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Psalm 27

02/21/2020 12:04:26 PM

Feb21

I have found nothing is more paralyzing to us than fear.  However, fear can do one of two things to an individual, it can strengthen them or weaken them.  Our tradition offers that the way to make fear strengthen us rather than weaken us is to turn to God.  Whatever your understanding of God, God can be accessed as a force of internal strength.  Consider the words of Psalm 27 as an antidote to fear that weakens. It is...Read more...

Want Sticky Ideas?  Use SUCCES

02/14/2020 12:19:53 PM

Feb14

This past week in Lunch and Learn we discussed the idea of what makes some stories resonate and stay with us and others fade away.  Chip and Dan Heath wrote a book called “Made to Stick”.  In it they outline six factors that make ideas and what we are told, whether true or not, stick with us long after their telling.  The conversation came out of another Lunch and Learn where we were discussing the fact that people no...Read more...

Lost and Found

02/06/2020 03:43:34 PM

Feb6

Here is a story I came upon in one of my books.  I hope it makes you laugh and think.  I have my lessons I draw from this story, I leave it to you to draw your own…

Lost and Found

The old rabbi had left the room for a moment, then returned to his studies, only to find his eye-glasses missing. Perhaps they were between the leaves of his book? No. . . . Maybe they were somewhere on the desk? No. Surely they were in...Read more...

Teviat Ayin

01/23/2020 02:14:10 PM

Jan23

Rabbi Micah

I would like you to imagine with me for a moment that you did not know what a rabbit looked like or what it did.  All you have is someone elses word that the foot prints on the ground, the soft fur or a rabbit foot, and some teeth marks in the carrots as proof the rabbit exists.  You reason that the rabbit must be able to fly which is why you have never seen it.  You keep looking at the sky to try to see the rabbit and never...Read more...

MLK Shabbat

01/16/2020 04:19:25 PM

Jan16

Rabbi Micah

My parents grew up in the south in Virginia in the 50’s and 60’s. I truly feel blessed that I never had to live in the south through that time. Simultaneously I am filled with a sense of dread, fear, horror and sadness that they had to witness humanity at its worse up close with no escape. I thought I would share an excerpt from my father’s book “Jewish meaning in a World of Choice”, where he describes what it was like to grow up in...Read more...

Foodstock

06/13/2019 02:03:24 PM

Jun13

Foodstock

During the academic year the Cheshire food pantry receives a steady stream of donations. However, those donations dry up over the summer as minds turn to other activities.  At the end of this month, as a part of the larger Cheshire community, we will have an opportunity to engage in a true act of Gimilut Chasidim with Foodstock. The food pantry is low on food and has asked us to...Read more...

More Reflections from the RAC

06/06/2019 03:32:18 PM

Jun6

On May 19th-21st, members of Temple Beth David went to the Consultation on Conscience, a gathering of 1200 social-justice minded Reform Jews at the Religious Action Center (RAC) in Washington. The following is an article written by TBD member Lori Sudderth and her experience while attending the event:

I was one of the fortunate attendees of the Consultation on Conscience, my first experience of the conference, although I...Read more...

The Importance of Earning

05/16/2019 01:19:02 PM

May16

The following is a Hasidic parable about how earning our destiny, even if the road is hard, is always better than being given something for free. Shabbat Shalom!

The rabbi of Kobryn told this story:

 "When I was young I once spent Purim with my teacher Rabbi Mordecai of Lekhovitz. In the middle of the meal he cried: Today is the day of gifts, the hour for giving has come. Whoever reaches out his hand, will...Read more...

Start Early

05/10/2019 01:11:51 PM

May10

There are many in the Jewish world that lament the steep drop off in engagement of young men and women after their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  As a result, a lot of money and time has been spent trying to figure out how to keep these young Jews engaged in their teen years.  What is interesting is that the solution can be found in a midrash (a teaching) from 2000 years ago:

R. Judah said in the name of Rav: The name of that...Read more...

LGBTQ Rights

05/02/2019 04:13:55 PM

May2

As part of our continued series of speeches from our weekend with the RAC below is a speech by Alex Math and Anna Curran on LGBTQ Rights. The views that follow are those of the Religious Action Center, the political advocacy wing of the Reform movement, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Temple Beth David.

Hello (Senator Murphy/Representative Hayes). We are Alex Math and Anna Curran and we are from the...Read more...

Mon, February 24 2020 29 Shevat 5780