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Chevron = the city & the symbol

You know the Chevron symbol? It might be familiar because of the gas company by that name, or because of its common use in military insignia. Merriam-Webster says that the name Chevron comes from the Latin word caper for goat, probably for a goat’s V-shaped horns (that source seems like quite stretch) or more likely […]

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Necklace, Bottleneck, & Great vs. Little Neck

The Lei (plastic) flower garlands at our Hawaiian Shabbat made me think of necklaces in general, and wonder about a spiritual relevant life message, a Jewish insight we could come up with about necklaces? or necks? Once I started thinking about necks that made it easier, as it reminded me of a talk of the […]

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“To the Land I will Show You”

What G-d said or didn’t say to Abraham The title of this post comes from the opening verse of Lech-Lecha, where G-d tells Abraham to make this journey… to the land I will show you. There are many commentaries on this verse. One of the big questions is why wasn’t G-d open and forthright about […]

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Tinkertoys & Lech Lecha

This Shabbat Lech-Lecha (5778/2017) we went with a Tinkertoy theme. The tables were arranged Tinker-toy-style with round tables (like the Tinkertoy wheels) connecting rectangular ones (like the Tinkertoy sticks), and on each of your tables there’s a small arrangement of Tinkertoys as a centerpiece to better acquaint this generation with these classic wooden toys that […]

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Falafel Philosophy

Originally an Arab food, Felafel (in pita, with salad and toppings) has become synonymous with Israel, as a widely popular street food or fast-food. The Baal Shem Tov taught that there can and should be a spiritual life message in everything, and felafel is no different!  (1) Like a Mitzvah (Jewish observance or good deed) […]

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Get into the Spirit of Simchat Torah!

Here are a  links to a few online articles and stories to get into the spirit, mentally and emotionally, for the joyous spirit of Simchas Torah, the climax of the entire High Holiday and Sukkot season. Hopefully you will find some of these meaningful as you prepare you and yours for this momentous Jewish day […]

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Etrog Skin

Not to get under your skin, but there are two great messages that we can learn from the skin of an Etrog (used on Sukkot as part of the Lulav & Esrog set):  THICK SKIN If you’ll slice up an Etrog (after Sukkot, of course) you will notice that, unlike its cousin the lemon, an […]

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The Tower Challenge

by Michael Kugler There was once a king that called out to his subjects that he’s looking for ordinary subjects to join his inner circle. But they have to have extraordinary drive and passion. Most ordinary people thought this wouldn’t apply to them, so they didn’t bother going to the palace to find out more. […]

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Shvil Yisrael – the Israel Trail

by Dudi B.A. As tonight is Israeli night in the Sukkah, I’d like to share one of my most memorable Israel experiences as an Israeli, and that is the trail that runs the entire length of Israel, known as Shvil Yisrael. It begins in the high north of Israel, and winds its way, 1000 kilometers, […]

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Meatballs & Spaghetti = Lulav in a Sukkah

What’s the comparison here? What does one have to do with the other? The answer is based on some Chassidus about “Makkif vs. Pnimi”. Makkif surrounds us, it is above us and around us, but not necessarily something we internalize and relate to on a very personal level. Pnimi is personal, we relate to it, […]

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