Gratitude

Shabbat Message: Renewing Seder

Posted on March 26, 2021

A message for Shabbat Hagadol (the Shabbat before Pesach) Seder means “order” in Hebrew, and on Passover it refers to the order of the service we conduct to relive the journey from bondage to freedom. A year ago, as we prepared for Passover, we found ourselves suddenly out of order, or, as we say in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Thank You for Your Gifts

Posted on February 19, 2021

This is Shabbat Zachor. The Sabbath of Remembrance. The Sabbath immediately before Purim.  We are enjoined to read a special, additional Torah portion, from the Book of Deuteronomy (chapter 25, verses 17-19) which commands us to remember Amelek and the existential threat to the Israelites as they marched out of Egypt, especially threatening the weakest Continue Reading »

What Judaism Means to Me

Posted on January 15, 2021

Comments from the Reflection Service during Yom Kippur My favorite Hebrew expression is kolhakavod. I heard it for the first time from a spectator, screaming from the sidewalk, as I was running the Jerusalem marathon. I was only at about mile five and this person was not just cheering ME. I was among thousands of Continue Reading »

Signs and Forces of Renewal

Posted on January 15, 2021

One of my favorite things about TuBiShvat is that it portends the arrival of spring. When my family and I lived in Israel, we used to go out to the Carmel Forest near Haifa on TuBiShvat to see the cyclamens and the almond blossoms, the first signs of new life. Even in Israel, which is Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: May We Always Be Seekers

Posted on November 27, 2020

The Torah depicts the story of our people as a series of journeys. From Abraham, who is called to “go forth” to a land of promise, to the Exodus and 40 years of wandering, to exile and return – again and again, from one land to another, and shore to shore. We are a people 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 »

What Being Jewish Means to Me

Posted on November 13, 2020

Every year at our Yom Kippur Reflections Service, several members of our congregation speak about how Judaism, and the experience of being Jewish, has affected their lives, their perspectives and their character. Here, three of the speakers from this year’s service offer their thoughts on how being Jewish has impacted them. Rande Aaronson – When Continue Reading »

Moving Forward with Empathy

Posted on November 13, 2020

I recently purchased the Robert Alter translation of the TaNaKh, the Jewish Bible*. This award-winning translator offers a fresh look at the Biblical text, seen so often in less dynamic and precise language. Reading Alter’s translation gave me a new motivation to reread the texts of the Psalms, the 150 tehilim. These are poems from 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 »