Inspiring Story


Knowing the Past to Build the Future

Both of my kids have bad allergies, so every time I see my daughter scrunch her nose and widen her eyes, I know she’s about to sneeze – even before she does. In fact, when I ask her to get a tissue in advance, she’ll often respond, “I don’t need one!”…and about five seconds later, it turns out that I’ve predicted the future. Seeing the future is an integral part of both this week’s portion, Vayeilech, as well as the yamim nora’im, the Days of Awe. In this week’s short portion (only one chapter),......

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The Stars in the Past Give Us a Powerful Present

Late Monday night and Tuesday morning, the James Webb Telescope showed its first images after its launch six months ago. And while the images from the Hubble telescope were incredible, these blow away even astronomers. As these images inspire everyone from NASA astrophysicists to ordinary laypeople, they remind us that seeing the size and scope of the universe never gets old. Stars have captured the human imagination for millennia, and we’ve often linked the workings of the heavens with the actions here on earth. In antiquity, the movement of the stars were often used......

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Pesach 2022

This week, we welcome the holiday of Passover, the holiday of freedom. During the Passover seder, we act out the story of our ancestors being redeemed from Egypt. In the Talmud, there’s also the idea that we are supposed to understand ourselves to have been redeemed from slavery, too. And there are those who take it one step further. Our ancestors were redeemed in ancient Egypt, we too were redeemed, and not only that: The 19th-century Chassidic Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (commonly known by the name of his influential book, The Sefat......

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Facing Our Past 

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayakheil, the master artisan Bezalel is putting together all the items for Mishkan, the dwelling-place for God. There are a whole host of materials listed – poles and pails, gratings and basins, fire pans, and fleshhooks, and most of them are presented simply as a list. But only one item has a backstory: “He made the laver of copper and its stand of copper, from the mirrors of the women who performed tasks at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.” (Ex. 38:8) Unlike everything else that......

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