TOS Blog

Posted on April 12, 2024

Ma Nishtana haPesach haZeh? Why is this Passover Different from all other Passovers?

April 12, 2024   Four years ago, we experienced a Passover unlike any we could have imagined – having to be physically separate from one another on such an important holiday. We figured out ways to be together using the wonders of technology, and incredible efforts were made to fulfill the injunction “Let all who …


Posted on April 5, 2024

Finding Renewal in Broken Vessels and Broken Hearts

April 5, 2024 This Shabbat, we prepare to transition into the Hebrew month of Nisan, which means… Passover is coming (join us for seder!) !! As we get ready, we’ll dust off and take stock of our holiday accouterments… Haggadot, matzah covers and of course, our seder plates. At this time every year, I think back to how I …


Posted on March 29, 2024

Our Lives as Offerings: A Shabbat Message from Rabbi Berkman

March 29, 2024   What does it mean to be called to serve? The book of Leviticus tells us unequivocally that this covenantal relationship to which we entered at Mount Sinai is one in which we have a profound responsibility. We were freed from Egyptian slavery to live in the world not for ourselves alone, …


Posted on March 22, 2024

Barbie takes over TOS for Purim!!

March 22, 2024   Hi Barbie! What are YOU up to on Saturday night?? Oh… me? I don’t have anything big planned. Just a giant blowout party with all the Barbies, and planned choreography, and a bespoke song. You should stop by. In other words, IT’S MY BAT MITZVAH PARTY and it’s PURIM, and EVERYONE is invited! …


Posted on March 15, 2024

“Perhaps for Just such a Time as This…”: Reflecting on this Moment in History, and this Moment in the Jewish Calendar

March 15, 2024   This week In “Torah time” we are concluding the reading of the book of Exodus. In Jewish calendar time, we are soon to celebrate Purim. In Jewish historical time, we are five months into a war of survival for our Jewish nation, fought in impossible circumstances leading to incomprehensible and unacceptable …


Posted on March 8, 2024

Shabbat: Best Known Commandment and Best Open Secret

March 8, 2024   This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Vayakhel, is one of the Torah’s 13 chapters about the Mishkan, all within the book of Exodus! Yup, you heard right – chapters 25 to 31 discuss the specifications for this structure, its materials and measurements down to the last detail, and then chapters 35 to 40 …


Posted on March 1, 2024

A Synagogue in Lisbon and the Experience of History and Hope

March 1, 2024   Last Friday evening, my family and I attended the Erev Shabbat service at the Shaare Tikvah synagogue in Lisbon, Portugal. As we entered the immense gates, escorted by the police officers stationed there and having gone through a rigorous pre-registration process, I reflected on the name of the congregation, which means “Gates …


Posted on February 23, 2024

Keeping the Light On

February 23, 2024 Four months into this unconscionable war between Israel and Hamas, in what is meant to be the Holy Land, amid calls for a ceasefire, if not an increase in humanitarian aid, Israeli settlers are still setting fire to Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank… And here in the US, a gathering that should …


Posted on February 9, 2024

Reproductive Justice is a Jewish Value

February 9, 2024 Growing up in my family’s house and as a product of Reform movement synagogues, summer camps, and youth leadership, an orientation toward and attunement to social justice came baked in. Carving out time to volunteer, contact my representatives, and show up for causes and for my neighbors was just part of what …