This week's services:     Friday evening @ 5:45PM  -  Saturday morning @ 9:30AM

Friday night services will be held at the home of the Rabbi.  The address is 1506 Victoria Avenue.  Enter via the door nearest the driveway.

This week's parsha

Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the website.  We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given.  For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website.  If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the website.


In our journey through life we have many different kinds of experience.  Some are happy and boisterous; some are more somber; some are just dogged day-to-day getting through what has to be done; some are serene and moving; some are inspiring.

According to Jewish teaching, through all this, at every step of our lives, we have an important relationship with the Infinite, with G-d the Creator and Inner Life of the Universe.  Much of the time we may be completely unaware of this relationship.  The joys or the worldly desperations of the moment hide it from us.  At other times, there may be some kind of hint of recognition.

Read more: Recognitions

And Aaron Was Silent

In the course of life sometimes startling and shocking events take place.  Some might be close at hand, affecting people we know.  Yet we learn how to respond to such tragedies from our sacred Torah, which tells of events happening thousands of years ago, and of responses which are eternally relevant.

In this week's Torah reading (Leviticus chapters 9-11) a very unexpected and tragic event is described.  At the moment of the final consecration of the Sanctuary, two of Aaron's sons were killed.  Without consulting Moses, they let themselves be overcome by their enthusiasm and had come too close to the infinite power of the Divine which was revealed in the Holy of Holies.  In effect, they died as a result of their own unbridled ecstasy.

Read more: And Aaron Was Silent

The Good, the Evil and Transforming the Bad

The approaching festival of Passover makes us confront issues concerning good battling against evil, escape from enslavement by enemies, the triumph of light over darkness.  There are such battles on a national level, and they also exist within a person in the form of the struggle of the Good Desire against the Evil Desire, and escape from the enslavement to inner narcissism and negativity.

Jewish teaching recognizes that very often we are engaged in such conflicts in order that we should survive.  The battle is often not only on our own behalf as Jews, but a battle for civilization as a whole, for the universal ideal of belief in G-d and the ethical behavior which should result from that belief.  When the Bible condemns the idolatry of the ancient Canaanites it condemns their depravity:  "for also their sons and daughters they burn in fire" (Deuteronomy 12:31).

Read more: The Good, the Evil and Transforming the Bad

In our thoughts


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