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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...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/17/2021

05/17/2021 02:57:58 PM


This has been a troubling week in the Middle East. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has again turned violent. There is nothing new about this (the last violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly Hamas, occurred in 2014). What is new: the riots and violence that have arisen in Israeli cities between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians particularly, where Jews and Arabs have lived together in relative harmony....Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/10/2021

05/10/2021 04:07:30 PM


This coming Sunday evening and Monday (and also Tuesday for more ritually observant Jews who live outside Israel), we will celebrate Shavuot. Shavuot, along with Pesach and Sukkot, is one of the Shalosh Regalim — the three pilgrimage festivals mentioned in the Torah. These festivals, which all have an agrarian foundation, have morphed into something different as Jews have become less agrarian-oriented over a period of...Read more...

Thu, September 23 2021 17 Tishrei 5782