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Rabbi's Week in Review - 1/9/2023

01/09/2023 08:11:06 PM


I’m writing this after receiving an antidote to a stressful week — really as much a reminder or a refresher course, if you will.

The stress came from both schedule management (or, a more accurate descriptor, my great challenge in managing my schedule) and the politics of the week. Leaving aside the former, which is a constant and is not going to change anytime soon, the latter came from the dysfunction on display in the House of...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 1/2/2023

01/02/2023 05:40:23 PM


I/we take this time to reflect on our lives, both communally and individually. Not so much because of celebrating the secular new year (although that’s not a bad reason to do some productive contemplation), but rather that in our very short and colder days, days filled with more darkness than light, we naturally take on a more internal focus. We search for the light within.

In our daily study of a page of Talmud, Daf Yomi, we are...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 12/19/2022

12/19/2022 03:37:53 PM


At our annual Congregation Kol Ami Chanukah celebration, I mentioned that there may have been a certain ambivalence toward the holiday. The Talmud seems to give short shrift to it relative to our other festivals. It has multiple themes that are not necessarily in concert with one another.

On one level, it celebrates a military victory — the victory of the Hasmoneans (Maccabees) over Hellenism. It is a celebration of religious...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 12/13/2022

12/13/2022 01:02:35 PM


I am looking forward this week, with great anticipation, to renewing our traditional Congregation Kol Ami Chanukah celebration. This has always been a special time for us when we all light our Chanukah menorahs together.  

A special shout-out to Roberta Solomon, who, in my first year with Kol Ami, set me up for storytelling — with an easy chair, a lamp and my cardigan sweater. It is that kind of creative thought that has...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 12/5/2022

12/05/2022 04:28:35 PM


Anti-Semitism has been front-and-center in the news recently.  The former president dining at his home with white supremacist/Holocaust denier/neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and Kanye/Ye, who can’t seem to get a sentence out unless he is going off on us, has put anti-Semitism on the front burner in a way that I cannot ever remember experiencing in my lifetime.

Amidst much appropriate worry and fear within our community, there are some...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/28/2022

11/28/2022 04:54:42 PM


In our limmud, our study together, we have been delving into prayer. Specifically, we have been studying “why we pray what we pray.” The group discussions and insights that have ensued have been extraordinary. We are gaining a deeper understanding of prayer with a greater sense of intention over our prayers. We have seen how prayers serve to create our very complex relationships with G-d, with each other as Jews, and with the broader...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/22/2022

11/22/2022 10:30:45 AM


I am heartsick and outraged by the murder of five people and injury to 19 by a hateful, immoral tyrant at the LGBTQ+ nightclub, Club Q, in Colorado Springs. I, as rabbi, and we at Congregation Kol Ami stand in love with our queer Jewish family and everyone in the queer community.  

Sadly, this is the inevitable result of all of the hate speech directed toward the queer community by many leaders in the Republican...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/14/2022

11/14/2022 04:06:25 PM


I attended a shiva service this past week for Ruth Roth. She attended our High Holy Day services at Kol Ami but was not well-known in our community. I met Ruth through my time as a rabbinic intern at Ohev Sholom. She became interested in our shul after Ohev’s merger with Beth Shalom. I learned that she really enjoyed our service and was interested in joining Kol Ami.

I do not mention this to slip in an accolade for Kol Ami. For me,...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/7/2022

11/07/2022 02:49:00 PM


During last Friday’s Erev Shabbat service, I spoke (at somewhat longer length than usual for a Shabbat service) about the elections last week in Israel. The great and scary irony for me is that, at a time when the rise of anti-Semitism is front and center in the news, Israel is giving increased voice and legitimacy to Itamar Ben Gvir, known as the David Duke (the Ku Klux Klan leader) of Israel.

Without even considering our own...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/31/2022

10/31/2022 03:12:12 PM


I attended a retreat for my rabbinic fellowship, the Clergy Leadership Incubator, at the Brandeis-Bardin retreat center in Simi Valley, California, last week. Having been the recipient of an onslaught of information, as well as a highly emotional experience, I have much to unpack from my four days there.

One piece that stands out came from one of the presenters, Rabbi Sharon Brous, of Ikar. Ikar is a cutting-edge synagogue in L.A.,...Read more...

Mon, March 20 2023 27 Adar 5783