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Welcome to CyberTorah

03/31/2021 07:21:50 PM

Mar31

 Torah Commentary by Rabbi David Booth

CyberTorah is a weekly commentary by Rabbi David Booth, spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, California.

Rabbi Booth was educated at the University of Judaism in...Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Everything Is Breath

09/24/2021 11:15:48 AM

Sep24

Everything Is BreathEverything is breath and hot air. So says the writer of Kohelet. All our striving and effort under the sun counts for nothing. LRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] To Be A Sukkah

09/17/2021 10:35:44 AM

Sep17

Announcements:The only response to Jew-hatred is Ahavat Yisrael, love of Jews, Judaism, and Israel. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjMuRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Rewriting the Past and the Future

09/10/2021 11:11:58 AM

Sep10

Rewriting the Past and the FutureFrom a certain vantage, the past is fixed. All that has formed a person to this point has already occurred and can nRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Feeding the Hungry

09/03/2021 10:09:01 AM

Sep3

Feeding the HungryOver the last few weeks, I have suggested two of four steps towards a Heshbon Hanefesh project. Heshbon Hanefesh is the weighing ofRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Planting Gratitude

08/27/2021 11:29:48 AM

Aug27

Planting GratitudeIn ancient Israel, farmers across the land would bring their first fruits to the Priests and declare their gratitude to God for thRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Covid and Gatherings

08/20/2021 10:23:47 AM

Aug20

Covid and GatheringsWe are living through a greatly challenging time which strikes at some of our deepest most human hopes. Masking saves lives andRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Appoint Judges and Police

08/12/2021 03:29:18 PM

Aug12

Appoint Judges and PoliceAppoint judges and police in all the places God is giving you…Justice, justice you shall pursue that you may thrive! (Dt.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] The end of Masada

08/06/2021 01:55:16 PM

Aug6

The end of MasadaFor many years, Masada was the driving myth of Israel. Israel is on the mountain, surrounded by enemies, making a last stand. IsraelRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] No, its not an apartheid state

06/11/2021 11:44:20 AM

Jun11

No, it's not an apartheid state. I find myself in an odd position of needing to explain why Israel is not an apartheid state. I preface this essay with a full awareness that Israel’s control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is replete with ethical challenges. Israel has sometimes failed to live up to the highest ethical standards in its treatment of the Palestinians. Its occupation of the West Bank is more ethically nuanced than Gaza because the Palestinian Authority works with Israeli security to prevent attacks and because movement is so restricted, sometimes in arbitrary ways.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] The Many Hued Garment of Anti-Semitism

05/27/2021 10:22:50 AM

May27

The Many Hued Garment of Anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is real. It clothes itself in various ways and survives and metastasizes in surprising ways. We are used to – and in some ways inoculated against- neo-Nazi and white supremacist anti-Semitism. Our familiarity with its tropes and language means we can easily recognize it and be on guard against it. The risks of this flavor of anti-Semitism have increased in recent years, in part due to the ability of people to form micro communities of hate via social media, but at least we know it when we see it.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] I Pray For Peace

05/21/2021 02:20:51 PM

May21

I Pray For PeaceI mourn the loss of life and property over the last few weeks in Israel. The human suffering of Jews and Arabs has been immense. OnlyRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Kol Emeth is (partly) back in person!

05/14/2021 02:20:18 PM

May14

Kol Emeth is (partly) back in person!We are beginning the process of re-opening Kol Emeth to in person events. I am excited to  reconnect with peopRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Change the Spirit, Change the World

05/07/2021 01:03:51 PM

May7

Change the Spirit, Change the WorldBeing holy is expressed through how we treat one another. When God offers us instructions on holiness, God beginsRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Living After

04/23/2021 12:33:35 PM

Apr23

Announcements: We have a wonderful Covid task force, consisting of our Synagogue President, Marc Bader, staffed by our executive director, Risa BecRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Israel and Hope

04/16/2021 10:35:34 AM

Apr16

Rabbi Akiva lived in the generation after the destruction of the Temple. For him, the catastrophe was both spiritual and human. Over 30% of the Jewish people were slaughtered at that time with no hope of a sovereign future. God created something from nothing; Rabbi Akiva’s generation created hope from the deepest despair.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Resilience and Jewish Wisdom, or Great Insults of the Talmud

04/09/2021 11:13:25 AM

Apr9

I believe our best selves can always get along with someone else’s best self. When we are curious, genuinely interested in the other, all sorts of bridges can be built, all types of gaps overcome. Yet I’m interested in exploring: what about when we DON’T bring our best selves? What happens when we are impatient, unwilling to listen, certain of our own position?...Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] God Who Redeems

04/02/2021 12:05:22 PM

Apr2

Here we go again! I believe we are at the beginning of the end of the pandemic. There remains a lot of uncertainty and challenge in front of us. At the same time, the vaccine and declining case counts show us a light at the end of the tunnelRead more...

