“Pride Shabbat Sermon”

We find ourselves tonight on the precipice of a new era. While we have seen in recent weeks and months basic civil rights being challenged, the announced retirement this week of Justice Kennedy has brought, I believe, a new urgency to what it means to protect those who are most vulnerable in our society. Tonight,…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 6/28/18

I cannot express to you just how excited I am to lead all of you in Shabbat worship this Friday evening.  As you’ve seen from our flyers via email and social media, this Shabbat will feature both of our standard liturgy and music, which so many find comforting and inspiring, and will focus on a…

“Justice without Empathy”

Shabbat Shalom,   I have struggled immensely this week as I have thought about what to say this morning. On too many fronts, my heart is aching. For too many reasons, my fists clench in anger. There is no peace for me this Shabbat, not as a rabbi, not as a Jew, and not as…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 6/21/18

A few weeks ago, my wife sent me a New York Times opinion piece called “What Religion Gives Us (That Science Can’t).”  The article was written by Stephen T. Asma to, in part, promote his new book, Why We Need Religion.  What I liked about the piece was that it was brutally honest.  Asma didn’t…

“Toxic Nostalgia”

In the heart of the wilderness, bamidbar, in our Torah this week we read of a mutiny within the ranks of the Israelites.  Korach, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, aligned himself with three other prominent sons of priests, and sparked a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, with 250 chieftains and dignitaries,…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 6/14/18

I believe it is fair to say that we are living in turbulent times.  Our news alerts and Twitter feeds are replete with scary and troubling headlines of events new and old—whether remembering the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando two years ago, hearing of another mass murder-suicide by an armed domestic abuser, or seeing…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 6/7/18

If you’re anything like me, you check the news often (probably too often), and on this past Monday, you probably saw headlines saying, “Supreme Court rules for Colorado baker in same-sex wedding cake case,” or “Supreme Court rules narrowly for Colorado baker who wouldn’t make same-sex wedding cake.”  While my initial reaction was to be…

“Sending Charge” for Presbyterian Minister Ordination

I send you out with the words of the Prophet Micah: הִגִּ֥יד לְךָ֛ אָדָ֖ם מַה־טּ֑וֹב וּמָֽה־יְהוָ֞ה דּוֹרֵ֣שׁ מִמְּךָ֗ כִּ֣י אִם־עֲשׂ֤וֹת מִשְׁפָּט֙ וְאַ֣הֲבַת חֶ֔סֶד וְהַצְנֵ֥עַ לֶ֖כֶת עִם־אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ God has told you, O Human, what is good, And what God requires of you: Only to do justice And to love goodness, And to walk humbly with your…

“The Consequences of Racism”

Well, much to our dismay, racism was in the news again this week racism, this time from TV personality Roseanne Barr, who, via Twitter, attacked Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman who was a senior adviser to Barack Obama. In her tweet, Barr stated: “if muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” (meaning…