David Shneyer Writings

Parsha Pinchas and Our Stressful Times

Is it ever justifiable to kill others in order to preserve the values of your people and your culture? Is it okay to destroy public property by defacing and tearing down statues of Confederate generals and soldiers? Needless to say, there is a great cleansing going on in this nation. […]

Parsha Chukat in Our World Today

This week’s Parshat Chukat is filled with crises in the Israelite community. Miriam dies and the people freak out since she was responsible for providing water. Their anger and anxiety are directed at Moses. God instructs Moses to speak to a rock that would gush forth with water. But Moses, […]

Will a New Generation fulfill our Dreams?

In this week’s Parsha, Shlach L’cha, we learn how Moses sends twelve spies to scout out the Land of Canaan. Only two of the scouts, Joshua and Caleb, are in favor of it, the others are fearful and don’t have the faith nor the courage to enter the “Promised Land.” […]

“Not by physical force but, by my Spirit…”.

In this week’s prophetic reading from Zacharia we are reminded: “Not by physical force but, by my Spirit…”. It refers to the kindling of the seven branched Menorah in the ancient Temple and the reminder that at the heart of the community’s purpose is to create a society of empathy, […]

Has America Lost Its Way?

Has America lost its way? Have we entered a new wilderness, unsure of how to respond to pandemic, to social disparity, police brutality and leaders who desecrate sacred values and sacred places? The waves of protests are a desperate cry for justice and change. The social contract that should hold […]

Shavuot In This Year’s Climate

Once again, we stand at Sinai and recall the story of the Giving and Receiving of the Torah. Abraham Joshua Heschel, of blessed memory, wrote: “The surest way of misunderstanding revelation is to take it literally, to imagine that God spoke to the prophet on a long-distance telephone. Yet most […]

Convergence and Interweaving of Several Days which Speak to Us

This week we experience the convergence and interweaving of several days that speak to us. Last Sunday was the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Monday/Tuesday was Yom HaShoah, today is Earth Day, tomorrow is Ramadan and Friday evening ushers in Rosh Chodesh Iyar and Shabbat. This week underscores the importance […]