Shabbat Message for the End of Chanukah: Hope is More than Wishful Thinking

Posted on December 18, 2020

One Chanukah, while imprisoned in a concentration camp in Germany, the late Rabbi Hugo Gryn learned a lesson about hope. “It was the cold winter of 1944,” he wrote, “and although we had nothing like calendars, my father, who was my fellow prisoner there, took me and some of our friends to a corner of Continue Reading »

A Message for Shabbat Chanukah: The True Miracle that Banishes the Darkness

Posted on December 11, 2020

The True Miracle that Banishes the Darkness The Torah contains many examples of what I like to call “billboard moments” — places in the text where a kernel of life’s most profound wisdom is distilled into a pithy statement you would want to put on a billboard to announce to the world. These include sayings like Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Peace Is Possible

Posted on December 4, 2020

This week’s Torah portion, VaYishlach, contains one of the most touching moments in the entire Hebrew Bible. After years of estrangement and bitter conflict Jacob and Esau meet and make peace. As they approach one another, we read that “Esau ran to greet him. He embraced him and, falling on his neck, he kissed him; Continue Reading »

Top This! Latkes as a Canvas

Posted on November 13, 2020

Sure, it’s fun to come up with new ways to gussy up latkes: beet latkes, cauliflower latkes, even ramen noodle latkes. But what I love more than adding other veggies and ingredients to the pancake itself is taking the classic potato latke and using it as a canvas for complementary and creative toppings. You can 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 »

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 »