TOLDOT — The sweet scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafts through the kitchen. Your mouth waters and your tummy rumbles as you pull the hot tray out of the oven. The cookies look moist and delicious as the chocolate bubbles and melts. The recipe tells you to let the cookies cool for thirty minutes before eating them. But how can you wait thirty whole minutes when the cookies are calling your name right now?! You try to pick up just one cookie, but it crumbles and you burn your finger. You put the crumbs in your mouth...Read More
CHAYE SARAH — Chores can be hard when forced to do them or easy and enjoyable if we choose to do them. There are ways to introduce them to our children so that they become more naturally executed responsibilities rather than an occasion for parental nagging. This week’s Torah portion offers some clues. We meet Rebecca, who is a picture of motion and energy. She is a young woman with a jug on her shoulder on her way to the well to draw water for her family. That had to be a hard chore due to the weight of...Read More
CHAYE SARAH — In all likelihood, as children we were told to honor our parents. It’s one of those things that parents like, and by now we know why. As parents, we expect our children to listen to and do everything we want them to. In truth, though, honoring parents should not entail giving up one’s own life and dreams. In this week’s Torah portion Abraham’s trusted servant Eliezer approached Rebecca’s father, asking for permission to bring her back as a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. Laban, Rebecca’s brother, in utter disrespect of his father, jumped up and responded...Read More
VA-YERA — Hospitality is a powerful way to model kindness. Opening one’s home to others is a way for people to share with one another the uniqueness of who they are and the blessings they have. Abraham in our Torah portion shows what an essential value hospitality is in the Bible. Even though he is in the midst of a conversation with God, he surprisingly interrupts it to welcome three strangers he sees from afar. He begs them to stay awhile and have a morsel of bread and some water. Meanwhile, he and Sarah prepare a sumptuous meal for...Read More
TORAH PORTION: BERESHIT We are surrounded by things that tempt us. Unhealthy foods, video games, and gossip are just a few of the things enticing us. It’s hard to make the decision to eat healthily. Or to not play “just one more round!” Or to keep from spreading a juicy piece of news. When confronted with a temptation, we know what the right decision is, but in the moment, it can be so hard to stay connected to our values, be they healthful eating, productive use of time, or not engaging in lashon hara or gossip. In this week’s Torah portion...Read More
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