Hazinu: Altar Your Ego

BS”D By Dvir Cahana September 18, 2020 Every time I think about Parashat Ha’azinu, I am reminded of how my 9th grade Tanach teacher elevated this poem’s status among biblical writings. She cited an obscure chasidic legend that stated that every Jew’s name can be found hidden within these 70 lines and would recount storiesContinue reading “Hazinu: Altar Your Ego”

Nitzavim-Vayelech: Mother Survives the Death March

BS”D By Rabbi Ronnie Cahana September 11, 2020 Let me tell you a story. My mother, her sister and a friend escaped in the middle of the Nazi Death March. During the overnight, already in Germany, my aunt told my mother that she couldn’t go on. They were in a barn with more than 150Continue reading “Nitzavim-Vayelech: Mother Survives the Death March”

Ki Tavo: Blessing comes from Giving

BS”D By Briah Cahana September 5 2020 “What do you do when your prayers are answered?” This is a question my father asks frequently, wispily, his eyes elevated in mirth. It is a powerful framework to imagine our lives deeply entangled in dialogue with the Divine, Creator of the Universe, listening and responding to ourContinue reading “Ki Tavo: Blessing comes from Giving”

Ki Teitzeh: If Something is Allowed Does that Make it Right?

BS”D By Dvir Cahana August 28, 2020 “In what ways has the Holocaust impacted your life?” The question sliced through the light banter like barbed wire on a scenic Polish landscape. Dr. Eva Fogelman, a researcher on the psychological effects of the Holocaust was interviewing me after having interviewed my grandmother the first year IContinue reading “Ki Teitzeh: If Something is Allowed Does that Make it Right?”

Shoftim: Restoring P(ol)eaceful Justice that Protects Everybody

BS”D  Rabbi Ronnie Cahana August 21, 2020 It is deeply troubling that we are living in a society so perverse in justice where the slogan we’re calling out from the streets is Black Lives Matter. Does anyone accept the implication of answering in the negative? How have we come to this point? Black is theContinue reading “Shoftim: Restoring P(ol)eaceful Justice that Protects Everybody”

Ekev: For-עבר in Between Worlds: Who Starts Counting after A.D.?

BS”D By Dvir Cahana August 7, 2020 In the 3rd grade, my teacher entered the class in a cheery mood, with a big announcement prepared for all of us. She revealed that our new unit in math was multiplication. All I could remember next was utter pandemonium. In a harumph and a roar ecstatic celebrationContinue reading “Ekev: For-עבר in Between Worlds: Who Starts Counting after A.D.?”

Va’etchanan: Brevity not Levity

BS”D By Rabbi Ronnie Cahana July 31, 2020 I always wondered why we say such spare words in our songs on Shabbat. How come Shalom Aleichem teaches us very little? We know the Angels enter our presence, but shouldn’t they be greeted with more flowery words; wouldn’t there be a poetic welcome to such loftyContinue reading “Va’etchanan: Brevity not Levity”

Devarim- On the Threshold: Moshe Speaks to the Past, the Present and the Future

BS”D By Briah Cahana July 24, 2020 In Jewish time, we have entered the nine days before Tisha Be’av, mourning destructions and disasters that have befallen our people from as long as 2500 years ago, including the iconoclastic demolition of the two Temples in Jerusalem.  In the midst of full summer heat, out of sync withContinue reading “Devarim- On the Threshold: Moshe Speaks to the Past, the Present and the Future”

Matot-Masei: Making each Minute less Minute

BS”D By Dvir Cahana July 17, 2020 It is hard to know the longterm effects that Covid-19 will have on our society. With more insight I’m sure that many possible trends will be explained and traced back to the Pandemic that took us all by surprise. But what is certain is that it has forcedContinue reading “Matot-Masei: Making each Minute less Minute”