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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...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 3/7/2022

03/07/2022 03:41:27 PM

Mar7

This past week felt like a good week for connecting. A meeting a week ago Monday in Washington, D.C. (Faith in Action - National Clergy Advisory Board), gave me the opportunity to connect with an old college friend/fraternity brother, in addition to connecting in person for the first time with other members of the Clergy Advisory Board. 

Then on Tuesday, a meeting with national religious leaders of Gamaliel, MORE2’s national...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 3/1/2022

03/01/2022 11:56:09 AM

Mar1

My thoughts — like so many others’ this past week — have turned to the people of Ukraine. Watching a war take place in real time has brought a sense of immediacy that I find jarring. Watching the courageous and dignified people of Ukraine have their lives literally disrupted overnight has left me shaken. Who can really calculate the long-term impact this will have on their children. I think, for the first time, we are getting a...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 2/21/2022

02/21/2022 12:14:59 PM

Feb21

I recently realized that it had been some time since I had been to a gallery or museum.  Given that my son Isaac works in a gallery in NYC, it seems I would have missed it sooner or plugged in more regularly. What started me back into a love and appreciation for our visual-art world was the program with Riva Lehrer and her book Golem Girl. Her incredible portraiture, often taking over a year for each work, illustrated people of great...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 2/14/2022

02/14/2022 03:35:15 PM

Feb14

I had the extraordinary experience of moderating a discussion with artist/author/activist Riva Lehrer about her book Golem Girl. The book is an open, honest memoir of Lehrer’s life as a disabled, queer Jew. This program was part of the Acclaimed Author Series*, which we at Kol Ami co-sponsored with the Jewish Experience program of the J and Jewish Federation.

The predominant feedback from those who participated was how much...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 2/8/2022

02/08/2022 12:26:54 PM

Feb8

This past week, a Tennessee school board banned Art Spiegelman’s seminal novel on the Holocaust, Maus. This is just one of many examples of how book banning has proliferated in the last year — not only censoring Jewish history but also Black history, the history of Indigenous peoples, and works in which LGBTQIA kids can see their own stories.  

How we equip our kids for the world they live in is yet another area in which...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 1/31/2022

01/31/2022 05:00:25 PM

Jan31

I recently was on a call co-led by two organizations — T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and J Street, an organization committed to peace between Israel and Palestinians via a two-state solution. While the discussion generally addressed our desire for peace and the end to violent conflict, the more specific focus was on a bill introduced in Congress.

The bill, H.R. 5344, seeks to increase the chance for effective...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 1/24/2022

01/24/2022 08:16:53 PM

Jan24

So I just finished watching the Chiefs come out victorious over the Bills — arguably as exciting a sporting event as you would ever watch. I mention this not because I am looking to start a sports blog, although I was raised on sports and am still an avid fan.

I mention the game because it is nice to have the distraction from all the surrounding challenges and acrimony that we face in our world these days. It is nice to expend some...Read more...

Wed, July 6 2022 7 Tammuz 5782