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Shabbat Message: Words to Strengthen and Inspire

Posted on September 11, 2020

Words to Strengthen and Inspire “I am not a man of words…” “lo ish d’varim anochi…” (Exodus 4:10) That was how Moses first responded to God’s call to lead our people. Yet somehow that man who declared himself unqualified, as slow of speech and inept with words, overcame his fears, led the children of Israel Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Rosh Hashanah Came Last Wednesday

Posted on September 4, 2020

Rosh Hashanah came for a visit a few days ago. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss the actual Yom Tov. That will come on time, according to the proper rhythm of the Hebrew calendar, and we will celebrate it with joy, as is fitting. So how did Cantor Wallach, Amy Rubin, and I experience Rosh Hashanah Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: The Battle of the Human Heart – Don’t Be Indifferent

Posted on August 28, 2020

This week’s Torah portion contains more laws than any other parashah in the Torah – 72, to be exact. The purpose was not to provide a code that the average Israelite would carry around to consult at any given moment; rather, it was to cultivate a certain sensibility, awareness, and attitude. Nowhere is this more evident than in the prescription Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: A Message for Rosh Chodesh Elul – Finding the Beauty that Lies Within

Posted on August 21, 2020

Rabbi Kalonymous Kalmish Shapira, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto left us a wonderful metaphor for the work of repentance and renewal that we began today with Rosh Chodesh Elul. When sculptors begin their craft, he said, what stands before them is a “brute block of stone.” Within that stone lies the possibility of something beautiful that is as Continue Reading »

The Mitzvot We Perform with Our Feet

Posted on August 7, 2020

This week’s Torah portion, Eikev, opens with words of encouragement to walk in God’s ways and to obey God’s commandments. “v’haya eikev tishmaun…” It shall come to pass if you observe God’s rules… that God will … bless you and multiply you…” (Deuteronomy 7:12) The word eikev is most interesting. Its plain meaning is, “as Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: From Lamentation to Consolation

Posted on July 31, 2020

I recall the moment when remembering my dear father felt only joyful and not also painful. It was a long time coming, and I’m not quite there yet with my beloved mother, who died a little more than a year ago. Grief is potent. Like gravity, it has a persistent pull and weight. It saps energy Continue Reading »

Finding Light Amidst the Darkness – Our Observance of Tisha B’Av

Posted on July 24, 2020

Finding Light Amidst the Darkness – Our Observance of Tisha B’Av What are we to do when our dreams are shattered? The wise counsel of the late great Israeli author Amos Oz is to find a new dream. Remember, he said, that the loss of a particular hope or dream does not mean that all Continue Reading »

Lift Up the Heads

Posted on June 5, 2020

This week’s Torah reading, parshat Naso, continues the census of the Israelites that gives the Book of Numbers its English name. The act of counting described here is significant and relevant to us as modern readers of the Torah. First, as is the case with the census currently being conducted by the United States government, Continue Reading »

Keeping Memory in Memorial Day

Posted on May 24, 2019

Shalom Chaverim, Memorial Day weekend has become a much-anticipated holiday that presents a wonderful opportunity to gather with family and friends. It has become the unofficial beginning of summer as the weather usually turns warm and people flock to the outdoors, from parks to beaches.  But amidst the frivolity and celebration of this weekend it Continue Reading »

Bright Lights in the Land of Promise

Posted on March 8, 2018

First, let me thank you, Temple Beth-El, and Rabbi Arnie for making it possible to share this trip through CCAR and Da’at. It was a very great blessing. Adding to the fun of a run around the Old City was the rich religious dialogue. Poor Arnie had to put up with my longer legs and Continue Reading »