Author Archives: Sicha, Continuing the Conversation

Things Last and Lasting

By Rabbi Daniel Alexander, who is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA, where he continues to write and teach and serve as a Spiritual Director (read more here). Dan and Steve met in Jerusalem while studying at the Shalom Hartman … Continue reading

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Sea of Memories

(A conversation submitted by Ariele Sager Rosen, daughter of Rabbi Steve Sager. Ariele is a Jewish Studies teacher in Israel, where she lives with her family) The world is filled with remembering and forgettingAs it is with sea and dry … Continue reading

Posted in Blessing, Days of Awe, Memory, Midrash, Poetry, Talmud, Torah | 2 Comments

Now is the Time

(A conversation submitted by Sabina W. Sager) A man doesn’t have time in his lifeto have time for everything.He doesn’t have seasons enough to havea season for every purpose. Ecclesiastesas wrong about that. A man needs to love and to … Continue reading

Posted in Blessing, Life cycle, Poetry | 9 Comments

O, Steps! Ground of all Journeys!

Rabbi Steve Sager, z”l, died on May 15, 2022, just before reaching his 71st birthday. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2020, he decided to honor his birthday (and that of his father) with a zoom teaching about … Continue reading

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Faithfully Practicing Resurrection

The bedtime stories my father told me in our cramped apartment in the gritty Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn sketched a magical, mythical place… [even] the darker stories about hiding from the Cossacks among the tombstones… I needed to get to … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Poetry | 1 Comment

Gratitude Beyond Measure

These things have no fixed measure: the corner of the field, the first fruit offering, the pilgrim’s offering, acts of generosity, and Torah study. Rooted in the life of an agricultural community, the Mishnah extols life grounded in the soil—in … Continue reading

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We Are The Text

Since ancient times, a ritually prescribed Torah reading—a parasha— has been known by a title taken from the prescribed opening biblical verse. In addition to its conventional designation, some sages have given us the precedent of calling a parasha by … Continue reading

Posted in Midrash, Parshat HaShavuah, Torah | 7 Comments

Truth Will Spring Up

The first few weeks in quarantine were not too difficult. For one thing, we had just returned from Israel and we were tired—and frightened. For another thing, the world seemed painted in pandemic colors and moods: grey and foreboding. But … Continue reading

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Everything Will Not Be Alright

This is how you shall eat your Passover offering: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it b’hippazon (Exodus 12:11)—in hurried, harried, anxious haste. Everything will not be alright … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Passover, Poetry, Torah | 1 Comment

On That Day

“Living with halacha is risky—living without halacha is impossible,” said David Hartman. On that day, in the bet midrash our teacher was probing a core Talmud text of the Hartman canon, “The Oven of Achnai,” a story that underscores Rabbi Hartman’s style, … Continue reading

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