David Shneyer Writings

Parahs Toldot and Communication with Others

How we communicate with others is so central to this week’s Parsha, Toldot. Rebecca and Isaac are married, but like his father and mother they are having difficulty bearing children. Isaac prays to God; God hears him and Rebecca conceives. With twins wrestling with each other in her womb she […]

Seeking Reconciliation and Parsha Chaye Sarah

We have much to be thankful for. While a Pharoah has been defeated there are still underlying causes for the emergence of such a threat. Yes, we have become more conscious of the inequities in our society. Can we move up to our country’s ideals? Can there be healing and […]

Election Blues and Parsha VaYera

Election blues? Are you experiencing conflicting moments of hopefulness, doubt, sadness and, perhaps, despair? Is normalcy and peace eluding you? Voters have turned out in record numbers. More Americans are engaged than ever before and crying out for a clearer way forward. Our inner Avraham has been activated. What does […]

Revisiting the Origins of Our Ancestor Abraham

In this week’s Parsha called Lech L’cha we revisit the origins of our ancestor Abraham. Abram, as he was first named, is called to leave Haran, a kind of camel truck stop in now southeastern Turkey, and travels into Canaan. He brings with him the concept and belief in One […]

Parshat Noah: Ancient Story of Society/World Falling Apart

This week’s Parshat Noah brings us home to the ancient story of a society/world falling apart because of human failings, corruption and greed. Sound familiar? The Parsha also reminds us of the hope, vision and promise of a better world. While we are flooded with so many challenges and increasing […]

Parshat Breshit – A Unique Creation Story

As I watch the leaves fall on my Sukkah I feel both sadness and satisfaction. The past month filled with holidays and time to renew relationships with family and community and, prayerfully, move from atonement to attunement is over. Despite the radical changes in the way we came together to […]

Last Chance for Atonement

We are a little more than midway through Sukkot. Tomorrow evening, Thursday evening begins the holy day of Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day of Sukkot. Lighting candles, enjoying wine or grape juice and challah is traditional. While there are no super special foods many will prepare meals with fall squashes. […]

Adapting to Our New World Caused by the Pandemic

For those who joined us on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we hope this year the services were meaningful. We tried to create sacred space in a way we never imagined we could do. Throughout our history we have adapted too many trying conditions. Our generation is now on the […]

How Can We Make Our Voices Heard?

We are deeply saddened and devastated by the loss of Justice Ginsburg. Her voice gave voice to so many others. At this time in our nation’s history her death calls us to give voice like we’ve never given voice before. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, has been a gift […]

Parsha Shoftim and Democratic Convention

The Democratic National Convention and this week’s Parsha, Shoftim, couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. It also coincides with Rosh Chodesh Elul, the month of thoughtful and loving preparation for the new year. I have found the virtual Democratic Convention to be a source of comfort and hope. I thought […]