Faith

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 »

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 »

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 »

Do the Right Thing

Posted on June 24, 2022

  This week’s parsha, from the Book of Numbers, Chapter 13 verse 1 to Chapter 15 verse 41, is Shelach Lecha, meaning “send for yourself.” The portion includes the well-known story of the “spies” or “scouts” who are sent to reconnoiter in the land of Canaan. In the first line of the portion, God authorizes Continue Reading »

Making Room for God and One Another

Posted on March 4, 2022

Having received the Torah at Mount Sinai, our people built a sanctuary to carry God’s presence with them on their journey to the Promised Land. How was this possible? What made it possible to bring God – God who is infinite and beyond time and space – into that space? It was not the beauty Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: That I May Dwell Within Them

Posted on February 25, 2022

The phone rings… you recognize the number, but you pick up anyway… Hello? Hi! This is Gary from Temple Beth-El, I’m calling about our current fundraiser… we want you to stop sending money… we have too much! Yes, Esther, it is Adar, but Purim aside, this actually happens in this week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel. For Continue Reading »

Gratitude for the Release of Rabbi Cytron-Walker and his congregants

Posted on January 15, 2022

Dear Friends, We join with our sisters and brothers of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas in expressing our relief and gratitude for the safe release of Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and the two members of their congregation who were held hostage in a terrible act of terror and antisemitism. We are grateful for the outpouring Continue Reading »

When Will Our Redemption Come?

Posted on December 24, 2021

This brief commentary is dedicated to the memory of Shuey Horowitz and Cindy Andrews, both of whom were what the Talmud would call “women of consequence.”(1)   In this week’s parashah, the Torah offers a lesson that would be significant had it been written today. That it was written some 2,800 years ago is truly Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message for Ki Tavo: Ready, Aim, Live!

Posted on August 27, 2021

The Dubner Maggid told a parable that speaks poignantly to this moment in the cycle of the Jewish year: A champion marksman 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 Continue Reading »