David Shneyer Writings

Makot in Our Current World

Locusts, Darkness and Death of the first born. The plagues, Makot, literally meaning “strikes” strike against Pharoah’s enslavement of the Hebrews having intensified from the waters to the land to the sky, the realm of Higher Being. The intensity of the liberation movement is reaching a climax. We experience the […]

Thoughts on My Recent Trip to Israel

It’s good to be back. It’s hard to say being in Israel was relaxing. I want to the thank Melissa, our administrative assistant, for watching over the business of Am Kolel while I was away. I also wish to thank Susan Zemsky, friend and recently retired executive director of Temple […]

Shabbat Hanukah and Miketz

It is awesome to be back in Jerusalem again. When we exited from the bus and train station onto Jaffa Street, we were greeted with amplified Hanukah music, a large Hanukah menorah and folks dancing. It was a sight. This coming Shabbat is Shabbat Hanukah. The parsha, Miketz, continues the […]

Sharing Concerns and Commitment for a Two-State Solution

This past weekend I attended the J Street Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. I understand there were some 2000 attendees, 400 college students! While everyone was asked to show their vaccination cards and wear masks, the greater majority did not wear masks. The vast majority were also exuberant about […]

What Can We Do in Midst of the Barrage of Bad News

Ma Laasot? “So, what can you do?”, as the Hebrew translates. What can we do, in the midst of a barrage of bad news from Ukraine to Jewish settler violence to the shootings of members of the LGBTQ community, students and, now shoppers at a Walmart in Virginia? We, humans, […]

Parsha Noah and Beginnings of a New Creation

Last week’s Parsha was pretty uplifting at first. We see the emergence of Light from Darkness and the magnificent unfolding of Creation. We learn about the harmoniousness of the Garden of Eden being the radical and disturbing evolution of human awareness. We hear the warnings associated with the Tree of […]

Reconnecting with Others through Renewal

Welcome to Fall! I hope the Yom Tovim have been renewing for you. Many of us felt energized just being able to reconnect with community, either in person or on zoom. We shared Simchat Torah this year with Shirat HaNefesh, another independent community that is also wrestling with its future. Some members […]

Parsha, Nitzavim: Choice of the Blessing or the Curse

Some of us have been watching Ken Burn’s documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust. I’ve seen many documentaries and films about the Holocaust over the years, but none as vivid, disturbing and thoughtful as this one. Along with daily news about the atrocities committed by Russia to the people of […]

Parsha Shoftim and Seeking Justice

Given the assault on our justice system, the FBI and federal judges, not to mention other democratic institutions, this week’s Parsha, Shoftim, couldn’t be more right on. “18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Eternal your God is giving you, and they shall […]

Experience Commonplace Deeds as Spiritual Adventures

Ekev is a great Parsha! It becomes even clearer that G!d is in need of our right actions in order to be Godself. This understanding is explored beautifully in the teachings of Abraham Joshua Heschel is his work God in Search of Man. “This is one of the goals of […]