Archive for March, 2009

A New Haggadah

March 27, 2009
A New Haggadah

When I was a kid growing up, our Passover seder was led by my grandfather, who used the Maxwell House haggadah and zoomed through the Aramaic so we could get to the eating as quickly as possible.  It was still a great time for kids because we enjoyed playing with our cousins, getting to...
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Why did they shoot the mishloach manot?

March 21, 2009

Our 7-year-old daughter today asked a question that she never would have asked before we moved to Israel: "Abba, why did they shoot the mishloach manot?" Mishloach manot, "sending gifts," are baskets of goodies that Jews send each other during the Purim holiday that we recently celebrated.  Our daughter was out with her class,...
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Rockets and Racists

March 19, 2009

Today was a difficult day for those of us who like to think of the Israeli Defense Forces as one of the most ethical fighting forces in the world.  We woke up to headline in Haaretz which read "IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement".  Not something very appetizing to...
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An Open Letter to Pope Benedict XVI

March 16, 2009

Sent to Pope Benedict XVI via email: Your Holiness, I was disturbed to read in the Jerusalem Post this morning that Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch has said you should remove your cross when you visit the Western Wall. Like Rabbi Rabinovitch, I am a rabbi.  Unlike Rabbi Rabinovitch, I have no problem whatsoever with you...
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Aaron and the Golden Calf: Saint, or Sinner?

March 13, 2009

**This D'var Torah was written for Rabbis for Human Rights…Rav Barry How could the high priest Aaron collude with the Jewish people in making a Golden Calf?  It’s hard to believe, especially right after the people had witnessed miracles from God, like the plagues in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea.  Yet...
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“The houses that you have broken down to fortify the wall…”

March 9, 2009
“The houses that you have broken down to fortify the wall…”

This past Friday I had another one of those "this is an amazing place" moments. My wife and I have started working our way through the "A Walk Through Time" books which lead you on self-guided tours of Jerusalem not on the basis of geography, but on the basis of time — they have...
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