My husband introduced me to techina (tahini), a staple found in most Israeli kitchens, as soon as we made aliyah in 1992.
I began my journey to Judaism nervously. Unlike the Charedim (ultra-Orthodox) who are anxious before the word of God, I was anxious in the uncertainty of the future.
I had always thought of Jewish cemeteries as solemn places – but that was before going to a hilloula (festivity) 30 years ago in the Moroccan town of Ouazzane on Lag BaOmer, the Jewish holiday that falls on the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot.
This morning I met again with my usual cohort of Jewish clergy who study sacred texts together each week in the coffee shop.
In Parashat Yitro, we are overwhelmed by the power of the encounter of God and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. The people respond to God's Presence saying, "All that the Eternal has spoken we will do!" (Exodus 19:8).
Parashat Ki Tisa recounts the incident of the Golden Calf in a multilayered narrative about faith and leadership. In Exodus, chapter 32, we read that Moses remained on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights. In his absence, the Israelites demanded that Aaron fashion an idol so God would be present with them.
At the beginning of Parashat Vayak'heil Moses convokes the entire community and reiterates the commandment on Shabbat observance