“Our Life-Force”

Deep in the heart of Deuteronomy, we find ourselves at parshat Re-eh. Within all the many instructions that God bestows to the Israelites through Moses, we come upon a fascinating look into the diet of our Near Eastern ancestors. Deuteronomy 12:20 states: When Adonai enlarges your territory, as God has promised you, and you say,…

In Defense of Friends, A Rabbi’s Perspective- A Letter to Buzzfeed’s Scaachi Koul in Response to her Piece “’Friends’ Hasn’t Aged Well”

In Defense of Friends, A Rabbi’s Perspective A Letter to Scaachi Koul in Response to her Piece “’Friends’ Hasn’t Aged Well”   Dear Mrs. Koul, Let me start by telling you about myself.  I’m a rabbi, a teacher, who reads all day, whether it be manuscripts and writings from antiquity or the local news (including Buzzfeed). …

“The Blue Strand” – Weekly Newsletter – 8/29/19

A few weeks ago, one of our members, Rob Bolduc, gave an insightful and informative d’var torah from our bima.   Rob spoke about a verse in the book of Numbers, which discusses the origins of the tallis, the white fringes at the ends of garments: Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to…

“Aleph, Bet…” – Weekly Newsletter – 8/22/19

Last Friday evening, Temple Israel hosted a wonderful welcome back cookout! During Shabbat services that evening, in keeping with the joyful and renewing spirit of the evening, I shared a powerful story that seemed to resonate with many of you. So much, in fact, that you asked me to share it in the next Thursday…

Moms Demand Action Recess Rally Speech at Indianapolis Statehouse

As a rabbi, in the religious business, I often look to the Bible for wisdom; and in the book of Leviticus, chapter 19, we read: Lo Ta’amod Al Dam Rei’echa – one possible translation of the Hebrew is “Do not stand idly by the blood of your fellow.”  Today, here at the Statehouse, I implore…

“LGBTQIA Pride” – Weekly Newsletter – 8/15/19

What an exciting weekend ahead of us here at Temple Israel.  The summer is winding down which means our snowbirds are flocking back, and those on summer vacations are returning to the grind.  All of us are gearing up for another incredible year of programming and services here at our Temple!  We hope to see…

“Tradition!”

For decades, the rabbis of a certain synagogue would approach the Ark for Aleinu, and before going up the steps to the Ark, the rabbis would bow down, walk bent over, and then stand up again as they got to the doors of the Ark.  When a new rabbi joined the synagogue, he witnessed this…

“Judaism & The Death Penalty” – Weekly Newsletter – 8/1/19

As many of you have undoubtably heard, the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that it would be resuming the execution of federal death row inmates.  While there is much to discuss with regard to secular issues such as the rule of law, deterrence, racial bias, DNA, and innocence, I thought it important to discuss…

“The Mystery of Shabbat” – Monthly Newsletter- August 2019

Recently, a young family in our congregation passed along to me a small purple box.  On the box was word Shabbat, surrounded by the words prayer, community, celebration, renewal, and joy, among others.  As I opened the box, I realized that these were Shabbat “cards,” courtesy of the Union for Reform Judaism.  Each card contained…