Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 12/14/17

Wishing you and your family a chag Hanukkah sameach, a very happy Hanukkah! This Friday, Temple Israel is hosting its annual Hanukkah dinner at 6:00pm and I look forward to celebrating with many of you, eating, talking and enjoying one another’s company during this festival of lights.  I am especially grateful to Beth Goodman for her…

“Our Hearts are in the East”

This week, in the midst of the many, many issues going on around our world, including a controversial Tax Bill and a fire raging in California, there was something in the news that I believe all Jews around the world noticed.  This past week, the President of the United States declared that the U.S. formally…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 12/7/17

In our most recent newsletter, I encouraged each of you to think about and make a list of the “things I mean to know.”  These are the things that you think you know in Judaism, the things you are sure of but don’t know the evidence behind.  And sure enough, many of you wrote me…

“Transition”

Well, it happened.  Recently, my family and I felt something we had not felt in two years: cold.  We’re finally back on the mainland, in a place where leaves turn, leaves fall, clouds form, it rains, it sleets, it hails, it snows.  The wind is crisp, the mornings are chilly, and we don’t have to…

Temple Israel – Monthly Newsletter – December 2017

Often rabbis have to travel a bit for work, driving from one end of the city to the other, or driving to nearby cities for meetings.  Though I’m a huge music fan, sometimes I’m interested in expanding my mind a bit, so I put on a podcast or two.  My favorite, as I’ve mentioned from…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 11/23/17

For years, even before Asher was born, Barrie and I have had a Thanksgiving tradition.  We sit around the table, with the smell of fresh food and the warmth of family and friends, and we go around saying what we are most thankful for.  This Thanksgiving, as we sit with our son in our new…

“Guess what? We’re All Snowflakes”

Ah Toldot.  The birth of our third patriarch, Jacob, and his twin brother Esau; the two boys who even in the womb struggled against one another.  I love that this parsha always seems to find its way to be around Thanksgiving, as it seems a holiday meant to be about gratitude always seems to include…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 11/16/17

This Sunday, we will host our third session of Adult Education here at Temple Israel.  At 2:00pm, we will continue with our beginner’s class— “Everything You Forgot in Religious School”—and at 3:15pm we will continue our advanced class— “Biblical Ambiguities.”  In our beginner’s class thus far, we have covered different concepts of God within Judaism,…

“Veterans Day”

Our Torah Portion this week is called Chayei Sarah, translated as “The life of Sarah,” “Sarah’s lifetime,” or “the span of Sarah’s life.”  The words “chayei sarah” actually appear twice, bookending the verse: Vayahu chayei Sarah, me-ah shanah v’esrim shanah v’shayvah shanim sh’nei chayei Sarah. “Sarah’s life came to one hundred and twenty-seven years, this…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 11/9/17

I have served at many congregations and been present for multiple programs and fundraisers at each, but this past weekend I witnessed something brand new to me, and truly unique in the Jewish world.  The Temple Israel Deli Sale took place this past Sunday and Monday, but the preparation began much earlier.  Sales were collected,…

“We Will Not Be Taken Back to the Dark Ages”

These days, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the steady flow of news and information bursting through our TVs, phones, and computers in the forms of alerts, Tweets, and news stories.  It can seem so overwhelming that my wife and I have attempted to take a step back from it all by taking up…