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Rabbi's Week in Review - 5/29/2023

05/29/2023 12:29:54 PM


I have been under the weather for almost two weeks — certainly not life-threatening, and I don’t mention it to elicit sympathy, notwithstanding a modicum of whining and wimpiness inflicted upon Fay at home. If I could characterize it in a slightly broader perspective, my body has become increasingly annoying with age.

It has been awhile since I have come down with an illness. (I had Covid with mild symptoms in January 2022.)...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 5/23/2023

05/23/2023 11:32:22 AM


This week we celebrate Shavuot, one of the Shalosh Regalim — the three pilgrimage festivals.  As Pesach (Passover) is the most popular of all Jewish holidays, and Sukkot has become increasingly popular recently, Shavuot is arguably the forgotten of these three Torah chagim/holidays. 

Yet Shavuot is central to our existence. In celebrating the receiving of Torah at Mt. Sinai, we are really celebrating our ongoing Jewish...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 5/15/2023

05/15/2023 03:56:47 PM


In this, my weekly blog, my thoughts seem to move back and forth between being more positive and inspiring (at least, I hope they inspire) and pointing out injustices in order to fulfill our obligation as Jews to work for a more just community and world. I don’t have it necessarily planned out that way. It is more a reflection of the state of the world in which we need to carve out moments of joy in order to confront the chaos.

When...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 5/8/2023

05/08/2023 04:16:18 PM


Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves spoke at our Friday service about some positive changes in how KCPD approaches a number of very challenging issues facing our police force, and she also glossed over other significant problems.  

On the positive side, assigning a liaison (Officer Alex Saragusa) to work specifically with marginalized communities is a much-needed step. I asked for his contact information and will follow...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 5/2/2023

05/02/2023 11:43:32 AM


While we have a packed Shabbat this week (guest speaker, special Oneg Shabbat, AIDS walk), I wanted to focus on one aspect of our Shabbat celebration. We have the opportunity to honor and celebrate our lay leaders as we have a changing of the guard, with outgoing president, Wynne Begun, and incoming president, Pat Clinton. This in addition to all of our incredible board members who give so generously of their time to create a synagogue...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 4/25/2023

04/25/2023 11:30:36 AM


It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for our city. There was the shooting of Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old black kid who had the temerity to mistakenly go to the wrong house to pick up his siblings. This was one of a number of shootings that occurred when someone made a simple mistake — entering the wrong driveway, going to the wrong car — mistakes I have made and will probably make again.

There were a number of troubling events...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 4/17/2023

04/17/2023 04:01:43 PM


As we have completed our Pesach celebration — a wonderful seder for Kol Ami and a particularly meaningful celebration for me personally — it is feeling like spring (notwithstanding that, as I write this on a Sunday morning, it is 37 degrees outside). As we begin to spend more time outside, it is a good time to consider the environment in which we live and hopefully enjoy.

This coming Shabbat is Earth Day, a day spent focusing on...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 4/10/2023

04/10/2023 04:12:25 PM


For many years now (excluding the Covid-lockdown years), we have held an annual Congregation Kol Ami second-night Passover seder. Not only has it been a great opportunity to bring many of our congregants together to celebrate a central holiday — really the most celebrated of all the Jewish holidays on our calendar — but it also has served an important role in welcoming others into our community.

I do not think it is an...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 4/3/2023

04/03/2023 03:39:03 PM


It is probably no secret by now that Pesach, our Passover celebration, is a favorite of mine (notwithstanding that the dietary restrictions get a little old by the end). Yes, it is a holiday to celebrate our freedom from bondage, a statement that, in and of itself, raises all kinds of questions about the many forms of bondage we potentially face: bondage imposed upon us and bondage we impose on ourselves.

My favorite part of the chag,...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 3/27/2023

03/27/2023 04:47:57 PM


I had a number of individual meetings, what I refer to as one-on-ones, last week. These meetings could all be characterized as work meetings — meetings with people whom I work with as rabbi in one way or another.

Yet our conversations were not limited to business concerns. In one meeting in particular, we never even got around to discussing business. We spent our time getting to know each other personally, and sharing how the...Read more...

Tue, May 30 2023 10 Sivan 5783