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In my life prior to KTI, I spend many years as a student, first college and then rabbinical school. Part of that lifestyle meant that I was constantly moving. In fact, every nine months or so, or sometimes even more frequently, would I pack up...

Mar 14, 2019
Blog

As I turned on my car radio on Thursday morning—on my way to Starbucks for my office hour, please come by any Thursday from 8-9!—I discovered that it is yet again that time of year. Not some religious or civil holiday, not some milestone in our...

Mar 05, 2019
Blog

Two years ago, Daniel and I had the opportunity to visit Channel Islands National Park. The islands are about an hour’s boat ride off the coast of Southern California. They draw in visitors with opportunities to be deep in relatively unspoiled...

Jan 30, 2019
Blog

What do you see in this image? A vase, or two faces looking at each other? This famous optical illusion was developed by the Danish-Jewish psychologist Edgar Rubin, as part of his work on what he called the figure-ground distinction. Normally,...

Dec 26, 2018
Blog

In this week's Torah reading, Va-yishlah, we learn of Jacob's confrontation with his brother Esau after 20 years away.

In preparation for this confrontation, Jacob prays, acknowledging that "I am unworthy of all the...

Nov 21, 2018
Blog

When we meet our ancestor Jacob at the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Va-yetzei, he is a man on the run. Having finagled the status of firstborn from his brother and father, Jacob flees for his life and is en route to Haran, his mother’s...

Nov 14, 2018
Isaac and Rebekah
Blog

Our Torah reading this week, Tol’dot, focuses on the life of Isaac: the birth of his children, his adventures in the land of Israel, and the struggle between his sons for his blessings.

What is striking about Isaac’s life is how similar it...

Nov 07, 2018
Blog

I typically do not give a sermon at a Bar Mitzvah, but given the events of the previous week, I want to share a few brief words. In particular I want to address the young people who are with us today.

In our Torah reading this week, we...

Nov 06, 2018
Blog

As we stand here before the open ark, we are about to sing Etz Hayim Hi, it is a tree of life, and we call to mind our brothers and sisters who were murdered in their synagogue, called Tree of Life, a week ago.

עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא...

Nov 06, 2018
Blog

US Steel was an iconic American company that flourished in Pittsburgh in its heyday as an industrial center. Its logo, which also became the logo of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, features three diamonds: yellow for coal, orange for iron...

Nov 06, 2018

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