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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...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 7/13/2021

07/13/2021 03:33:12 PM


Tisha B’Av — the ninth day of the month of Av — comes this Saturday evening and Sunday.  It commemorates all of the Jewish tragedies that have befallen us throughout our history. On it, we read from Eichah, the Book of Lamentations. It is an unpleasant read.

If you can get beyond the horrific curses, however, you come to realize that the book does not position us as victims. Rather, in it we assume responsibility for being...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 7/5/2021

07/05/2021 03:41:32 PM


While on vacation last week, my work as a Fellow in the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI) began in earnest. (This is the two-year program in which we seek to do, or really, in our case, continue major transformation work for our Jewish community — to set a different, more compelling and welcoming course for our Jewish future.) Over the next two years, I will, from time to time, be sharing my work in the program with my Kol Ami family and...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 6/29/2021

06/29/2021 12:43:01 PM


I write this week’s blog while spending some time away, celebrating my mother-in-law's 85th birthday in the mountains of Utah. While providing some needed downtime, it has also provided some time for deeper reading and reflection.  

Coupled with this is my work with the Clergy Leadership Incubator fellowship. I will write about this work from time to time, specifically how, through the program, our vision for Kol Ami as a...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 6/21/2021

06/21/2021 04:55:52 PM


A D’var Torah for Parashat Balak

Responding to a request from a congregant, we have been studying the role of angels in Judaism. I was grateful for the suggestion, as I immediately knew the source for our studies, the book A Gathering of Angels by Morris B. Margolies – z”l. I grew up with Rabbi Margolies as my spiritual leader. To have the opportunity to do a deep dive into his most widely read work has been a source of great...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 6/14/2021

06/14/2021 02:22:58 PM


It is wonderful to be together with people we have not seen for so long, and that includes the occasional hug. At the same time, there is still a struggle to know the right way to act in relation to the pandemic. When do we wear a mask? Is it really OK to be back together in person? Should we only be together when we can be outside?

I do believe in the efficacy of the vaccines — that they are working not only to keep those of us who...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 6/7/2021

06/07/2021 02:46:52 PM


As I write this, I am watching the annual Kennedy Center Honors. In any year, I am more a fan of some honorees than others, yet I look forward to the show every year. I find it uplifting and life-affirming. I went to college a stone’s throw from the Kennedy Center, and the show always conjures up fond memories — of concerts with the National Symphony, and one of the great jazz concerts in my lifetime, the Milestone Jazzstars...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/31/2021

05/31/2021 04:27:20 PM


If I had to land on an overarching theme and/or feeling for the past week, it would be tension.  In an elongated period of persistent tension in the world and in our individual lives, last week seemed to stand out. Generally, I see some tension as a good thing — machloket l’shem shamayim, argument for the sake of heaven — but only if it is a catalyst for changing a negative dynamic. Last week was not about change; rather,...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/24/2021

05/24/2021 04:14:47 PM


Last week seemed all about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (I could still say more.) Notwithstanding a ceasefire that seems to be holding, troubling unrest and violence remain in Israeli cities between Jews (right-wing Jewish extremists) and Israeli Arabs. The issues that were present before the latest round of rockets, bombs and violence have not gone away. 

Sometimes, though, we need to catch a break, in order to engage in...Read more...

Fri, July 30 2021 21 Av 5781