Turning Loneliness Into Blessing – Sparks

The Torah records that Bilaam, one of our arch enemies, intended to curse the Jewish people but ended up blessing them saying, “Verily, a people that will dwell alone; not recognized among the nations.” Loneliness is a blessing. From the very inception of our nationhood, the Jews have stood alone, …

Beating Jealousy – Sparks

In this week’s Torah portion Korach, a member of Moses’ tribe the Levites and other communal leaders challenge Moses’s leadership and the appointment of priesthood to Moses’ brother Aaron. Motivated by envy toward Moses and Aaron they argue for equality. We are all holy. How can there be a hierarchy …

Torah: Really Getting It – Special for Shavuot

When the Jewish people received the commandments from G-d at Mt. Sinai, they experienced the difference between freedom from oppression and freedom to expression. When they left Egypt, the Jewish people were freed from Egyptian slavery, but only when they accepted the commandments were they free to be themselves — …

Dating the Divine: Celebrating Love – Sparks 

“These are the appointed holidays of G-d, holy convocations, which you are to proclaim in their appointed times.” — Lev. 23.4 Henny Youngman, the comedian, once said, “I tried being an atheist, but I gave it up. There were no holidays.” What is a holiday really about? Is it the …

Why Kosher? – Sparks

The first man and woman ate fruits and vegetables—not animals—in the Garden of Eden. It was only later, after the Flood during the time of Noah, that G-d allowed mankind to eat meat. We cannot understand the exact connection between the sins of mankind and the subsequent permission to eat …