“The Yad Squad” – Weekly Newsletter – 7/25/19

I am so excited for this upcoming Saturday Shacharit Service at Temple Israel.  While I look forward to every Shabbat, this particular one will be exceptional because it will be filled with the hard work and honors of our congregants.  As you know, shortly after I began at Temple Israel, I instituted the “Yad Squad,”…

“We’re on the Wrong Path”

Settle in, friends, because this week’s parsha is really something.  As the Israelites wander through the wilderness, they engage in battles and defeat many of the peoples they encounter.  And, as the Israelites make their way through the land of Moab, the Moabite King, Balak, worries about his possible impending defeat, and brings in a…

“The Flashlight” – Weekly Newsletter – 7/18/19

I’ve recently been re-reading Julian Jaynes’ book: The Origin of Consciousness in the Break Down of the Bicameral Mind.  I read it while still in seminary, but I’ve been on a kick of picking out the old books I hadn’t studied much and re-reading them, looking for gems to learn and to speak about.  Jaynes did…

“The Ends and the Means”

This week, we find our Israelite ancestors in the wilderness, and once again, yes once again, they are “murmuring” against Moses and God. It is yet another example of the complaint scenes in this sojourn.  We read in Numbers 20: The community was without water, and they joined against Moses and Aaron.  The people quarreled…

“The Rabbinate and Politics” – Weekly Newsletter – 7/11/19

“Ineluctable.  Unavoidable.  Obligatory.  Commanded.  These are just a few words that describe Judaism’s relationship to speaking out politically.”   These were the powerful and important words of Rabbi Seth Limmer, senior rabbi of the Chicago Sinai Congregation and one of the strongest rabbis in our movement.  I carry these words with me with all the…

“Independence Day & Judaism” – Weekly Newsletter – 7/4/19

Happy Fourth of July!   Today, we commemorate the day the Continental Congress officially accepted the Declaration of Independence. On this day, we celebrate the birth of American independence from the monarchy in Great Britain. While this date is significant to all Americans, it is especially significant for us as Jews. Since 1654, when the…