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Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/23/2020

11/23/2020 03:07:08 PM


This past week in our Shabbat-morning study, we embarked on a discussion about the role of angels in Judaism. As a text for our study, we are using A Gathering of Angels: Angels in Jewish Life and Literature, by Rabbi Morris B. Margolies, my rabbi when I was growing up here in Kansas City. Our engaging discussion moved us toward an initial notion of the angels within each of us.

What reservoir of angels can we call on to...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/16/2020

11/16/2020 02:43:03 PM


My seminary, the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR — the one in NYC, not LA), held its annual fall retreat last week. It is a time each year when classes are suspended for the week, and everyone at the seminary comes together to focus on one topic. Alumni are welcome and encouraged to participate, and do participate in significant numbers. This is a real tribute to how AJR graduates/alumni value the time we spent as students at the...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/09/2020

11/09/2020 04:34:25 PM


This may be getting redundant (I think it was last week that I was talking about emotional stress), but I cannot remember a more stressful week for myself or many congregants in our Kol Ami family. While we hear about the great divisions in our country, we also have a country in which our citizens are highly vested in its future. Wherever you land on the political spectrum, the waiting this past week has been a little slice of...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/03/2020

11/03/2020 09:18:27 AM


I am feeling the stress.  As I write this two days before the election, I am taking to heart what any number of pundits have told me: That this is the most consequential election of my lifetime. I know that, for my own sanity, I am only supposed to worry about events that are in my control. Yet I worry on.

According to Dr. Altha Stewart, past president of the American Psychiatric Association, this is mostly the...Read more...

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

10/27/2020 03:40:51 PM


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...

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

10/20/2020 05:41:35 PM


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


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


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


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


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...

Wed, November 25 2020 9 Kislev 5781