Holidays

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 »

Shavuot: Celebrating the Gift of Torah

Posted on May 4, 2018

First, a little Hebrew. The three root letters of shavu’ot are shin-bet-ayin — the same root that yields the word sheva’, “seven, sevenfold, seven times.” (In the language of the Bible, sheva’ can also mean the less specific “many times.”) Sheva’ appears frequently in Jewish tradition. The sheva b’rachot, “seven blessings,” are recited at a Continue Reading »

Welcoming Elijah

Posted on March 7, 2018

As we all know, no Seder is complete without a communal expression of our hope for a visit from Elijah the prophet, who signals the time when “the hearts of parents will be turned towards their children, and the hearts of children will be turned towards their parents” (Micah 3:24). Elijah heralds the coming of Continue Reading »

Things Kids Hate About Seder

Posted on March 3, 2018

I don’t know what it means. It’s boring. It just drags on and on. There’s so much to read. I’m hungry. Being allowed to have only a small bite of food each time we say a blessing is torture. Horseradish doesn’t taste good. My extended family speaks different languages. I’m not allowed to text at Continue Reading »

The Origins and Meaning of the Tu BiShvat Seder

Posted on January 2, 2018

There is no halachah, no legal structure to define Tu Bishvat. For this reason, its position in Jewish practice wavers between two opposing poles, which can be understood by reference to two important Jewish leaders of the 20th Century: the modern orthodox scholar Rabbi Irving Greenberg and the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson. According Continue Reading »

What’s New? Plenty!

Posted on September 2, 2017

Shalom Chaverim! I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable summer, including some time to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle that dominates the bulk of the year. While we welcome the slower pace of June through August, life at Temple Beth-El is always a beehive of activity. I’d like to take this Continue Reading »

Welcoming Cheshvan

Posted on November 1, 2016

It seemed as if all through the Holy Day Season, I couldn’t wait to get to the next holy moment. During the month of Elul, I couldn’t wait to get to S’lichot. At Selichot, I couldn’t wait to get to Rosh Hashanah. During Rosh Hashanah, I couldn’t wait to get to Tashlich. After that, I Continue Reading »