no comments

Lulav in the Sukkah, a Glass Among Barrels

Here’s a Chassidic story, we shared it once before, that also ties into an explanation of why there’s a (Chabad) preference (not an obligation) to shake the Lulav inside the Sukkah, even though they are two separate Sukkot Mitzvot, … Read the rest

...
no comments

Mishna Sukkah Life Metaphors

by Seth Brooks (UAlbany 2020) at Sukkot Nights I and II Farbrengens 2019 UAlbany

LAVUD – The Gap in the Wall

As someone growing in my Jewish learning and observance, we often feel that there are gaps and spaces in … Read the rest

...
no comments

Sukkot & Elephants of Babar vs MoWillems & The Knufflebunny

We happened to get a big anniversary edition of Babar (the elephant king) out of the library. It dates back to to France in the 1930’s but it is an enduring classic remaining popular with children to this day. Babar … Read the rest

...
no comments

Sukkah: Comfortable with Uncertainty

In some ways our generation has opportunities and abilities that surpass anything in the past. We have technology at our fingertips that used to be the stuff of science fiction, ease of communication, incredible access to information, and much more. … Read the rest

...
no comments

Why does Rabbi Akiva show up in Kol Nidrei?

I just learned this year that there’s an allusion to Rabbi Akiva in Kol Nidrei at the opening of the Yom Kippur services. The final letters of אור זרוע לצדיק ולישרי לב שמחה spell ר עקיבה (though usually with alef … Read the rest

...
no comments

Why Students Should Skip Class for Yom Kippur:

As a Rabbi and teacher and parent, I’m not one to advocate for skipping classes. The primary purpose and function of a University is to get your education, and you ought to maximize every opportunity to do so. Get work Read the rest

...
no comments

There’s a Monster at the end of this Machzor…

There’s a great little kids book about Sesame Street’s furry lovable Grover titled “There’s a Monster at the end of this Book”.

Grover is so frightened by the title, he does everything within his power (and then some!) to keep … Read the rest

...
no comments

Composite Shabbos Shuvah Drasha 2019

The question “going around the table” was: Share something about an area of improvement, growth, or change as we enter the Jewish new year 5780….

I’d like to try to more out in nature: hikes, walks, even spending more time … Read the rest

...
no comments

Black and White Shabbat

It all came together last minute on Thursday, but we decided to go with a Black and White Shabbat theme. Here’s the backstory:

It so happens that we have a local Israeli family visiting for Shabbos, the father worked as … Read the rest

...
no comments

Two High Holiday Jokes – and messages

I saw both of these jokes just before Rosh Hashanah and realized that in addition to the humor, they also carry High Holiday truths and messages. 

THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE

A young boy was standing in the synagogue looking up at … Read the rest

...