Kristallnacht Commemoration

November 9, 2021 was the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” in which the Nazis burned Jewish businesses and synagogues in Germany and Austria. Sources indicate that over 1,000 synagogues were burned or destroyed. All within the span of two days, 7,000 Jewish businesses were looted and...

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Blessing of Technology

In this week’s Torah portion, Lech L’cha, God tells a young Abraham “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and it shall be blessing.” (Gen. 12:2) Throughout the portion, an emphasis is on how “great” of a nation...

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The Sins of COVID

Over the pandemic, one of my sins has been personifying COVID. I have found myself saying COVID has taken away opportunities to be together, to mourn together, to gather in large groups safely. I have found myself saying COVID brings out our selfish natures and COVID is divisive. COVID has...

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Elul-A Month of Love

This week we began the Jewish month of Elul, which is the month when we start the preparation for the High Holy Days. The Hebrew Month of Elul is comprised of these Hebrew letters– aleph, lamed, vav, lamed – which is known in the Talmud, as the acronym for “Ani...

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Listening Then Loving

At the beginning of our Shabbat Morning Service, we recite a Blessing for Torah Study. Even though we specifically also have a Torah Service and Reading later in the service, the reading of Torah is throughout our liturgy. One example of this is the recitation of the “Shema” and “V’ahavta”...

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“Tribes and Journeys”

In this week’s Torah portion, Matot- Masey we close the book of Numbers. The words: Matot-Masey, mean “tribes-journeys.” At the end of the portion two of the 12 tribes, tell Moses that they would like to stay outside of the Promised Land. The tribes of Gad and Reuben felt that...

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Volume of Joy

In the Sheva B’rachot, the traditional seven wedding blessings, the final blessings make reference to the joy of children at play, and the joyous sounds of shouting and singing that happens when we gather together in celebrations. Over the pandemic, I often thought about this blessing. We live close to...

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Opening Our Doors

In this week’s Torah portion, Shelach L’cha, it tells us that spies are sent out ahead of our people to scout the Land of Israel to report on the inhabitants and the country. Despite the positive report of Joshua and Caleb, that the land was “flowing with milk and honey,”...

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Israel Under Attack

The recent events in Israel are very disconcerting and we are praying for those under attack who have to keep running to their bomb shelters.  Our hearts go out to those who are undergoing these harrowing attacks and living in these dangerous times.  Complexity exists in our beloved Israel. The...

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Emor ~ Celebrate Together

One of Judaism’s greatest contributions to civilization is Shabbat. Shabbat literally means “day of rest” but Shabbat is really much more than that. Shabbat is also a day of holiness, Torah and celebration. Shabbat is more than the cessation from work. Ultimately, it is the basis of modern labor law...

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