When Abraham Met Brahma- Excerpt from Be, Become, Bless

The thirst for spirituality and meaning is a defining characteristic of our times. A societal shift is taking place, one that emphasizes experience, feeling, and imagination. Be, Become, Bless presents a Jewish approach to transforming the way we see and live our lives. In these pages, Rabbi Yakov Nagen uses the weekly parasha as a springboard to converse with both Eastern spirituality…

It’s in the Gene(alogy): Family, Storytelling, and Salvation-An Excerpt from “Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth”

A special thanks to 929 for spreading some pre-Shavuot wisdom. This excerpt was taken from an essay featured in Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth edited by Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern. “It’s in the Gene(alogy): Family, Storytelling, and Salvation” .   By telling the story of King David’s genealogy through the Book of Ruth, the text is…

Mother’s Day in the Koren Talmud Bavli

Tractate Kiddushin, volume 22 of the Koren Talmud Bavli,  is primarily devoted to the different elements of the act of Kiddushin, betrothal. However, we also find a sugyiot dedicated solely to the mitzvah of honoring one’s father and mother: What better tractate to learn on Mother’s Day (Sunday May 12 in the United States)? This…

The Rabbi Who Recaptured Hebron (Special for Hayyei Sarah)

The Torah reading this Shabbat, Parashat Hayyei Sarah, details Abraham’s purchase of Ma’arat HaMachpela (the Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron. In light of the political climate regarding jurisdiction over Hebron, it is worthwhile to read Rabbi Shlomo Goren’s firsthand account of the battle to reclaim Hebron and the Arabs’ surrender to the Israel Defense Forces.

Space for prayer (Thoughts on Berakhot 6b)

The following is adapted from Relics for the Present, a collection of inspiring mini-essays that explore the parameters and depths of prayer. In this two volume series, author Levi Cooper of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies uses Tractate Berakhot as the foundational text and combines rabbinical commentary and Hassidic lore to create inspiring vignettes…