Pesach Day 8 by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Isaiah, Prophet of Peace Day 8 of Pesach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   It was late, and I had yet to write an article about the Eighth Day of Pesach.The Torah portion was a pastiche of kosher laws, sacrificial directives, and a plea for tzedakah, charity—no unusual insights there. I had to teach in […]

Pesach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Day 1 Pesach 5778: I, Joshua, Conqueror of Canaan by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Scene: A rough-looking tent, much in need of a woman’s gentle touch—and some housekeeping. Scattered about are the accoutrements of a man of war: scuffed and bent short swords, a couple of battered shields of wood with a bronze circlet […]

Chanukah: Laws, Customs, and Trivia by Rabbi Hartley David Mark

 Plus, My Personal Take on the History of this Wonderful Little Festival What we American Jews call a “menorah” is called a “chanukiyyah” in Israel. In modern Hebrew, a menorah is a light bulb. I wandered around B’nai B’rak, a very Chasidic town in Israel, going nuts looking for a menorah. They kept sending me […]

This Tisha B’Av, Remembering Dr. Janusz Korczak By David Hartley Mark

Betty Jean Lifton, The King of Children: A Biography of Janusz Korczak. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1988. He was not religious, but he became a saint. He did not go to synagogue, and knew no Hebrew, but he was a martyr. In a world where men changed themselves willingly into beasts, he dedicated his […]

Ariella, Shavuot Mishaps + The Power of Community

Rabbi Patrick here. Last week, OneShul and Darshan Yeshiva outreach director Ariella suffered a ministroke which left her with a few (hopefully temporary) physical imparements. Fortunately, the damage could have been much worse, and Ariella should be OK. Ever our fearless leader, Ariella intended on continuing with our Shavuot all-night learning series she had worked […]

Pesach—8th Day by David Hartley Mark

By this time, even the staunchest fan of Pesach finds that the matzah does not melt in his mouth, and the never-ending diet of soup-chicken-and-matzah-balls, once ethnically enticing, has grown cloying and stale. “Fear not,” whispers the yetzer ha-ra, the never-tiring Evil Inclination, “the end is near, and you will, once again, be able to […]

Pesach—1st Day by David Hartley Mark

Rather than the Torah reading, I will focus my drash/rabbinical commentary on Psalm 136, which is part of the Shabbat and holiday davening and the Haggadah as well, and features the refrain: Hodu la-do-noy—“Praise the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness endures forever.” One of its lines (136:16) thanks God “for leading His […]

Shabbat Chol HaMo’ed Sukkot/Intermediate Shabbat of Sukkot Kohelet/Ecclesiastes by David Hartley Mark

Now it is autumn and the falling fruit And the long journey towards oblivion. The apples falling like great drops of dew To bruise themselves an exit from themselves. And it is time to go, to bid farewell To one’s own self, and find an exit From the fallen self. –D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), “The Ship […]

Passover Meditation 04/15/14

Meditations and discussion with Rabbi Patrick on the Pesach seder

The Passover Exodus: A Word from Pharaoh Ramesses II by David Hartley Mark

Scene: 1256 BCE. Abu Simbel, the majestic display of colossal statues in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings. The elderly Pharaoh Ramesses II, aged 91, sits in a wheelchair in the Ramesseum, gazing at a brand-new portrait of himself in his royal chariot, single-handedly turning back a Hittite invasion. It is warm here, as the […]