In a certain study hall in Jerusalem, there was a Rabbi who would continually pace up and down between the lecterns, carrying on an intense conversation in learning … with himself! This was a delightful and sometimes amusing spectacle. As he paced, however, he was also aware of his surroundings. One day, I was explaining to my study partner my personal criterion for a good leader of the prayers, namely that he should make me cry. 


We are in the count-down – excuse me, the count up! – from Passover to Shavuos.

It’s amazing! It’s great! But there are so many things I don’t understand. 


The second summer after our marriage, years before we were observant, my wife and I were employed as fire lookouts in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. We lived in a cabin on top of Mount Scott, 8,832 feet above sea level. Our view extended about 150 miles in each direction and we looked down on Crater Lake, one of the most beautiful spots you could imagine. 


 When children play hide and seek, they are looking for someone who's there. If he's not there, there's no game. 


"When you will go out to war against your enemies...." (Deuteronomy 21:10). Thus begins this week's Torah portion. We are learning a lot about war these days. 



Recent Posts


Maccabeans slaves heavenly gates forefathers sanctity automobiles prophet End of Days Canaan patriarchs prayer Zion, Angel Ammon Bilaam Blame Rebecca Ruth Red Sea minyan Psalms violence tears Abrahem ancestors King of the Universe Macabees Yaakov Holy land Creator Moab cholent miracles Amalek Lunar eclipse miracle resurrection Laban Babylonia Shabbos fear Pinchas Sukkah enemies America cries Moshe Banias brotherhood Abraham Miraglim sacrifices holy Tu b'Av prophet Samuel spiritual eternity New Moon evil kesuba Midrash Beit Hamikdash commandment light Shushan Chanukkah rosh chodesh pray United Nations alone India trees death Esau Nation of Israel King David incense Talmud Judgement Day Sukkos Zion Golus Galil hubris compassion Pharaoh shofar water materialism Chafetz Chaim bible judgement Amram creation Boaz Samuel the Prophet Isaiah earthquake redemption heaven bird moon stars Malbim gossip pain kosher Torah Isaac holiday persecution mitzvos Yom Kippur Raiders of the Lost Ark Angel of Death fragrance slavery prophets Final redemption Sodom murder Red Heifer peace Aharon Terror Attack in Jerusalem soul three weeks plague Torah scholars tremors Exodus world to come evil inclination tabernacle Avraham Mount Sinai Edom ethics night seder priests Ishmael terror flood Tzuk etan Bais Hamikdosh kiddush Father in Heaven Achashveirosh Judaism Solomon redeemer self-worship stones Song of Songs war Golan Mount Zion Divine presence Rebbe angel tablets Matriarchs 2020 Vision Prophecy Shechina sin leprosy Sages Tisha b'Av Parsha Ten Commandments Shavuos deluge Sefiras haOmer chessed idol Rosh Hashanah Hasmoneans Psalm angels Second Temple Rome Joseph purity Mordechai Sephardi Zohar biblical Jerusalem Maimonides Teshuva repent spirituality song kinneret Jacob keys Noah patriarchs'matriarchs Passover Seder Eglon Chol haMoed rain Rosh Hashana shield of Abraham Jewish holidays Jewish festival darkness Repentence menorah yarmulke Greeks Jew Benjamin Land of Israel shmittah Heavenly Mercy Day of Atonement Sea of Galilee Sabbath Yerushalayim Europe Ezekiel Western World Adam eternal Golden Calf meraglim terrorism bris milah Dead Sea rabbi Protective edge Rabbi Akiva locusts Jewish Purim Day of Judgement Baku Babylon prayer book Chanukah Samuel Elul synagogue Rabbis Balak Chofetz Chaim repentance salvation esrog Genesis heavenly throne Israel Leah Eve prayers Solar eclipse Faith God Tallis Moses Passover Temple mikveh mitzva Magog mikveh, Sabbath Tu b'Shvat Temple Mount Jews yeshiva Earth Moshaich Tefillin Sarah David King Solomon Master of the Universe survival fault Jeremiah Children of Israel sun G-d evolution Haman Moshiach king barley Jewish People Hagar Holy Ark High Priest Garden of Eden Western Wall Holocaust terrorist secret exile Matisyahu danger Gog Miriam blessing Zechariah siddur chaos spies missiles idolatry Judah High Holy Days Ishamael Geula terrorists Egypt lights paradise Ishmeal media messiah Mount Hermon Ashkenazi Hebrew Hashem fires Holy Temple Lot matzos dreams Rachel logic Holiness Rashi liberation culture Esther Torah portion