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Rabbi's Week In Review

05/17/2022 12:55:02 PM

May17

We had a truly wonderful Shabbat celebration this past Friday night with our kids, supported by our adult members. Thanks to Erica Clinton, for planning a joyous family experience; to our featured musician, Brendan Howard; and to our music director, Lara Steinel.

Having so many of our kids present gave us so...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/10/2022

05/10/2022 11:03:53 AM

May10

This past Shabbat, we held a special service to celebrate the first anniversary of Ga’avah KC, Kansas City’s Jewish LGBTQ+ organization. We were honored and proud to be the synagogue in town hosting the Jewish LGBTQ+ community. It is so much of who we are and want to be as a synagogue.

Our thanks to Brad Ordo, chair of Ga’avah and a Kol Ami board member, for his wonderful work in establishing Ga’avah and connecting us to...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/3/2022

05/02/2022 06:19:16 PM

May2

Over the weekend, Fay and I attended a wonderful benefit for the American Jazz Museum. The success of the event represented the success being experienced by the Jazz Museum after struggling to gain its footing for many years. (Full disclosure: Our daughter-in-law, Lisa, directs development and marketing for the museum.)  

The success of the Jazz Museum is a success for Kansas City — in giving proper due and respect to this...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 4/25/2022

04/25/2022 02:31:38 PM

Apr25

After the Passover celebration, I am still in a Pesach frame of mind. While always ready to get back to my everyday diet by the end of the holiday, I am still holding on to the Passover message of rebirth — the opportunity to take the everyday and see it through new eyes, to create anew.

I am looking with new eyes at a couple of upcoming events that impact our Congregation Kol Ami family. This Sunday, May 1, Kol Ami members...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 4/18/2022

04/18/2022 02:03:02 PM

Apr18

At our Congregation Kol Ami Passover seder, we discussed a theme for the holiday expressed by the Talmudic sage Shmuel. Shmuel talks about our freedom from enslavement as being one of spiritual freedom. It is, in a sense, freeing ourselves from onerous idol worship, however we define idol worship in this year 5782/2022.  

In the context of our Pesach observance, we talk about everyone being in servitude to something or...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 4/11/2022

04/11/2022 12:26:33 PM

Apr11

As we approach our Passover celebration in this year 5782, and as we celebrate our own freedom and redemption from persecution, let us resolve to work so that all people are free from persecution and violence. As we were strangers in the land of Egypt, let us always find ways to help the strangers in our midst so that they are strangers no more.

To everyone, a zissen Pesach, a Passover of sweetness. May it be a time of hope and...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 4/5/2022

04/05/2022 09:56:14 AM

Apr5

As we are in the midst of preparation for our Pesach/Passover observance (mostly about the food, but also a good spring cleaning), we also start to ponder the themes of the holiday. Much more than celebrating our freedom, the holiday compels us to engage in figuring out what comes after liberation. What have we learned from the experience of the Exodus that informs how we engage in the world?

The most oft repeated commandment in our...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 3/29/2022

03/29/2022 11:21:35 AM

Mar29

A D’var Torah for Parashat Tazria-Shabbat Hahodesh

I watched with great interest the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this past week regarding Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. This interest is not generated solely by my background and interest in law, nor is my concern limited to the state of our country and the ongoing challenges to our democracy. As Jews, we (and...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 3/21/2022

03/21/2022 03:45:05 PM

Mar21

If you know me at all, you know that my favorite forms of prayer are prayers of gratitude. (The other categories being prayers of petition — asking G-d for what we need — and prayers of praise.) My go-to saying, for my rabbinic ordination, was Midrash from Vayikra Rabbah — that in Messianic times, when all forms of prayer are unnecessary, we will still need to recite prayers of gratitude. (As an aside, we are studying the whys of...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 3/14/2022

03/14/2022 04:40:50 PM

Mar14

This week we celebrate Purim. For me, Purim always brings on mixed emotions. In essence, we are celebrating a victory, albeit a mythical one. I have come to accept the notion that we need to get a win every so often, and that by experiencing an annual victory in our sacred space, as opposed to meeting the threat of violence with violence in real life, we don’t re-enact the genocide described in Chapter 9 of the Book of Esther.

On...Read more...

Tue, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782