COVID-19

Shabbat Message: A Time To Cry Out

Posted on November 13, 2020

A Time to Cry Out [1] Imagine if three or four jumbo jets were to fall from the sky in a single day. The crash of one mid-sized jet can dominate the news for days or weeks. Such is the magnitude of shock and grief when so much innocent life is tragically lost. 9/11 punched more Continue Reading »

IHN Update

Posted on November 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on just about everything around us, and IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network) is no exception. When the pandemic hit hard in March 2020, the Somerset County Board of Social Services, which sends 99% of the clients to IHN, shut down. There were two families in the rotation (moving Continue Reading »

Renaissance Happenings

Posted on November 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is motivating us to develop new coping skills to be healthy in body and mind. Togetherness helps us to do that. Our members sharing what is going on in their day-to-day lives brings us together: Lines of Your Life Gayle Skolky: I spend my time reading and folk dancing, and dance along Continue Reading »

Rabbi’s Message: Thanksgiving in a Time of Pandemic?

Posted on November 13, 2020

Thanksgiving and the pandemic sound like a contradiction in terms. A plague is ravaging our country. What have we to be grateful for? A lot, actually! And, it is precisely when we are beset by troubles that it becomes all the more important to practice gratitude, if for nothing other than our mental health. Giving Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Interdependence Day

Posted on July 3, 2020

This year July 4 is different. Yes, it is still a celebration of the birth of our nation. But this year it is shrouded in a cloud of crisis and controversy about the meaning and nature of our freedom. For some, American liberty means license to do whatever we want, even if it involves blatant Continue Reading »

We Can Reach the Promised Land

Posted on June 19, 2020

This week’s Torah portion is a telling tale about how attitude and perception color our reality – how what we see “out there,” so often reflects our inner disposition, our preconceived notions, biases and prejudices. The Israelites are ready to go up to the Promised Land, to return home to the land of their ancestors Continue Reading »

Numbers: Be Careful When You Count

Posted on May 28, 2020

Since ancient days Judaism has had an aversion to counting, especially to counting people. The basis for this is the idea that ascribing a number sets a limit. This is true of population assessments and also of longevity. As recently as a few generations ago, this sensitivity endured as a superstition among the first generations Continue Reading »

A Shabbat Message for Memorial Day in the time of COVID-19

Posted on May 22, 2020

Our parashah for this Shabbat, B’midbar, has extraordinary resonance for this moment in our lives. B’midbar, which means “in the wilderness,” describes the beginning of our people’s difficult journey of 40 years through the desert to the Promised Land. Along the way they encounter many challenges. They experience fear, anxiety, frustration, uncertainty, and deprivation. Yet, Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: The “If” of Chance and the “If” of Choice

Posted on May 15, 2020

A few years ago, MetLife ran a clever ad that featured an image of their iconic blimp with Snoopy and the word LIFE that highlighted the middle letters “IF.” Its tag line was, “Metlife, for the IF in LIFE.” Beyond good advertising, the ad offered sage advice. There is wisdom in being prepared for the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Holiness Abounds

Posted on May 1, 2020

This week’s Torah reading includes the call to be holy. “You shall be holy, for I the Eternal your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:18) It is an awesome and daunting aspiration, especially because it is couched in the challenge to rise to this exalted place because God is holy. To be like God? How can this be expected Continue Reading »