Author Archives: igplotzk

Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16), Shabbat Shirah, Tu B’Shvat

I love singing.  But what I like best is not simply singing per se, though I do sing in the shower, enjoy chanting liturgical texts, and have dabbled in karaoke.  It’s singing in a chorus. Since I’m an alto, my … Continue reading

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Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

Locusts, darkness, the slaying of the firstborn, the first Passover, THE Exodus, and then – tefillin? It is difficult for us city dwellers to appreciate the havoc a plague of locusts (yes, “plague” is the term for a group of … Continue reading

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Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

This week, representatives of a minority group officially confront the leader of the country, an arrogant, ignorant, stubborn man. He believes he is all-powerful, the but his own close advisors soon begin deserting him. I refer of course to the … Continue reading

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Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

I’m taking a week off from thinking.  So, these comments are from January 2013, except for additions in italics. A new year, a new book, and a familiar yet still-exciting story to curl up with on these cold, dark winter … Continue reading

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Vayekhi (Genesis 47:28 – 50:26)

I recently saw the movie Green Book, which I enjoyed and recommend.  Based on a true story, it concerns the relationship between a black pianist with highly refined tastes and the Bronx bouncer he hires as a driver/protector for a … Continue reading

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Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

When I went to grad school, I was not prepared for how cold it would be.  I don’t mean the weather. Yes, this was Boston, but I had a heavy wool coat and, after some months of neglect, very long … Continue reading

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D’var Torah – Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

Delivered at Shabbat morning services at AKSE, January 3, 2004 by Irene G. Plotzker [reconstructed from notes] In this week’s portion, Joseph reveals his identity, assures his brothers he forgives them, and the whole family is reunited in Egypt, where … Continue reading

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