Dynamic Balancing: Notes from our Omer Count

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Post by Rabbi Lee Moore

Shavuot is just around the corner. Meaning ‘weeks’ in Hebrew, this under-observed holiday among many North American Jews celebrates the offering of first fruits in Temple times and, according to Rabbinic teaching, the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai following the Exodus from Egypt. The period between Pesach and Shavuot is marked by seven weeks of “counting the Omer” each day. As the tradition of Omer counting developed, each week and day came to be associated with its own unique set of reflections, based on the Kabbalistic concept of the Sephirot – emanations that channel the Divine creative force into the manifest world.

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This year, we at Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah invited a group of colleagues to offer their reflections on the various Sephirot and the implications they have for our lives today. Continue reading

Nachshon – On Embracing Risk as An Institutional Value

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Before they hired their first staff member, the board of Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation defined their core values, which were later adopted by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

One of those values is:

נחשון “NACHSHON” (First into the water): Drive Forward

We embrace new insights, big ideas, and fresh initiatives with an action orientation, learning as  we go. We are willing to rise to the occasion when others cannot, do not, or will not.

The story of Nachshon is a midrash you may have shared at your seder this year – at the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army closing in, Moses stood with his arms outstretched – but the sea was unmoved until one man, Nachshon, plunged in. Continue reading