Author Archives: Michal Kohane

For Hashem your God is bringing you into a good land… כִּ֚י ה’ אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ מְבִֽיאֲךָ֖ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ טוֹבָ֑ה….

I am 4-5 years old, trying to catch up with my grandfather’s muddy boots lost in the grass ahead of me as we’re going to water the orange grove he planted long before I was born. Along the way he … Continue reading

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Love & Comfort: Shabbat Nachamu & the Torah portion of Va’etchanan – אהבה ונחמה: שבת “נחמו” ופרשת “ואתחנן”

Turns out that I’m doing my Shabbat food shopping at the supermarket in Ariel, in the heart of the Shomron. Having spent too many hours reading too many opinions regarding Ben & Jerry’s last move, I’m pretty shocked to find … Continue reading

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Shabbat Chazon, before the 9th of Av: Blue, White & Orange ת חזון, לפני ט’ באב, כחול, לבן וכתום

The days before the 9th of Av are somber: once upon a time a glorious Temple stood in Jerusalem. It was destroyed, and the destiny of the Jewish people changed forever. Since then, and because of that, we’ve experienced exile, … Continue reading

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Staying together… נשארים עם אחד

Moses is quite shocked when two tribes approach him, and ask to stay on the other, i.e. eastern side of the Jordan. As we almost reach the end of the Book of Numbers (chap 32) and the end of the … Continue reading

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Who are you, Serah Bat Asher? – מי את, סרח בת אשר?

Hidden in our Torah portion, Pinchas, in the long list of the second census, is one of the women of the Torah that became a source for many exceptional midrashim. This comes right after the plague when 24000 died, as … Continue reading

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The Lion King & The (son of the) Bird – מלך האריות ו(בן) הציפור

Unlike the other kings around, Balak, the king of Moav, opts for a different tactic against the Children of Israel: no direct physical war, but a war of words. Sounds familiar?? His full name is “Ben Tzipor”, literally son of … Continue reading

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Incomprehensible Love (Chukat) – ואת (א)והב בסופה…

How do we cope with the unknown? I remember my first days in chaplaincy training in NYC. We asked our supervisor soooo many questions! At some point he said, “Enough”! and added, “questions are a sign of anxiety”. ‘What?!’ I … Continue reading

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Which party would Korach join?? לאיזה מפלגה ילך קורח??

It’s interesting to read the leadership challenges Moses and the Children of Israel face during their travels in the desert on the backdrop of current Israeli politics. Or perhaps, witness current politics on the backdrop of the current weekly Torah … Continue reading

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Meeting in the Land – להפגש בארץ

Once a year the High Priest would enter the holy of holies in the Temple, and there, say a prayer for the People of Israel, so we learn in this week’s daf yomi. We might think that he would stay … Continue reading

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Complaining and dancing and journeying on… מתלוננים ורוקדים וממשיכים במסע… Beha’alotcha – פרשת בהעלותך

Where is the line between complaining and communicating one’s pain? The dictionary defines complaining as “express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something; state that one is suffering from (a pain or other symptom of illness)”, all things that seem “ok” to … Continue reading

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