“Sharing the Journey” – Weekly Newsletter – 2/28/19

In January of this year, the Pulpit and Worship (PAW) committee met together to discuss upcoming events and holidays. Part of the conversation revolved around Passover, and the fact that Temple Israel’s Haggadah, the prayerbook used for the Passover Seder, was published in 1971.  Now, as a member of Generation X, whenever I think about…

“The Modern Day Golden Calf”

This week synagogues around the country will read from parshat Ki Tisa, a powerful portion which includes the famous (or infamous) golden calf story.  We’re all taught it as youngsters in religious school.  Moses is up on the mountain too long.  The crowd starts to doubt, and comes at Aaron as a mob.  Aaron gives in to…

“The Hate Crime Bill” – Weekly Newsletter – 2/21/19

This week, you hopefully saw that the Indiana Hate and Bias Crimes Bill moved out of committee and into the full senate.  While there is still work to be done to get it where we want to be, the fact that Indiana is even embracing a law of this kind is a step forward.  As…

“P’sukei D’Zimrah” – Weekly Newsletter – 2/14/19

I am always happy to see so many faces at worship services, both on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.  Sometimes, while I am leading however, I am reminded that there are certain parts of the service that I lead by instinct but that may come across as obscure to others. While those parts of the…

“What are Cherubim?”

This morning we read from some of the verses in our parsha, T’rumah, which features a extensive look at the construction of the Tabernacle, the Mishkan, God’s mobile sanctuary.  With almost obsessive precision, the Torah outlines each section, each part of the Tabernacle: the materials needed, how to put them together, where things should stand,…

“Blue Jean Shabbat” -Weekly Newsletter – 2/6/19

You may have seen a flyer in your inbox and information within the recent newsletters about a new program we are calling “Blue Jean Shabbat.”  While I’m unaware of the origin of this program, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing its success in previous congregations and I know it is common practice in our movement….

“Problematic Texts”

Within the vastness of the laws in parshat Mishpatim, you will find many that are archaic, and discomforting.  There is the law that states, “If a man seduces a virgin for whom the bride-price has not been paid, and lies with her, he must make her his wife by payment of a bride-price.  If her…

“Thirteen Articles of Faith” – Monthly Newsletter – February 2019

This past month in our confirmation class, I have had the pleasure of learning with the bright young minds in our Temple confirmation class. Together, we have been discussing some of the Jewish theology and philosophy from the Middle Ages with a specific focus on the writings of Moses Maimonides, the RAMBAM.  Maimonides (1135-1204) was…