Guiding Principles

Vayeitzei: We Must Speak the Truth

Posted on November 12, 2021

Some say it is from this week’s Torah portion that our rabbis derived the custom of wearing a kippah to cover one’s head. “And Jacob went forth from Be’ersheva…” says the opening verse of our parashah, Vayeitzei. Would our father Jacob go out without covering his head? Of course not, said our teachers. So much 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 »

Parashat Balak: The Premise of the Story

Posted on June 25, 2021

There is much to unpack from this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Balak.  It is a well- known story of a man sent to curse our people only to have the curse turned into a blessing, and it is a story seemingly out of place.  It is a story to which neither Moses nor the Israelites 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 »

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 »

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 »

Getting Through Tough Times

Posted on January 15, 2020

Pain, medicine, and depression were consuming me. The doctors told me I was winning my battle with leukemia, but I felt I was losing emotionally. The depression that had overtaken me seemed worse than physical disease. As a rabbi I thought I had been trained to deal with depression. I was used to members of Continue Reading »

For Our Children’s Well-Being Temple Beth-El Youth Mental-Health Initiative

Posted on January 15, 2020

Middot Make Mensches In the September issue of the Shofar, we shared with you that we are expanding our efforts to help our students develop emotional and social skills that will help them understand, express, and manage themselves as they navigate their studies, their relationships, the challenges of daily life, and the complexities of their Continue Reading »

Know, Feel and Do: Social and Emotional Learning at TBE

Posted on September 15, 2019

In our faculty handbook, we offer the following framework for the work of our Religious School: In everything we do at Temple Beth-El, we aim to guide our students in developing a greater awareness that their Judaism is an integral and valuable part of who they are. We strive to educate the whole child — Continue Reading »

Jewels of Elul — #15: “What If?”

Posted on August 26, 2018

What If? by Rabbi David Wolpe Life is composed of finite facts and infinite possibilities. Part of the art of living is to take the possibilities and elevate those which enhance our lives, improve our world and grow our souls…. In the Talmud, one Rabbi has a dream about an upside-down world. By stretching our Continue Reading »