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Rabbi's Week In Review - 9/20/2021

09/20/2021 03:22:00 PM


We celebrate Sukkot this week — Z’man Simchateinu, the Season of Our Joy. We are actually commanded toward happiness, a happiness derived from welcoming guests into our sukkah. Our booth becomes a place of G-d’s sheltering presence for everyone, for the strangers in our midst.  

Through the generosity of Josh Sipp and Savannah Kannberg, along with Josh’s creativity and skill, we have a new sukkah. It is in the...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 9/13/2021

09/13/2021 11:47:50 PM


By popular demand, I am relating some of the rituals surrounding Yom Kippur. There are some unique pieces to this Sabbath of Sabbaths, the most important day on the Jewish calendar. The many rituals are not all observed by all Jews. This is a list of traditional observances for Yom Kippur. So, in no particular order:

• This is one of two major fasts during the year. (A major fast is over 24 hours — from the beginning of Yom...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 9/6/2021

09/06/2021 11:00:17 AM


As we come into the Yamim Noraim/Days of Awe, the 10 days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, we confront the challenge of Cheshbon HaNefesh, the accounting of our souls. This is the difficult work of pondering our behavior over the past year, showing remorse for what we have done wrong and could have done better, and committing ourselves to being different and better in the coming year.

Having gone through — and still in the...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/30/2021

08/30/2021 02:40:20 PM


I had the pleasure this past week of being the Jewish representative on a Habitat for Humanity panel here in Kansas City. The panel discussion centered around the value of working with interfaith partners. 

A day later, I was in a meeting with a national religious steering committee for Gamaliel, MORE2’s national affiliate, to discuss how we can advocate for a more open immigration policy. This is something that is needed for...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/23/2021

08/23/2021 02:17:49 PM


I met this past week with my Clergy Leadership Incubator cohorts. As a group, we are tasked with envisioning a different and transformative future for our synagogue communities. I also had a couple of wonderful meetings with couples planning for their weddings.

While the CLI meeting may seem unrelated to the wedding-planning meetings, I see an important connection between the two. If we are to seek out a new vision that will set a...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/16/2021

08/16/2021 04:34:25 PM


Entering the month of Elul — a time for great introspection and personal reflection leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — we are experiencing a time of unprecedented turmoil. The resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic via the delta variant has been a setback, as we have been so looking forward to being back in physical space together. Wearing masks and putting hugging on the back burner leave us detached from our need for connecting...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/9/2021

08/09/2021 01:47:39 PM


As I write this, we enter the month of Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The entire month is designated as a time to ready ourselves for what takes place during the 10 days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur — the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe.  

During those 10 days, we engage in Cheshbon HaNefesh, an accounting of our souls. It is a time to offer apologies to those we have wronged over the...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/2/2021

08/02/2021 04:24:50 PM


This past week truly felt like the dog days of summer. Notwithstanding how the pandemic has made a mishmash of our sense of calendar and time, I have sensed a modicum of malaise. I will even admit to feeling a bit of the doldrums.

Yet our Jewish calendar still provides us with a sense of purpose, always leading us to whatever comes next. As part of our weekday-morning 15 minutes of a little prayer and a little study, we have been...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 7/26/2021

07/26/2021 04:43:18 PM


This has been a week of transition on the Jewish calendar. We have left Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the month of Av) behind for another year and have headed into seven weeks of consolation. Notwithstanding the tragic part of our Jewish history commemorated on Tisha B’Av, we have not been abandoned by G-d, and we ultimately will be redeemed from all the persecution and tragedies we have experienced as the Jewish people.

Not only...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 7/19/2021

07/19/2021 03:21:54 PM


As summer weeks go, this past one was unusually busy. A meeting with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition was the start toward organizing the “Good Trouble Vigil” to honor the memory of civil rights leader John Lewis. In between that meeting and the actual vigil was a presentation on Judaism and social justice for the Faith Club, a group of Muslim, Jewish and Christian women, who came together a few years ago to learn and support one...Read more...

Thu, September 23 2021 17 Tishrei 5782