Author Archives: Rabbi Lavey Derby

Rabbi Lavey Derby

Rabbi Lavey DerbyRabbi Derby is the Director of Jewish LIfe at the PJCC and founder of "The Idra: A Community for Jewish Spiritual Learning and Practice." Lavey is part of a family line of rabbis that traces back to the year 1500.


Through a Jewish Lens: Exploring Mysteries of the Universe

October 20, 2016 | 1 Comment
Category: Learning | Tags:

Do you wonder if there is a reality beyond the tangible world? Do you believe there is a mystery at the heart of the universe that we will never be able to fully understand? If so, you may be attracted to the teachings of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism. Mysticism is usually defined as […]

Exploring Questions of the Heart, Mind, & Spirit

January 26, 2016 | 1 Comment

When it comes to nurturing our Jewish lives, much attention and energy is focused on the communal, public business of the Jewish people. This ranges from working on behalf of Israel and fighting anti-Semitism to engaging in Jewish politics, both internal and external. While these tasks are essential for the Jewish community, at the same […]

Ask The Rabbi: How Does A Rabbi Have time For A Life?

December 15, 2015 | 1 Comment
Category: Uncategorized

  QUESTION: How Does A Rabbi Have Time For A Life?? Submitted by Kimberly Gordon. Rabbi Lavey Derby answers your questions about life, religion, Judaism, and more. Do you have a question for the Rabbi? Send it to      

Eight Wise Hanukkah Insights

December 6, 2015 | 1 Comment

The clock is ticking and it’s time again for those eight crazy nights of Hanukkah. So this would be an apt time for eight wise Hanukkah insights. Well, maybe not so wise but maybe interesting. Perhaps… I never really understood the fascination with latkes. Sure, because of the miracle of the oil we are supposed […]

Ask The Rabbi: Are There Universal Beliefs in Judaism?

November 12, 2015 | 1 Comment

QUESTION: Are There Universal Beliefs in Judaism? Submitted by Frank Jonas. Rabbi Lavey Derby answers your questions about life, religion, Judaism, and more. Do you have a question for the Rabbi? Send it to

Ask The Rabbi: What Is The Hardest Part Of Being A Rabbi?

October 13, 2015 | 1 Comment

QUESTION: What Is The Hardest Part Of Being A Rabbi? Rabbi Lavey Derby answers your questions about life, religion, Judaism, and more. Do you have a question for the Rabbi? Send it to

At-One-Ment: Returning To Ourselves

September 21, 2015 | 1 Comment

Yom Kippur (Hebrew for the “Day of Atonement”) is said to be the most solemn and introspective day of the Jewish calendar. It is the culmination of a ten-day period of reflection, beginning with Rosh Hashanah. During these ten days we are invited to engage in a fearless moral inventory to assess the state of […]

VIDEO: Rabbis’ Roundtable | What Is The Meaning Of Repentance?

September 16, 2015 | 1 Comment

Listen to four Peninsula Rabbis talk about the meaning of repentance. That was the topic of our annual Rabbis’ Roundtable on September 2, 2015. Participating Peninsula rabbis included Rabbi Nat Ezray of Congregation Beth Jacob, Rabbi Corey Helfand of Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Rabbi Dennis Eisner of Peninsula Temple Beth El, Rabbi Daniel Feder of Peninsula […]

Let It Go! The Benefit of Forgiveness

September 8, 2015 | 1 Comment

Central to the understanding of the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the simple yet fundamental belief that people can change. We need not be stuck in habitual conditioned behaviors. We need not repeat the same behaviors that are hurtful to ourselves or to […]

Video: How We Think About Israel

February 13, 2015 | 1 Comment

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, spoke at the PJCC recently. He gave us some wonderful insight into the thinking of both Israeli and American Jews. He provided us with a new way for the Jewish Community to think and talk about Israel. Get ready to be inspired!

Israel: Complex, Compelling, Clarified

January 13, 2015 | 1 Comment

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman tackles complex challenges facing the country Whatever our personal views about Israel, it is likely we all agree that Israel is among the most complex and complicated nations in the world. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict appears intractable, with both sides refusing even to acknowledge a common narrative of the genesis of the […]

Rosh Hashanah: May We Be Blessed With A Happy, Healthy, & Peaceful New Year

September 11, 2014 | 1 Comment

Unlike all the other Jewish Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, is not linked to the remembrance of national liberation or to the commemoration of a national tragedy. In fact, Rosh Hashanah does not focus on the experience of the Jewish people in history at all. Rather it serves as a lens to […]

Don’t Let Go Of Hope

July 24, 2014 | 1 Comment

As the violence in Israel and Gaza continues to escalate and claims more victims, the pain I feel is palpable. My heart aches for the IDF soldiers killed in action, and for the Israeli civilians who suffer an endless torrent of rockets fired at their homes and their children. My heart aches as well for […]

Welcoming The Shadow: Dealing With Negative Self Talk

June 25, 2014 | 1 Comment

“When we were one or two years old we had what we might visualize as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of our psyche… But one day we noticed that our parents didn’t like certain parts of that ball of energy that we were. They said things like, “Can’t you be still?” […]

Mindfulness–What Is It & Why Do I Care?

March 24, 2014 | 1 Comment

Ok, now it’s on the cover of Time Magazine. Mindfulness meditation, that is. Mindfulness is everywhere! Newspapers and magazines carry stories on the benefits of mindfulness; medical journals report on the latest research about mindfulness; businesses have mindfulness programs to help combat stress and to increase creativity and productivity; schools have begun to introduce mindfulness […]

Interview with Rabbi David Saperstein – Part 2

January 22, 2014 | 1 Comment

Interview with Rabbi David Saperstein - Part 2 In our second installment of Q&A with Rabbi David Saperstein, Rabbi Lavey Derby asks about his roll and influences. Q: You’re held in high esteem by colleagues and peers: who do you admire and why? “Too many to do justice to. I have been blessed to meet and […]

Powerful Force in Washington DC Comes to PJCC

January 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

Interview with Rabbi David Saperstein - Part 1 The North Peninsula Jewish Community is honored to welcome Rabbi David Saperstein, a passionate spokesperson for social justice, as our 2014 Scholar in Residence. Rabbi Saperstein is Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the Administration. […]