Ve’ahavta: A Pedagogy for Thriving

Ve’ahavta: A Pedagogy for Thriving

Aug 4, 2017 By Bill Robinson | Commentary | Va'et-hannan

What teachings of Judaism are helping you thrive in today’s world? How can you better keep these teachings in front of you at all times? And how can we help our children find in Judaism that which helps them thrive?

Read More
The Smell of Canaan

The Smell of Canaan

Aug 19, 2016 By Alisa Braun | Commentary | Va'et-hannan

The smell of Canaan he has had for all his life; that he should see the land only before his death is hard to believe. . . . Not because his life was too short does Moses not reach Canaan, but because it was a human life.

—Franz Kafka, in a diary entry from 1921

Read More
Experiencing the Light of Torah

Experiencing the Light of Torah

Aug 19, 2016 By Nicole Wilson-Spiro | Commentary | Va'et-hannan

This summer I returned to Jewish overnight camp after a 15-year hiatus. After all this time, s’mores, a love of cheering in unison (has the cheering gotten louder or am I older?), and earnest, hard-working counselors (I was one, once) are still to be found at camp. I am happy to report that the food is now much, much better than I remembered, and the supervision and attention to camper care have improved vastly, as well.

Read More
Now I Am Old

Now I Am Old

Aug 13, 2011 By Abigail Treu | Commentary | Text Study | Va'et-hannan

There was a time
You would never have said, “Enough!”
A time when your passion
Burned
For me

Read More
Our Capacity for Evil, Our Capacity for Good

Our Capacity for Evil, Our Capacity for Good

Jul 27, 1996 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Va'et-hannan

On the first anniversary of the bomb blast which erased 168 lives in the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, the New York Times ran a photograph on the front page of Jannie Coverdale, who had lost two grandsons.

Read More
The Joy of Torah

The Joy of Torah

Aug 5, 2006 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Va'et-hannan

This past week, I have been receiving many photographs of the destruction raining down on northern Israel. Among the many images, the most moving one was a modest picture taken in the city of Safed. Protected within the four walls of a bomb shelter, it is an image of a rabbi teaching Torah to a group of students. As a page of Talmud sits open before each participant, the rabbi teaches energetically to his receptive audience. For me, this demonstrates the power of learning within the Jewish community — and the extent to which learning has the potential to shape each and every one of us. Even at a time when our thoughts are undoubtedly elsewhere, Torah remains at the center of our identity.

Read More
A Time for Comfort

A Time for Comfort

Aug 20, 2005 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Va'et-hannan

This week witnessed a historic and painful moment in the history of Modern Israel the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip. As many commentators have pointed out, this was the first time since 1967 that Israel has withdrawn unilaterally from territories occupied in the Six Day War. While Prime Minister Ariel Sharon acknowledged the profound national trauma of uprooting families living in the Gaza Strip, he gave voice to the reality of the situation.

Read More
A Healthy Body

A Healthy Body

Aug 9, 2003

We are living in a culture captivated by diet and exercise. On the one hand, we could dismiss this American obsession as one manifestation of our materialistic, beauty-conscious society. On the other hand, we could embrace this current cultural focus as one area in which American and Jewish values resonate surely and strongly. This week’s Torah portion suggests a powerful link between Jewish law and the pursuit of health and fitness.

Read More