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09/22/2022 08:19:00 AM




This week’s Torah portion Nitzavim begins “You are standing this day, all of you, before the Eternal your God” (Deut. 29: verse 1). We, the children of Israel are almost, but not quite, ready to cross into the promised land. That parallels our journey in the present day as we...Read more...

If Worse Comes to Worst...

09/08/2022 03:28:24 PM


Our Torah portion this week “Ki Tetzei” begins “When you’ll go out to war against your enemies…” (Deut. 21:10). The opening incident concerns a prison of war, a beautiful woman, who the victor wants to take as a wife. Obviously, in modern times this would be considered a war crime and not reflective of Jewish ethics. In the Biblical milieu war was a fact of life, and injury was common. Only last week we...Read more...

B“Balak! Balak!”

07/15/2022 12:19:59 PM


Rebecca Abbate

“Balak! Balak!” In the often narrow, crowded streets of old Moroccan cities, this word means one thing, “Watch out! Donkey coming through!” For almost two weeks now, the word Balak has made me reach for my daughter and pull her to the side of the street, because those donkeys will not stop. As my guide says, “They have the right of way! It’s their world, and we just live in it!”

So you can imagine my amusement when I...

Reflections from Morocco

07/08/2022 12:15:51 PM


Rebecca Abbate


Over the past week in Morocco, I have been piecing together a very wobbly understanding of the Jewish history in this country. I see signs of Jewish presence everywhere. In the first century Roman ruins of Volubilis, for example, one can see epitaphs engraved in Hebrew on ancient stones. There are...Read more...

The Gibor and the Talmid in All of Us

12/03/2021 11:51:35 AM


One of the icons the early Halutzim, pioneers of the state of Israel, adopted was the Maccabees.  The Maccabees were the warriors of the Hanukkah story who stood up to the oppressive forces of the ancient Greeks.  In the world of the early Zionists, dictated by the Holocaust and overt government-sanctioned anti-Semitism, the reclaiming of the heritage of the Maccabees was seen as a necessity.  The Maccabees served as a symbol...Read more...

Women and Choice

11/11/2021 03:25:33 PM


Shabbat Shalom!

I hope everyone had a great week.  Join me tonight as we continue our discussion of biblical values.  Tonight, I will be discussing “What does the bible actually say about Gender?”.  For the past few weeks we have discussed in this forum and for my sermons what the bible and Judaism have to say about abortion.  One thing struck me and was...Read more...

Jewish Values and Personal Beliefs

11/05/2021 10:24:35 AM


Shabbat Shalom!

This past week I was invited to speak at the Methodist church at one of their Bible study groups.  During my talk I explained that what they call “the Old Testament” and we call “the Hebrew “Bible” is not “the Jewish Bible” and their New Testament the “Christian Bible”.  Rather the Hebrew Bible are our (Christians, Jews, and Muslims) shared stories and history.  Judaism (with the...Read more...

Texas Abortion Law

10/29/2021 01:32:28 PM


Often times one of the hardest aspects of life is how fast it moves and how there just isn’t time for everything under the sun.  Issues that affect us all arise and the craziness of life pushes those issues, sadly sometimes, to the back burner.  However, the pushing back of the ability to address issues in the moment when they arise can also be a blessing.  It allows us to rekindle a fire that might have waned in the time...Read more...

Continuing Education Opportunities

10/22/2021 11:22:44 AM


Dear TBD community,

I hope that you have had a wonderful week. 

During our morning prayers we read the following:

These are the things which a person performs and enjoys their fruits in this world, while the principal remains for him or her in the World to Come: honoring one’s parents, bestowing kindness, arriving at the study hall early in the morning and evening, welcoming guests, visiting the sick, assisting...Read more...

Cheshvan, the Shabbat of the Year

10/05/2021 12:33:17 PM


Amanda Orgel Ferguson, a Temple president of Congregation B’nai Israel in Little Rock Arkansas, wrote an article for about the significance of the month of Cheshvan (click here for the full article).  Tishrei, the month which houses so many holidays, is followed by Cheshvan a month with no holidays save Shabbat. In the article she shares the following teaching from her Rabbi Bruce Block:


Mon, December 5 2022 11 Kislev 5783