COVID-19

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 »

Shabbat Message: Hope, Faith and Love are Not Cancelled; and Neither is Shabbat

Posted on April 17, 2020

This week has been very painful, as losses have mounted. Loss during this crisis has come in many forms.  First and foremost, in the tragic and devastating loss of life. Our hearts go out in sympathy to all who mourn the passing of loved ones or friends, and we pray for the souls of the Continue Reading »

How Temple Beth-El is Coping in Our Current Environment, and Other Important Updates

Posted on April 7, 2020

Thank you to our temple staff and leadership team for their incredible efforts to keep our community moving forward. Efforts like Helping Hands, Ladles of Love and our group of dedicated Shomrim, in combination with the deployment of technology in new ways, have enabled our community to come together for worship, education and to just Continue Reading »

Pandemic Positivity: An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted on April 7, 2020

Rabbi Meir taught that we should recite 100 blessings every day. (Talmud Men. 43a) (See this list of 100 blessings offered by author Dannie Siegal: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/100-blessings/). This teaching reminds us to approach life with an attitude of gratitude and to look for the things that bring us joy, even amidst the challenges. Here we all Continue Reading »

Finding Meaning in Challenging Times

Posted on April 7, 2020

The last three weeks have been as challenging as any in my recent memory, and I suspect this statement is true for each and every one of us. And while it is easy (especially for me) to focus on the things that are not-so-great at the moment, I think it is also an opportunity to Continue Reading »