August 2009


Shabbat Shalom!

I love this blessing and thought you might like to see the Hebrew for this powerful prayer. Moshe was instructed by YHWH to have Aharon and his sons bless the children of Yisra’el with this in order that YHWH Himself could bless them. Personally, I find this to be a beautiful way to begin our Shabbat and bless my wife and children every erev Shabbat. The Birkat Kohanim is found in B’midbar (Numbers) 6:22-27

Y’varekhekha YHWH v’yishmerekha

YHWH bless you and guard you;

Yaer YHWH panaiv eleikha vichunneka

YHWH make His face shine upon you, and show favor to you;

Yissa YHWH panaiv eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom

YHWH lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.

Sound the shofar

Already it is Elul. Tonight we begin the sixth month knowing that the Fall Festivals are almost upon us. Yom Teruah is merely one short month away. I wonder what this year’s Yom Kippur will be like. Most of all, I look forward to the rejoicing at Sukkot.

This year my son and I are planing on building a sukkah in our backyard. We neglected to do this last year and I feel like we missed out on a special opportunity. If you have any tips or suggestions for a first-timer I’d love to hear them, I have a feeling we are going to need all the help we can get 🙂

In my last post Mind If I Rant? I posed a question to everyone: Does the term ‘secular Jew’ bother you? Although I didn’t receive hundreds of responses, the responses I did receive (todah rabah, thank you very much) had one common answer: “who am I to judge?” No one thought it appropriate to judge another person’s walk. One reader even thought I came across as insulting to the Goyim (Gentiles, Nations) although I can assure you it was not my intention to insult anyone. Then an interesting question was asked of me. Would I be willing to write about my life’s mistakes? (more…)

Okay, I have to clear the air a little. (more…)

I just happened to come across this short film and knew immediately that I had to talk about it.

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is a difficult subject for me to speak about. As a newcomer to the Yahudim, I oftentimes feel guilty for not having had to endure the constant pain and suffering that the others before me have felt. I wonder, even now, am I qualified to raise my voice? I cannot remain silent. In fact, I will not remain silent. Over six million men, women, and children were helplessly slaughtered while the world stood by and did nothing!

Tragically, even now as the last of the survivors pass away there are people denying what happened. I find it interesting that General Eisenhower spoke about just such a thing when he communicated the following to General Marshall:

The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they [there] were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”

As painful as it is to watch and speak about we must not remain silent. We must teach our children, family, friends, everyone. This must never happen again and with YHWH’s protection this never will happen again.

Sh’ma kolenu, hear our voice…