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Prayers and Thoughts About Israel

05/14/2021 10:49:25 AM

May14

Shabbat shalom everyone.

This week that expression is more wish then normal.  As conflict rages in Israel, we wish for all people, no matter which side, a quick return to peace.  This week as I watched videos and read reports of the bombing I searched my heart to make sense of the violence going on right now in the Middle East.  I came across three resources I would like to share with you.

First, is a short...Read more...

Upcoming Outdoor Hybrid Shabbat

04/30/2021 01:00:04 PM

Apr30

I am very excited to let you know that we will begin to have outdoor services next Friday night starting at 7:00pm weather permitting.  The service will be a hybrid service so those who wish to join on Zoom will be able to engage that way.  (In the event of inclement weather, we will meet only on Zoom.)  I really want to thank our reopening committee who has worked so hard at ensuring we can return to the Temple in the safest...Read more...

What are Acts for the Sake of Heaven?

04/23/2021 11:01:08 AM

Apr23

Pirkei Avot, Ethics of our Ancestors, 2:2, says, “Those who work for the community should do so for the sake of Heaven; for the merit of their ancestors shall aid them, and their righteousness shall endure forever.

What does it mean to work for the sake of heaven?

According to Dr. Joshua Kulp, working for the sake of heaven means, “people who work with the community should do so for the right reasons, “for the sake of...Read more...

The Importance of the Study of History

04/16/2021 12:33:25 PM

Apr16

­­­I love history.  One of the aspects of Reform Judaism that I cherish is that it puts an emphasis on the importance of history in terms of understanding Judaism.  In traditional Judaism there is a concept which renders history irrelevant.  This concept is ein mukdam v’ein muchar ba’Torah, “there is no before and there is no after in the Torah”.  This idea means that historical order is non-existent or...Read more...

A Prayer for the Czar

04/09/2021 11:51:54 AM

Apr9

Prince Philip of England passed away today.  As I thought about his passing, I thought of Jewish prayers for non-Jewish kings and queens.  My mind almost immediately went to the scene from Fiddler on the Roof when a peasant asks the Rabbi, “Is there a prayer for the czar?”  The Rabbi responds, “May the lord bless and keep the czar… Far away from us”.

However, in researching this quote (to make sure I...Read more...

Counting the Omer

04/02/2021 10:54:07 AM

Apr2

Starting with the second night of Passover we have entered into a new phase known as the counting of the omer. The Omer is the counting of the days between the second night of Passover and Shavuot.    The tradition of counting the omer comes from the following passage in the Torah “you must count until the day after the seventh week—fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the LORD” (Leviticus...Read more...

04/02/2021 10:53:26 AM

Apr2

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Matzah and Maror

03/26/2021 01:14:56 PM

Mar26

Please join us tonight for Sheldon Low at 7:00pm for a special Passover seder.

This past week I came across two texts from our tradition that highlight two of the very different ways to approach life.  One approach is to recognize the hardship of life and recognize that those hardships will make you stronger.  The other approach is to allow optimism, and hope to empower our journey.  Neither approach is the right or...Read more...

The Spiritual Journey of WandaVision

03/12/2021 12:34:20 PM

Mar12

I was reading an interesting article this week that analyzed a TV show that was recently on the air. The show in question was a show on Disney+ called WandaVision. The show WandaVision is the story of two superheroes trapped in a sitcom reality.

The show aired over the course of 10 weeks, each week airing a new episode with mysteries and story for the audience to appreciate and attempt figure out the show’s many mysteries....Read more...

Golden Calf and Responding to Mistakes

03/05/2021 01:03:02 PM

Mar5

This week’s Torah portion is one of the most pivotal and iconic stories in Judaism.  It is the story of the Golden Calf.  The Israelites, becoming stressed and scared about Moses’ prolonged absence, decide to build themselves a god in the form of a calf made of their gold.  This act assuages their fear.  Moses comes down and sees the calf and loses his temper and smashes the two tablets he is carrying on the...Read more...

Sat, May 15 2021 4 Sivan 5781