Vayayshev by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Scene: Sheol, the Afterlife. A small metal table, such as one would find in an old-fashioned café in Paris, perhaps, or Greenwich Village. Two uncomfortable-looking but necessary metal chairs with curved metal backs, suitable for two ladies of fashion to sit and chat.

Haftarah of Naso: The Prayer of Shamira, Mother of Samson by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Naso (נשא) Torah: Numbers 4:21 – 7:89 Haftarah: Judges 13:2 – 13:25 Author’s Note: Biblical scholar James Kugel (How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then & Now, NY: Free Press, 2007) sums up Modern Biblical Criticism by stating that the Samson story is unique in the Book of Judges. Most of the judges/tribal chieftains […]

The Salad Days of Moses: Parsha Shemote

​I like Moses a lot. I commiserate with him: how can one be “the humblest of men” but at the same time, lead a people so fractious, argumentative, and independent-minded as us Jews? And yet, that was his life’s mission: self-destructively workaholic, misogynistic more than often, and not much of a father (his two sons are mere names, […]

Fragmented Pieces of Parsha Miketz: A Midrash

Miketz In my continuing series of documents from the Past, here is a piece which I acquired from the antiquities dealer, Ploni Ibn-Almoni, in the shuq-marketplace of the Old City of Jerusalem during my year abroad many decades ago. Almoni swore that he had secured it from a reliable source: one Dr. Tennessee Smith (1889-1948), an eccentric […]

Parshah Vayaytsay Midrash

Scene: A stucco’d mud house in Paddan-Aram, in the country of the East, where Isaac and Rebecca sent Jacob to live among the people of her brother Lavan, fearing the wrath of Jacob’s brother Esav. Lavan is sitting with his cattleman-cronies before a fire, eating dried dates, salted olives, and drinking Egyptian-style beer. A hookah/nargeelah/water-pipe […]

OneShul Prayer Service 2/9/2011