Blog

The Torah’s Vision for Life

Posted on May 20, 2022

The Dubner Maggid told a parable about a champion marksman who was passing through a tiny village when he saw a hundred circles drawn on the side of a barn, and in the center of each circle was a bullet hole. The man was so amazed, he stopped his horse and yelled out: “Who is this Continue Reading »

Perfectly Imperfect

Posted on May 13, 2022

This week’s Torah portion, Emor, contains the disturbing instruction that physically disabled priests are to be barred from bringing offerings to the Sanctuary: No one at all who has a defect shall be qualified: no man who is blind, or lame, or has a limb too short or too long; no man who has a Continue Reading »

To Be Holy Is to Be Ethical

Posted on May 6, 2022

The Torah’s boldest claim is not about God but about human beings. In the very first chapter of Genesis, Scripture declares that we are God-like, created in the Divine image, b’tzelem Elohim. As the Torah’s narrative unfolds, the meaning and implications of this distinction become clear. We have a moral capacity, the ability to discern Continue Reading »

A Hebrew Alphabet Acrostic of Thanks

Posted on May 1, 2022

Our Celebration Under the Stars honoring Sarah Gluck on her retirement was a joyous weekend (April 29-30). So many people spoke beautifully of their respect and appreciation of Sarah. And Sarah closed out the celebration with these words of thanks:   Thank you, Arnie. And everyone who has spoken, sung, played, and so, so much Continue Reading »

Honoring Sarah Gluck

Posted on April 29, 2022

During our Shabbat services tonight and tomorrow morning we will be paying tribute to Sarah Gluck for her outstanding service to our congregation over more than two decades. Over these years she has touched our lives in so many ways. Join us at services in person, or by Zoom, to show your love and appreciation Continue Reading »

As Hard as Splitting the Red Sea

Posted on April 21, 2022

In a d’var Torah for the 7th day of Pesach, my colleague and friend Rabbi Michael Marmur recalls a favorite midrash — one that I like to share at weddings: A wealthy Roman woman once asked R. Yosi ben Halafta, “How many days did it take God to create the world?” “Six days,” he answered. Continue Reading »

Our Scars are a Road Map to Healing

Posted on April 8, 2022

This has been a time of building up walls and of tearing them down. We have endured a prolonged period of enforced separation to protect us from the dangers of COVID. And many of us have had to tear down walls that were infected with mold spawned by floodwaters from Hurricane Ida. It is as Continue Reading »

Gender and Rabbinic Torah

Posted on April 1, 2022

I have a colleague in Texas named Cantor Sheri Allen. Cantor Allen recently penned an op-ed in the Forward, entitled: “I’m a cantor in Texas and parent of a trans child. My state’s assault on trans youth is terrifying.” Cantor Allen’s son, Preston, is transgender. In this op-ed, she illuminates the dangers of a recent governor’s Continue Reading »

Green Tip — How to Recycle Soft Plastics

Posted on March 30, 2022

Starting May 4, most single-use, point-of-sale plastics will be banned in New Jersey, including plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam take-out food containers. But you’ll still see plenty of recyclable plastic: produce bags for loose fruits and vegetables; many shipping bags; and anything prepackaged with film. We’ve checked with a couple of local grocery stores, and Continue Reading »

We Can Help Heal Each Other

Posted on March 25, 2022

There is a tense moment at the opening of this week’s Torah portion, Shemini. It has been only a year since the liberation of Israel from Egypt and nine months since our people arrived at Mount Sinai. Led by Moses and Aaron, the Israelites have received the Torah and labored to build the Tabernacle that Continue Reading »