The Esther-Yeshua Connection

My God, my God, why have You abandoned me; why so far from delivering me and from my anguished roaring? My God, I cry by day—You answer not; by night, and have no respite. But You are the Holy One, enthroned, the Praise of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted, and You rescued them. To You they cried out and they escaped; in You they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, less than human; scorned by men, despised by people. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips, they shake their heads. “Let him commit himself to the LORD; let Him rescue him, let Him save him, for He is pleased with him.” You drew me from the womb, made me secure at my mother’s breast. I became

Valuing Difference

In our Torah reading today, when Moshe Rabeinu was about to relinquish his leadership over the children of Israel, he addressed God in a most unusual way: “Moshe spoke to the Lord, saying, 'Let the Lord, Source of the Breath of All Flesh (E-lohei Haruchot L’chol Basar), appoint someone over the community.'" Haruchot from the same root as Ruach, meaning Spirit or Breath. Now, this is the only place where God is referred to in this manner, so our Sages were inspired to find deeper meaning in this phrase. But what could “Elohei Haruchot L’chol Basar” possibly mean? One answer became the basis for an unusual blessing. None of us probably would have known this but when one sees a gathering of 600

Searching for G-d in the Chaos of 2020

We, humanity, are in pain. We are in sorrow. We’re in a state of confusion. The world is turned upside-down. COVID-19, economic depression, racism, civil and social unrest, killer hornets, and Saharan dust clouds, to name but a few of the causes. These things have turned 2020 into a meme. 2020 is no longer just a description of perfect vision. It has become a term to describe everything going wrong, as in, “Traffic was light and the car was driving perfectly, your honor, and then everything 2020’d.” Tragedy and confusion are everywhere, both on a personal and global level. When will it end? Our Sages teach that in the month of Tamuz, which we are now in, we must elicit mindfulness in order

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