Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 8/31/17

Dear Friends, I have no doubt that all of you have been keeping a close eye on the news lately as developing stories emerge with regards to Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent catastrophic flooding.  I have watched, with a heavy heart, the scenes of homes destroyed, lives lost, men and women of all ages struggling…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 8/24/17

The new President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Rabbi David Stern, tells the following story:   There were two men walking down the street in New York City, and there was noise everywhere; trucks rumbling by, cab drivers honking their horns, bicycle messengers blowing their whistles, and people talking on their cell…

“Blessing or Curse?”

I have spent this week haunted by the images and sounds from Charlottesville. Haunted by the idea that while we sat here singing for peace on Shabbat, a new generation of Nazis and white supremacists with fire in their hands marched chanting “Jews shall not replace us.” These words have echoed in my mind and…

“Seek the Light” – Weekly Newsletter – 8/17/17

This past week, in a joint letter published in The Lafayette Journal & Courier, the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette stood together to condemn the racist and violent ideology put forth by the “Unite the Right” demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a Reform Jew, I was proud to sign my name to this statement and…

“For Our Use by God’s Decree”

I think it’s safe to say, as we progress through the book of Deuteronomy, that Moses has a lot to say.  Usually when there’s a long passage in a book, fiction or non-fiction, some of us might find ourselves speed reading, or skimming through the section, thinking “how relevant could this diatribe be to the…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 8/10/17

Dear Friends, With the High Holy Days approaching, I have been working diligently with our cantorial soloist to create outlines for the upcoming sacred services of our calendar.  In doing so, I have been reminded of the high importance of service honors during not only these services, but any service which involves Seder Kri’at HaTorah,…

“To Love God”

As it happens, this week’s parsha contains within it a rather familiar and, I’d dare to say, important set of verses in our Torah.  Starting with Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel! Adonai is our God, Adonai alone. You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 8/3/17

I always enjoy when congregants ask questions that allow for a teaching moment, and recently I was asked a great one: “Why do some people stand, and some sit, during the Sh’ma?” Since this week’s parsha, Va’etchanan, features the Sh’ma, I thought it appropriate to address this question now. But first, a very brief history…

Temple Israel – Monthly Newsletter – August 2017

Dear friends, Just a few short weeks ago, I began my tenure as your rabbi. For Barrie, Asher, and me, the time has flown by. At the same time, you—and West Lafayette more generally—have made us feel so comfortable and so welcome that it feels as though we have been here for a lot longer….