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Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/27/2020

10/27/2020 03:40:51 PM

Oct27

We (finally!) reach November 3, and hopefully clear through some of the craziness and acrimony that have marred our political discourse. With that in mind, my message is simple.

VOTE!!!!!! If you have already voted, my thanks and appreciation. In voting, you have fulfilled not only your civic obligation but also your obligation as Jews to support the civic process and democracy.

While I am not allowed to advocate for...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 10/20/2020

10/20/2020 05:41:35 PM

Oct20

Last week, we read in our Torah about the Tree of Knowledge. While the common assumption and/or interpretation is that Adam and Eve committed a sin by partaking of the Tree of Knowledge, Judaism has always placed the acquisition of knowledge amongst our highest priorities. The knowledge acquired by Adam and Eve in that moment was the most basic level of self-awareness. From that point forward, we have chosen to continue to read, to study, to...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 10/13/2020

10/13/2020 05:08:28 PM

Oct13

Fay and I had special joy this week to be part of the wedding of my son, Solomon, and a member of the Kol Ami family, Lisa. In the process, Fay and I got two granddaughters. In the more than three years since I first met Lisa over coffee, I would never have anticipated this day. (Just for the record, I did not fix them up — a deal-killer for sure.)

Their journey was not what we would deem the “traditional family.” I say that...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 10/07/2020

10/07/2020 06:52:01 AM

Oct7

I have often said that of all the categories of prayer, my favorite is gratitude. As it states in Midrash, Vayikra Rabbah, in Messianic times when all other prayer is unnecessary, we will still be required to offer prayers of gratitude.  

Having gathered mostly virtually for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, this is a time, for me, of enormous gratitude for all those who have put in so many hours to make our worship meaningful and...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 09/30/2020

09/30/2020 07:04:08 AM

Sep30

The beauty of the Jewish calendar is the way in which it flows from an emotional perspective.  Having completed the difficult and burdening task of self-reflection that comes with the somber day of Yom Kippur, we can now turn to Sukkot. We refer to Sukkot as Z’man Simchateinu — the season of our joy. We are commanded to be happy on Sukkot.

How come? After the promises we made to ourselves, G-d and others to do better and act...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 09/23/2020

09/23/2020 07:39:14 AM

Sep23

This Rosh Hashanah began with the sad news of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  There is an understanding that those who die on Rosh Hashanah are seen as tzaddiks — among the righteous of our people. This seems particularly appropriate in memorializing the life of Justice Ginsburg.

Her tireless work for justice on behalf of women, and anyone who was marginalized as an outsider, was informed by Jewish history in general...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 09/14/2020

09/14/2020 07:15:49 PM

Sep14

As we approach Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we engage in the difficult work of Cheshbon HaNefesh, an accounting of our souls, by which we engage in self-reflection and ponder how we can do better and act better in the coming year 5781. While in challenging times like these this work can seem even more difficult, I take heart in the possibility of the new and our potential to be better.

Kol Ami has recently recommitted itself to...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 09/08/2020

09/09/2020 07:03:40 AM

Sep9

This past week, I faced a tragic loss. A dear friend of 42 years, David Matsil, died of pancreatic cancer a mere 10 days after diagnosis. This was a friend from college who ended up marrying my brother-in-law’s sister. He was actually one of my two closest friends from my undergraduate days. Sadly and ironically, I lost the other friend, Steve Levy, to pancreatic cancer as well, although he survived five years after...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 09/01/2020

09/01/2020 08:37:16 AM

Sep1

As I write this week, I am in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, gracious friends having given Fay and me use of their mountain house for a few days. My original intent was not to write much of anything and chalk it up to a week on vacation. While I will write something, my words will remain on the short side.

The truth is that the recent strife of a pandemic, the violence of white supremacists and attendant issues...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- 8/26/2020

08/26/2020 07:07:19 PM

Aug26

This past Shabbos, we explored how our individual character traits impact the work we do in helping others, the strangers in our midst. The catalyst for this particular Kol Ami Shabbat study session encompassed three elements: (1) This past week began the Jewish month of Elul, a time in which we begin to contemplate who we are and how we act, all in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; (2) last week’s Torah portion,...Read more...

Fri, October 30 2020 12 Cheshvan 5781