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Diverse Blessings and the Blessing of Diversity

09/27/2023 11:30:12 AM


In the final portion of the Torah, V'zot Habrachah, we find ourselves at a poignant moment. Moses, the revered leader of the Israelites, stands on the threshold of eternity. The Children of Israel stand before him, aware of the impending loss they will soon face. Mourning, reflection, and transition are at the forefront at this solemn moment, and if we look closely, we might see a...Read more...

Shabbat Shuvah: Remembrance and Return

09/22/2023 12:33:59 PM


     L’Shana Tovah once again!  Tonight, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanan and Yom Kippur, is known as Shabbat Shuvah – a Shabbat that reminds us, among other things, that this High Holiday season is just that: a season.  The inner work and contemplation does not end with Rosh Hashanah or even with Yom Kippur.  It all goes on. 

     Since its inception, our tradition has also taken up questions as to just what returning means.  If our formative stories were about people who felt at home, who settled and stayed, we would probably all still be enjoying life in the Garden of Eden.  Instead, Adam and Eve’s earliest descendants traveled through deserts, traversed mountain ranges, crossed rivers… all to live here not there, be buried there not here, find a mate for their child by this well, not that one.  Judaism is no more defined by Edenic perfection than it is by being peacefully entrenched anywhere for all our days.  Oh, to live out our days, care for our families, be buried in our birthplaces or in the places we never imagined.  That is the restlessness we’ve inherited, for better and worse!Read more...

A New Year's Blessing

09/15/2023 07:41:24 AM


"Opening the Heart"

By Marcia Falk


At the year's turn

in the days between

We step away from what we know

Wall and window

Roof and road

L'Shana Tovah!

09/08/2023 10:18:48 AM


Dear Friends,

L’Shana Tovah!  It is with joyful anticipation, and more than a little bit of disbelief, that we at Temple Beth David look forward to welcoming all of you to High Holiday services, beginning with Erev Rosh Hashanah on Friday September 15.   Our congregation is on a path of gladness and growth, a year of taking those first steps together into our future while honoring the richness of our past.  May...Read more...

Ki Tav0

09/01/2023 10:37:19 AM


Life would be so much simpler if everything went according to logical reasoning. In an orderly and predictable world, those who worked harder would earn more. Those who were kind would only know kindness. Those who treated others badly would suffer the consequences, and even Billy Joel would agree that only the irreparably bad should ever, ever die young. Sound good?


Consolation and Renewal

08/23/2023 12:24:17 PM


Our Torah portion this week, “Ki Tetze,” connects to its own Haftarah reading, as all portions do. Sometimes the link between the two is subtle; one line from the Torah portion is enough to guide the accompanying Haftarah reading into place beside it. Other times the Haftarah reading has many parallels to its Torah portion. Ki Tetze’s...Read more...

Never Stop Fighting

08/18/2023 10:05:06 AM


Some of us have justice on our minds these days. Headlines have informed us of indictments, grand juries, witness intimidation, and judge appointments all summer, and the culture wars vying for a monopoly on truth continue to divide us—rarely in a way that encourages discourse or the pursuit of fairness. And, in the end, is a system of justice ever completely fair? Will our society ever cease to treat...Read more...

Blessings, Curses and a Torah Portion that Teaches Us How to See

08/11/2023 08:31:39 AM


There’s a great old bumper sticker I used to see around, which I especially appreciated at this time of year.  “Labor Day,” it read.  “From the folks who brought you the movement.”  For those who don’t know, many of “the folks” who brought us the movement in this country – innovations like the 40-hour work week, safer conditions in factories, and broadly speaking, a campaign in working...Read more...

On Histories and Legacies

08/04/2023 02:33:52 PM


A number of years ago, Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As he fought bravely for his health in the months that followed, he also delivered a stirring talk known as “The Last Lecture.” Pausch reflected on overcoming obstacles, living fully in the moment, being aware of and passing on our most important values. It spread beyond the walls of the university with...Read more...


07/28/2023 09:51:50 AM


Perhaps the hardest lesson for any child to learn is that parental decisions are sometimes final, whether or not one agrees with their parent’s logic. With infuriating consistency, no means no, no matter how much a child may plead, pucker out a lower lip, or employ the most adorable, irresistible pair of puppy dog eyes. Asking again five minutes later is unlikely to result in a different answer. Pushing back and arguing might even get one...Read more...

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