A Painful Week for Israel and the Jewish People

Posted on October 13, 2023

As the sun sets and Shabbat arrives, we will conclude the most painful and terrifying week that Israel and the Jewish people have experienced since the founding of the state. Thank God, the immediate threat to Israeli lives has been largely neutralized, and we pray that it stays that way. But there is great uncertainty Continue Reading »

Coming Home

Posted on June 30, 2023

Just this past week, some of us at TBE returned from a congregation trip to Israel, led by rabbi Gluck and his longtime friend and master tour guide, Yitzchak Sokoloff. Our time there was filled with overflowing feasts of all of the senses, as well as a full and rich schedule of places to see, Continue Reading »

Yom HaShoah V’ha-g’vurah: The Jewish Spirit of Resistance

Posted on April 21, 2023

American Jews refer to it as Yom HaShoah, but the official name given to Holocaust Memorial Day by the State of Israel is Yom HaShoah V’ha-g’vurah, Holocaust and Heroism Day. Set on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the intention was to emphasize Jewish resistance to the Nazis. We were not merely hapless victims Continue Reading »

Passover Message: Mah Nishtanah?

Posted on April 4, 2023

This Passover is different than all others because Israel is in the midst of a political crisis that has exposed deep divisions among its citizens and among Jews throughout the world. As Reform Jews we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are fighting to defend Israel’s liberal democratic character against the current Continue Reading »

Israel in Crisis

Posted on March 24, 2023

Last Saturday night, 500,000 Israelis took to the streets all across the country. It was the 11th consecutive week of mass protests against the Netanyahu government’s efforts to undermine Israel’s democracy. 500,000 represents 5% of the entire population of Israel; the equivalent in the United States would be 16.5 million Americans. Could you imagine such Continue Reading »

We Should Be Like Aaron

Posted on March 10, 2023

Our Rabbis tell us that we should strive to be like Aaron, “loving peace and pursuing peace, loving all people and bringing them near to the Torah.” (Pirkei Avot 1:12) This is the way our tradition remembers Aaron, as a man of peace, a lover of humanity. But if we look at this week’s Torah Continue Reading »

Shabbat Chanukah: We Must Fight Like the Maccabees for the Soul of Israel

Posted on December 23, 2022

On November 1, Israel held its fifth round of elections in less than four years. The good news is that the vote was free and fair. It was an unquestionable, unassailable exercise in representative democracy. The bad news for those committed to liberal democracy and religious pluralism is that the voice of the people has Continue Reading »

As Hard as Splitting the Red Sea

Posted on April 21, 2022

In a d’var Torah for the 7th day of Pesach, my colleague and friend Rabbi Michael Marmur recalls a favorite midrash — one that I like to share at weddings: A wealthy Roman woman once asked R. Yosi ben Halafta, “How many days did it take God to create the world?” “Six days,” he answered. Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Why I am Proud to Be a Zionist

Posted on April 16, 2021

On Israel’s 73rd Birthday: Yesterday, Israel turned 73 years young. I say “young” because in the grand scheme of history, especially Jewish history, 73 years is a relatively short span. I also say “young” because I see in Israel a youthful spirit and dynamism that is vital and exciting. And I say “young” because Israel Continue Reading »

Shoah U’gevurah – Holocaust and Heroism

Posted on April 21, 2020

Today is Yom HaShoah, the day established by the Knesset in April 1951 to be the official day of Holocaust remembrance for Israel and the Jewish people. In 1953 the Knesset appropriately renamed this day yom hashoah v’hag’vura, the Day of Holocaust and Heroism. The date, the 27th of Nisan, was chosen for its proximity to the date of Continue Reading »