[KE CyberTorah] Here we go again!

03/26/2021 11:01:22 AM

Mar26

The best tweet of Tuesday’s election in Israel came from the government itself. According to the government minister, “The official in charge of counting the votes has crashed and gone to sleep. More results in two hours.” Aside from the humorous human element to this tweet, it captures the exhaustion around repeated inconclusive elections.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] How is this night different?

03/22/2021 10:24:04 AM

Mar22

How is this night different? How is this Passover going to be different than all other Passovers? Well, last year we were in a global pandemic. This year we have added hope in the form of a vaccine.Read more...

CyberTorah from Rabbi Graff - Opening Our Eyes to the Needs Around Us

02/19/2021 11:41:25 AM

Feb19

The pandemic has brought many changes to my daily existence. I wake up and go to my computer, to Zoom into Kol Emeth’s virtual Morning Gratitude group. Meanwhile, Scott takes Orli, our 5th grader, to Hausner, where she learns with a mask on all day and sits 6 feet away from her fellow students...Read more...

Special CyberTorah from Rabbi Graff

01/08/2021 03:23:34 PM

Jan8

As this week comes to a close and we prepare for shabbat, I want to acknowledge the trauma we and our country experienced on Wednesday, seeing fellow Americans attack our capitol, disrupt our democratic process, and threaten the safety of our leaders.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Light One Candle

01/07/2021 01:51:34 PM

Jan7

I have had occasional days where I fail to step outside at all. On a day like that, I realize by the later afternoon that I have missed the restorative light of the sun, the warmth even in winter of being outdoors, and the inspiration that comes from appreciating the beauty of the world.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Illumination

12/10/2020 04:43:48 PM

Dec10

There is a deep human need to bring light into darkness. Traditions across the globe have light festivals in the darkest days to remind us that the light will return.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Virtual Israel

12/04/2020 04:49:10 PM

Dec4

I am a great lover of Israel. The opportunity to create our own place, to build a homeland for the Jewish people, is among the great blessings of our era. By having our own State, we are forced into the world of politics.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Blessings of Thanksgiving

11/19/2020 04:58:33 PM

Nov19

I have always been a big fan of Thanksgiving. I love the way it unites all Americans around gratitude and family. It draws us together to notice the blessings of this country and of our lives. It is a moment—a moment we so desperately need—of national unity and appreciation.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Yearning

11/13/2020 05:00:38 PM

Nov13

It is not good for Adam to be alone… Being human means being alone. We live in our own subjective experience, separated in the darkness behind our eyes from all that is. And at the same exact moment, we are part of all that is. We breathe and our breath goes back into the world. Our consciousness imagines our self to be limited by our bodies but this too is an illusion.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] A Prayer Post Election

11/05/2020 05:02:28 PM

Nov5

I want to offer a prayer, but before I do that I want to offer compassion. It’s been an agonizing roller coaster of a week. As I write this, results are still coming in and things may not be decided for quite some time. In such an environment, we can find ourselves stressed, worried, overwhelmed.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Don't Forget To Breath

10/20/2020 05:05:40 PM

Oct20

American democracy is essential to the Jewish people and the state of Israel. We have found the (second) most conducive home to the Jewish community here in the history of the diasporic world. Built into American democracy is a tolerance for otherness, a respect for religious difference, and a deep inherent philo-semitism unseen in other Western countries. Jews have been here from the very beginning and our community is an essential part of the American fabric.Read more...

[KE CyberTorah] Where Next?

10/15/2020 05:08:14 PM

Oct15

I will admit it: I feel pretty good about the holidays. Kol Emeth did something very special as we showed up for each other. In a time that could have felt isolating, we experienced community. In a time that could have been anxious and sad, we shared joy and hope. It was a team effort, Rabbis, Board, staff, community. Everyone committed to the same goal of making these High Holidays memorable and great and everyone showing up for each other.Read more...

CyberTorah Archives

01/01/2020 06:50:00 PM

Jan1

Look through an archive of old CyberTorahs.Read more...
Sat, September 25 2021 19 Tishrei 5782