True Repentance

We have seen many examples this year of confession, vows and promises made in public.  Sports figures, politicians, entertainers. Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, Paula Deen and Ryan Braun — just a few among the many who come to mind for their acknowledgments of wrongdoing this past year. The majority fall short from the perspective of… Read More

You Are A Soul

Eureka! The moment a new idea comes to mind, a new project, a new way of doing things, a new understanding of a situation, is one of the most thrilling sensations possible. All the potential energy of the idea encapsulated into a moment. It’s the big bang of starting something new. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish… Read More

Hidden Star

Stepping forward one night at choir practice, 11-year-old Talya felt her head spin. When it came to solos, Talya’s voice came out sounding like a mix between a kazoo and a flute. She stood still, blushing. “You can do it,” Talya heard her older sister, Dini, whisper. Dini who was only three years older, seemed… Read More

Be An Innovator


Back in the early 1950s, a large shoe consortium with stores across the U.S. and Canada decided to take its business venture into the emerging continent of Africa. They sent two of their salesmen there. After just one week, they received a cable from the first salesman, “I am returning at once. No hope for… Read More

More Than Just An Obstacle Course


In this week’s Torah Portion, Parshat Ki Tavo, we read something known as the tochacha. The tochacha is a long list of terrible calamities that Moses prophesizes will befall the Jewish people in the future. Toward the end of the passage, Moses informs us why such awful things will happen to the Jewish people —… Read More

Self-Reflection, Teshuvah And Return


In the song “Gee, Officer Krupke” (“West Side Story”), Stephen Sondheim writes, “Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke, you gotta understand; It’s just our bringin’ up-ke, that gets us out of hand; Our mothers all are junkies, our fathers all are drunks; Golly Moses, naturally we’re punks!” Good luck getting that melody out of your head. I… Read More

Say The Shema


Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad. It’s the last thing my kids hear each night before bed … that is until they start hollering at the top of their lungs, “Abba, get me water!” Seriously though, I sing the Shema each night at their bedsides. Every time I do this, a chill runs through my… Read More

Opportunity for Renewal

Parshat Re’eh As we enter parshat Re’eh, Moses reminds us of God’s words, as we prepare to cross into Israel. “I set before you blessing and curse — blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God … and curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but… Read More

The Real Winner

I stood on our blacktop driveway holding my bike. My hands smoothed over the shiny black metal frame. Its high leather seat stood proudly at the top, looking down on the wide handlebars with the extra-firm handbrakes. I hopped on my brand new mountain bike. As I rode down the dirt hill in our backyard,… Read More

No One Is Perfect


The Kotzer Rebbe used to say there is nothing more whole than a broken heart. You can also say there’s nothing more whole than broken tablets. In fact, in addressing the Jewish people as they prepare to enter the Promised Land, Moses recalls their rebellious times in the desert, and in speaking of the new… Read More