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Rabbi's Week in Review- July 14, 2020

07/13/2020 12:00:04 PM


While my blog has generally focused on what we can and should do to support other people and other communities — and/or what we can and should do for our own community — I want us to catch our breath and not forget about our individual selves. At the risk of stating the obvious, the COVID-19 pandemic is wearing people out.

Another way to put it is, if you are feeling beleaguered, you are not alone. This is as...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- July 7, 2020

07/07/2020 05:57:09 PM



I have often said that rather than focus on what I or we are against, I would rather focus on actions supporting who we are for — our friends in the Black community, Muslims, Latinx, the LGBTQ community, Immigrants and others. However, we cannot ignore those who threaten people we care about and love. This absolutely includes those who are a threat to us as Jews.

This week, a troubling,...

Rabbi's Week In Review- June 30, 2020

06/30/2020 01:41:27 PM


I had the opportunity to attend (and, as it turned out, speak at) a rally in support of Black employees at the Veterans Administration Hospital here in Kansas City. This was a midday rally, nowhere near the Plaza, and thus not as well attended as the many rallies in support of Black Lives Matter at Mill Creek Park on the Plaza.

Yet, it held great meaning and purpose. A widespread arousal of righteous outrage has...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- June 23, 2020

06/23/2020 12:24:49 AM


I have had one of those weeks. Time seemed to blend together into one amorphous blob.  Hard to say whether or not I was feeling sluggish or the week itself seemed sluggish. Maybe it is the isolation attendant to COVID-19.

There were two events that broke through the haze, and brought about a refreshing and reaffirming sense of connection and community. Early in the week, I participated in an annual board...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- June 15, 2020

06/15/2020 08:54:01 PM


I faced a health challenge this past week. It was in no way life-threatening, thank G-d. But the kidney stone (I am up to around 10, my first occurring in my late 20s) caused excruciating pain when it first came on, and for the next four days caused enough pain to justify taking some fairly strong pain medication.

I don’t mention this to garner sympathy. I am no longer feeling any discomfort, although, as far as...Read more...

“Unorthodox” — the Haredi Communities in the Time of COVID-19

06/10/2020 02:48:12 PM



One obvious outgrowth of COVID-19 and the ensuing stay-at-home orders is the proliferation of binge-watching — discovering television series on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. For the Jewish community (if not beyond), the mini-series “Unorthodox,” based on the autobiographical book written by Deborah Feldman, has caught quite a buzz. And our Congregation Kol Ami book club recently took on...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- June 2, 2020

06/02/2020 10:47:43 AM


I had hoped this week to give a more lighthearted look at our own Jewish community via the ongoing discussion within our Kol Ami family on the book and series Unorthodox. Instead, the tragic killing of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has occupied most of my time this past week and compels a response.

First, foremost and unfortunately, this is not a new or even unusual occurrence. We now...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- May 26, 2020

05/25/2020 07:40:35 PM


Throughout our history, Jews have had to confront our theological existential crisis. Plainly put, how do we find G-d at times when G-d seems hidden? At present, the question becomes one of how (or even if) we call to G-d during a pandemic. For those of us in the rabbinate, and really all clergy, the issue becomes: How do we justify to rightful skeptics in our congregations why we would even suggest that calling out to G-d is a...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- May 19, 2020

05/19/2020 06:46:05 PM


On Monday morning, NPR’s Morning Edition ran a heartwarming story. Israel, as a means of quarantining, has opened up “coronavirus hotels.” Most of these hotels have essentially been divided by like people — i.e., ultra-Orthodox Jews with other ultra-Orthodox Jews.  

However, early on, one of these coronavirus hotels was filled by a much more diverse group.  Ultra-Orthodox Jews, along with...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review- May 13

05/13/2020 01:58:12 PM


In a time when questions of life and death have taken on a greater sense of immediacy, last week was one in which these issues were most prevalent. The week began with a funeral, not one that was unexpected (and which had nothing to do with COVID-19). In this difficult time, I wondered if and how the community could sufficiently honor the memory of this extraordinary woman who died, one who gave so much to family, friends and community. Embedded in that desire was and is the need to support the family, those who most directly were mourning the loss.Read more...
Wed, September 23 2020 5 Tishrei 5781