Drinking on Purim

Dear Friends: I hope this letter finds you all well and looking forward to the beautiful Yom Tov of Purim.  I address this letter to all of you, and especially to parents of teenagers. One of the unusual aspects of Purim is the celebration of the day through drinking...

Chanukah, Brotherhood & Community

As a community, we have been shaken by a series of recent tragic losses and challenges experienced by individuals and families within our community. We are unsettled, and we wonder what it all means and which steps we might consider in response. Yet now, on Chanukah,...

Chanukah and the War of the Kohanim

Chanukah and Purim are seen as celebrating two different kinds of experiences for the Jewish People. In the story of Purim we were threatened with physical annihilation, while the Greeks posed primarily a spiritual threat. Thus in the Al HaNissim thanksgiving prayer...

Sefirah, Redemption and Striving for G-d

What we call Sefer Shemos is referred to by our Sages as the Sefer HaGeulah, the Book of Redemption, or more commonly – Exodus.  While this is an appropriate description of the book’s first half, its second half seems to veer off into an entirely different...

The Seder Companion

The notes below distill the fundamental goals and purpose of the Pesach Haggadah. They are meant to be basic but thorough, a starting point for a clear understanding of the Haggadah’s magnificent structure and content. Please do not read them all at once as an article...