Tefillah Tuesday: Both Your Hearts

And you shall love the Lord your God with both your hearts … The Hebrew word heart is usually לב/lev, a simple two-letter combination. But – as in the first verse of the ואהבת/ ve’ahavta – this word can also appear in a slightly different form, with a doubled letter bet. Our profession of faith does not read בכל לבך/bekhol libbekha, love God “with… Read more »

URGENT: Donations Needed for Immigrant Children Being Held in NYC

Collection Bin in AC Lobby Through Next Week City Council member Mark Levine, who represents sections of the Upper West Side and neighborhoods to the North, is accepting donations of items for the 239 children who were separated from the parents and taken to New York. We are collecting: CLEAN Children’s clothing Diapers Toys  The children are… Read more »

Tefillah Tuesday: Nobody is Perfick, Part Two

Continuing the theme of the previous Tefillah Tuesday post: shibbush [“error”] happens. There will always mistakes, shortcomings, distraction, and extraneous thoughts in davening. Nobody is perfick. Today, we’ll turn to Chazal, the Talmudic-era sages, for a reflection on that age-old problem of davening while not knowing Hebrew very well. While scholars through the ages – as well… Read more »

Tefillah Tuesday: Nobody is Perfick

As an old children’s book has it, “nobody is perfick.” We may try to daven with kavanah – focus and intensity – paying attention to the words and to our own inner experience. But that doesn’t always work. Any regular davener will admit to plenty of zone-outs, extraneous thoughts, mispronunciations and misunderstandings of the words… Read more »

Tefillah Tuesday: Shema in All Languages

“Hear, O Israel.” There are two aspects to the mitzvah of the Keriat Shema. First, we are supposed to recite it, morning and night. That’s what keriah means: recite this Torah passage aloud. And, we are supposed to absorb its message. That’s what shema means: we are called upon to hear. Jewish tradition has always insisted on interpreting the Torah in precise… Read more »