Purim is a great drama. It is also a symbol of what our world can be when we abolish the disunity between us. As then, so now, it has to start from the Jews. "Love your neighbor as yourself" was given to us first.
As we enter into the Jewish month of preparation prior to the High Holy Days, Elul, I am thinking about the spiritual aspects of chocolate. Like the complex transformation of the cocoa bean to chocolate, I seek to transform myself at this sacred season.
An old saying within the Israeli political establishment goes something like this: "You haven't made it in Israeli politics until you've been cursed by the Pulsa Dinura." The latest such threat is a conjuring-of-last-resort by those within the ultra-Orthodox community who feel sidelined.
Early yesterday, during my morning prayers, I came across an interesting passage in the Zohar -- the enigmatic, poetic, foundational opus of Jewish mysticism -- and soon, innumerable surprising connections were revealed.
Originally, G-d didn't care about good and evil or the Torah. Then, out of an act of absolute selflessness He decided He would care about this stuff. With all this in mind, we can now begin to appreciate the secret of Rosh Hashanah according to Chassidus.
Women's rights have come a very long way in a very short time. This is right and good and how things should be. It is also a facet of the plan for the ultimate unification of humanity that was foreseen centuries ago.
I first learned of the outstanding classic of Kabbalah, the Zohar, in a manner atypical even for this extraordinary topic. Rather than discovering it in metaphysical circles or the Jewish religious milieu, I saw it cited by a French surrealist poet.
The oral tradition that crystallized into the Talmud, the Midrashim and the Kabbalah is the only tool available to successfully decode the massive amount of legal, ethical and spiritual information embedded in the text.
The Zohar, the central text of Jewish mysticism, teaches that we are all "children from the chamber of yearnings." I hope this year we listen not only to ourselves - to the echo chamber of our own dreams - but to others.