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Vayeira 5783: The Gift of Life

Posted on November 11, 2022

I asked Rabbi Gluck for the opportunity to write the Shabbat message this week as tonight marks the beginning of the National Donor Sabbath celebrating organ donation, commonly called the “Gift of Life.” Organ donation is a subject near and dear to my family – in December 2003, I received a kidney from one of Continue Reading »

Lech L’cha: We Are Not Expected to Complete the Work

Posted on November 4, 2022

In this week’s parashah, the Jewish people is born with God’s call to Abraham “Lech l’cha, Go forth…go forth to a land that I will show you.” God promises that Abraham will be the founder of a great nation. God will bless Abraham and make his name great, and he will a source of blessing Continue Reading »

Noach: We Have No Choice Other Than Repair

Posted on October 28, 2022

The Story of Noah and the Flood belongs to a genre known as apocalyptic literature. Found mostly in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, these scriptures describe cataclysmic events that will occur before God intervenes to redeem the world. All these prophecies speak of events that will occur at the End of Days, with Continue Reading »

B’reishit 5783: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Posted on October 21, 2022

According to our sacred story, human life began in an idyllic setting — in a garden called Eden that was a kind of paradise. I say a kind of paradise because it wasn’t perfect. It was a place where no one ever died because the Tree of Life bestowed immortality. But it was place where Continue Reading »

Music Gives Wings to Words

Posted on October 7, 2022

It should come as no surprise that I don’t sleep well during the holy day season, but not for the reason you might think. For sure, the responsibility of preparing for the services and sermons weighs heavily upon me. But there is another significant reason my sleep is compromised – one that resonates with our Continue Reading »

We’re Already There

Posted on September 16, 2022

Judaism seems to have an aversion to arrival. There is no traditional Jewish festival that celebrates our homecoming. We have Pesach to remember the Exodus from Egypt. During Sukkot, we recall our wanderings. On Shavuot, we relive the moment we stood at Sinai and heard God’s commanding voice. Each of these festivals marks a stage Continue Reading »

We Are Responsible for One Another

Posted on September 9, 2022

This week’s parashah, Ki Teitzei, tells parents what to do if they have a stubborn and rebellious child: If a man has a wayward and defiant son, who does not heed his father or mother and does not obey them even after they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him Continue Reading »

There is No Simchah in the Singular

Posted on August 26, 2022

Fun comes in many forms. One can have fun by playing a game, riding a bike, or watching a movie. One can have fun alone or with others. Everyone deserves and needs to have fun. But, as a recent New York Times article notes, over the last two years, with us stuck at home and Continue Reading »

To Pray and to Praise

Posted on August 19, 2022

One of the great misconceptions about religion is that people pray and perform rituals so that God will give us what we want — in essence, to manipulate God. This reminds me of the story about a man who prayed to win the lottery. When his hopes were dashed, he turned to God in bitter Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: It’s A Tree of Life

Posted on August 12, 2022

“Eitz Chayim hi, lamachazikim bah” we sing when we place a Torah scroll in the ark after reading it – “It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it…” The imagery of trees was in my head as I began writing these words. When I was younger, I did a fair Continue Reading »