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My American Citizenship Exam #696

10/08/2021 11:04:00 AM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashah Noah
“Everyone on earth had the same language and the same words.” (Genesis 11:1)

American Citizenship Exam

At about 8:20 am last Tuesday, my wife and I approached the parking lot of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building in Holtsville.

As we sat for a few minutes, Patte quizzed me on some of the tougher questions among the 100, which immigration officials could potentially ask me as...Read more...

Protecting the Environment – and Israel #695

10/01/2021 06:09:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashah Bereshit
“The Lord God took the man and took him into the Garden of Eden, to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15)

Portocecting the Environment — and Israel

On a clear evening in August 2008, I found myself standing on a friend’s deck in the ancient and mystical city of Sefat, Israel.

He is a Kabbalistic scholar, and, together, we watched the glorious glow of the sun as it set behind the...Read more...

Who Wrote the Torah? #694

09/24/2021 05:33:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashah V'Zot HaBrachah
“Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses—whom the LORD singled out, face to face.” Deuteronomy 34:10

Who Wrote the Torah?

One of the most confusing, fascinating, divisive lines in the Torah will be chanted this Wednesday morning as we complete the reading of the Five Books of Moses, and we return “to the beginning.”

Spoiler alert: I’m about...

Moses’ Last Song #693

09/17/2021 05:46:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashah Ha'azinu

“Come gather ’round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone”
For the Times They are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan 1963)

Moses' Last Song?

A question was once asked of the great Sage,...

Apologies: Real or Hollow? #692

09/10/2021 06:06:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Apologies: Real or Hollow?

“Sincere apologies, it would seem, are becoming our nation’s fastest diminishing resource.”

So wrote Rabbi Elliott Cosgrove of Manhattan’s Park Avenue Synagogue in 2013.

In particular, he referred to the behavior of a famous tennis player, who had recently thrown a tantrum after losing a US Open match.

The tennis star subsequently issued a “non-apology apology“ blaming the...Read more...

Our Children in a Divided World#691

09/03/2021 03:14:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Nitzavim
Choose life so that you and your offspring are to live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Our Children in a Divided World

What in heaven’s name is going on in the world?

Am I the only one who feels that a dark and nasty cloud is enveloping us right now? Floods, earthquakes, fire, plague.

Wars, environmental degradation, sexism, otherism.

It’s almost biblical.

As many of us —...

Since My Bar Mitzvah #690

08/27/2021 05:47:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Ki Tavo
“I, the Lord, will speed it in due time.” (Isaiah 60:22)

Since My Bar Mitzvah

Like many bar mitzvah students, I passed through my special day in 1966 with very little spiritual connection to the words I recited.

In those days, bar mitzvahs were endured. I was taught by my father to chant some Hebrew words, which I did not understand. The idea was to get through...Read more...

The Case Against Hoarding #689

08/20/2021 04:50:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Ki Teitzel
“When you enter another's vineyard, you may eat as many grapes as you want, until you are full, but you must not put any in your vessel.” (Deuteronomy 23:25)

The Case Against Hoarding

Last Sunday, with the sun shining and the temperature just right, we decided to pay a few visits to local car dealerships.

For those of you who live outside of Glen Cove, our community was once part of the Gold...Read more...

Story of the Sinking Boat#688

08/13/2021 05:00:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Shoftim
“Righteousness, righteousness you shall pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:18)

Story of the Sinking Boat

There is a story in the Midrash — our collection of ancient stories and interpretations — about a group of people traveling on a ship.

As the boat sets sail, one of the passengers pulls out a drill and begins drilling under his seat. Perhaps he wanted to fish or gather wood for a...Read more...

Yes, No. Calling Women to the Torah #687

08/06/2021 02:34:00 PM


Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Re'eh
“All Jews count toward the seven prescribed readers — even a minor and even a women….” (Talmud, Megillah 23a)

Yes, No. Calling Women to the Torah

I am often asked, “Why do Conservative and Reform Judaism enable women to be called to the Torah — but Orthodox Judaism does not?”

It’s a passionate topic. Conservative and Reform rabbis point to the need to realign...Read more...

Thu, January 20 2022 18 Shevat 5782