David Shneyer Writings

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 […]

Parsha Ekev = Good Teachings, Love and Hopefulness

This week’s Parsha, Ekev, is filled with good teachings, love and hopefulness. It starts off with how doing the smallest of Mitzvot will invite God’s love and promise. We learn that Mitzvot, great or small, hold the secret for having a loving relationship with the Life of the Universe, in […]

Speaking Out For Justice and Parsha D’varim

Finding our voice during these most trying times has not been easy for many. Nonetheless, I have been deeply moved by the growing numbers of educated, credible and extremely articulate individuals that are appearing on talk shows whether PBS, MSNBC, CNN, BBC and others. We, too, are finding our voices. […]

Be Strong, Be Strong and Let Us Strengthen Each Other

This week we conclude the Book of Numbers, BaMidbar. It’s been a difficult journey to the Promised Land. Hunger, thirst, rebellions and various “plagues” have challenged this emerging nation. This closing Parsha continues to grapple with how to create a just, lawful and compassionate society. We honor the complexity of […]