“We’re All Refugees Now”

Last week, I spoke to you all about how we will get through this new reality, how we will adapt to new challenges.  I wanted, on my first sermon via livestream, to help us all find comfort and peace in this new form of community we now find ourselves in. Last week, however, was also…

“Trust the Experts” – Weekly Newsletter – 3/26/20

It is somewhat timely, I suppose, that as we enter the “stay at home” order from our governor during this COVID-19 pandemic, we also enter the book of Leviticus in our Torah, a book that focuses on, among other things, disease and purity.  Chapters 13 & 14 of Leviticus especially deal with diseases, swells, rashes,…

“We Will Adapt”

It sure is different around here.  At times like this, when everything seems completely unfamiliar, I am reminded of a teaching by Rabbi Michael Marmur, the former provost of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, who notes, “the most traditional thing a Jew can do is change.”  I’m always stunned by those who feel that…

“Sacred Cyberspace” – Weekly Newsletter – 3/19/20

It’s mighty quiet around here.  Like many businesses and organizations, Temple Israel has, unfortunately, had to close its doors to visitors for the foreseeable future.  We will, together, learn how to create and maintain our sacred community while following the directions coming from the CDC and elsewhere to practice social distancing and quarantine for the…

“Purim & Reversal” – Weekly Newsletter – 3/12/20

Smile, it’s Adar! It is my sincere hope that all of you will join us at Temple Israel tomorrow evening for our Rock Shabbat Purim Celebration and Megillah Reading.  Please know that we have hand sanitizer for entry, and we have been taking great care to make sure that we remain a healthy community!  I,…

“The Urim and Thummim”

This week as we continue with the construction of the Tabernacle in the Torah, our parsha moves to the adornments of the priests. Their vestments, their ephod and breastplate, their robes, their headwear, all are spoken about in great detail in parshat Tetzaveh.  This year I was struck by a small detail that gives fascinating…

“New Precautions” – Weekly Newsletter – 3/5/20

This week I received an email from the Central Conference of American Rabbis in response to the awareness and concern of the coronavirus and how it may affect our community.  The CCAR asks the boards of congregations to create a “contingency plan” which would guide the community as to what would happen should infection reach…