Ekev 5779

Enough “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” President Donald Trump on Tuesday. On Wednesday: “I think if you vote for a Democrat, you are very, very disloyal to Is ...

va’etchanan 5779

Tu b’Av Destruction, lamentation and exile — the major (in minor mode) motifs of Tish’a b’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av. Both of the ancient Holy Temples were destroyed on that day, and many other calamities in Jewish history are pegged to 9 Av ...

B’haalotecha 5779

Second Chances The Jewish Day of Second Chances is a Torah-mandated opportunity. If you were unable to observe the Pesach sacrifice at the original time, say because you were traveling or were ritually impure, you are expected to participate in the ri ...

Bereishit 5779

What a Story! Simchat Torah morning, after hakafot (a couple of which were done with our preschoolers carrying toy Torahs and flags, clutching lollipops) and Torah reading, the scrolls returned to the ark… “Thank you to the Shirat Hayam Literary As ...

Mishpatim 5778

Seething In this week’s Torah reading, God says to the Israelites: “No boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk.” Simple enough, no? Yet look where that seemingly simple statement has led us: (at least) two sets of dishes for daily use, two sets of ...

Vay’chi 5778

The regulars at Beth Hillel-Beth El’s Thursday morning service were a genial, dedicated group; there just weren’t enough of us to ensure the quorum of ten every week. Absent a minyan, our practice was to read the weekday parasha / Torah portion from the ...

Year-End, End-of Life Rituals

I enjoy perusing the New York Times’ year-end top-ten lists of books and movies even if I’ve read or seen few of those listed. More moving and enlightening for me is “The Lives They Lived,” an end-of-year Sunday Magazine dedicated to some of the famous an ...

Ma Tovu

Commemorating the merger between Temple Emeth Shalom and Congregation Beth Judah, and with an eye on the structural and cosmetic changes made to our building, the two-year mark seemed like a propitious time for a party. I titled it a “reDedication” (initi ...

Marching Against a Plague: A Prayer

On this Shabbat haGadol, this Great Shabbat, across the country and around the world, many thousands of people, especially young people, are rallying in support of action against the plague of gun violence that afflicts our country.This plague manifests i ...