries!” or “Wow, this truck has ten wheels”. As they get older, they take great delight in counting up their collections (their coins, their...
Parashat Bechukotai – Are our efforts rewarded?

Parashat Bechukotai – Are our efforts rewarded?

One of my favorite things to do in my teens was to go through a cupboard in my parents’ room where my mom stored all our childhood keepsakes. From macaroni necklaces to construction paper birthday cards, my parents kept a small collection of these mementos that told...
Parashat Emor – A recipe for unity

Parashat Emor – A recipe for unity

In my teenage years, I had a small flirtation with the stage. More precisely, I was ronnette number four in my shul’s production of the Broadway play Little Shop of Horrors. Never heard of her? Well, that’s likely because it was an invented role to use the people who...
Parashat Kedoshim – Caring for one another

Parashat Kedoshim – Caring for one another

Social distancing, scavenging the stores for flour and toilet paper, scouring the internet for masks and gloves, it feels at times as though we are in a bad episode of “Survivor Island: the COVID edition”. It’s each man for himself and too bad so sad for everyone...
Parashat Tazria-Metzora – Our personal narratives

Parashat Tazria-Metzora – Our personal narratives

A quick internet search on self-deprecating humour quickly yields an endless source of tweets, memes and silly comic strips that though sometimes funny just seem overall sad and can even make the reader a bit uncomfortable. Oftentimes racist, sexist, discriminatory or...
Parashat Tzav – We must keep those fires burning

Parashat Tzav – We must keep those fires burning

Over the past several weeks I have been trying to help our parents with their groceries and errands to make sure that they do not put their health at risk. And so, once a week, in the early morning, before stores open, I line up along with other daring shoppers to...