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 »

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: All We Really Need is Love

Posted on November 13, 2020

A Message for Shabbat Chayai Sarah and World Kindness Day:  What is the essence of the Torah? For some, like Rashi, the Torah is a book of law – the vessel through which God gave us commandments to guide our lives. He argues that the Torah should have begun with Exodus 13, where we learn Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Let Us Reclaim the Vision of Abraham

Posted on November 6, 2020

A Message for Shabbat Vayeira: Let Us Reclaim the Vision of Abraham When Abraham heard of God’s intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he didn’t ask if its citizens were Jewish. He didn’t ask God to save his friends. He didn’t make distinctions based on faith or race, ideology or affiliation. Abraham did not discriminate. He Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Work to Bring the Day!

Posted on October 30, 2020

A Message for Shabbat Lech Lecha: Work to Bring the Day! As I write these words, a key leader of the Palestinian national movement, Saeb Erekat, is barely holding on to life as he battles Covid-19. That another national leader has been infected by this terrible virus is, sadly, not remarkable. What is remarkable is that Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: To See the Divine Image in Every Human Face

Posted on October 16, 2020

Our Rabbis, of blessed memory, said that certain verses in the Torah call out to us: “darsheini!” Interpret me! notice me! learn and teach me! This week as we return to b’reishit, to the beginning of the Torah, we encounter so many profound words, stories and values that demand our attention. But this year, as Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: It is the Songs that Stir Our Soul

Posted on September 25, 2020

Every year after Yom Kippur I hear friends and relatives react to their rabbis’ sermons on the Holy Days. And guess what. Not one of them has ever said the rabbi’s sermon was too short. If all goes well, a rabbi’s words from the pulpit are challenging, moving, important and instructive. These are the standards Continue Reading »

Home Sanctuary

Posted on September 16, 2020

As a new Jewish year approaches, the ways in which we will celebrate it will undoubtedly look a little unfamiliar. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of us will be unable to gather in the ways we do every year, to both welcome the arrival of the new year on Rosh Hashanah, and to Continue Reading »

Getting to Know All About You: A Profile of Cantor Risa Wallach

Posted on September 16, 2020

[Editor’s note: We asked Cantor Wallach to answer some questions for us via email, so that our TBE family can get to know her better. This profile is largely based on her responses and reflections.]  I grew up in western Massachusetts in the small town of Great Barrington. My family was mostly secular, celebrating Chanukah Continue Reading »

Cooking for the “Other” High Holy Days

Posted on September 16, 2020

When it comes to recipes and food features for the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah gets all the love – recipes for honey cake, apple strudel and so on. But all of our holidays have special foods that are traditionally associated with them. For example, during Sukkot, which has its roots in agricultural festivals, Jews Continue Reading »