“It’s Miriam’s Song”

This week, you may have read the news about a doctor named Larry Nassar being sentenced to 175 years in prison.  Nassar was a doctor for the USA gymnastics team, who, during his tenure, sexually abused over 150 girls and young women.  While no words can begin to describe the disgust I felt for this…

“Stand for Peace, Sing for Justice” Remarks

Good Evening. My name is Rabbi Michael Harvey and I am the Rabbi of the Reform Jewish Synagogue, Temple Israel, here in West Lafayette. My family and I have only lived here for seven months, as we have recently moved from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  Despite the weather, looking out at all of…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter- 1/25/18

It was right after the immense snow storm we experienced here in West Lafayette earlier this year that your temple president and I were sitting having our morning meeting.  Looking out onto white fields and gray skies, we both wondered how it was possible that Tu Bish’vat was so near.  The Jewish lunar calendar rotates…

“Pass Over or Protect?”

Our Parsha this week deals with many aspects that, in my opinion, come a few months early, including the creation of Passover, matzot, and the like.  However, the parsha also deals with a very cool and momentous incident when the 10th plague comes over Egypt.  Remember that God, through Moses, has unleashed nine debilitating plagues…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 1/18/18

By now, I hope you have all heard the buzz about the Torah Scribe coming to visit Temple next month. This is super exciting, and not just for someone like me. Why? Well, let me introduce you to what a Torah Scribe does, who our Torah Scribe will be, and what this can mean for…

“A Series of Unfortunate Events”

This week’s parsha, Va’eira, discusses the plagues that God, through Moses, unleashes onto Pharaoh and the Egyptians as punishment for not letting the Israelites go free from slavery.  Whenever this parsha comes around, I always have something to say about it.  Years ago, I talked about how the author of Exodus knew exactly how to…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 1/11/18

This coming Monday, our nation will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  While Dr. King’s birthday was January 15th, we have commemorated the birth of this extraordinary man on the third Monday of January each year since 1983.  Since my journey towards becoming a rabbi began, I have understood the immense power of this…

“Two Lessons from the Burning Bush”

Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year. It is fascinating to me, sometimes, how our parshiot line up with the Gregorian calendar.  For example, the first week in 2018, just a few days after New Years Day, we begin the first parsha of the book of Exodus.  In other words, our year begins with the words…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 1/3/18

To start out 2018, I thought I’d try a new podcast.  I’ve been listening to This American Life and The Moth for years now, and though I’m extremely picky about what I listen to, I thought I’d give Stories We Tell a try. Stories We Tell is actually a podcast made by our very own…

Temple Israel – Monthly Newsletter – January 2018

Months ago, I sat with members of Temple Israel, LJCRS, and many committees and we built a rough outline of a yearly calendar of events for our synagogue.  I was incredibly impressed and humbled by everyone’s support for my ideas, and for the new programs and evolution I wished to bring to our congregation.  It’s…