It did not take a tragic shooting on a baseball diamond to drive home – yet again—the reality of an impossibly wide divide between ideologies and people in our nation. Whether from our national leadership or on our social media pages, civil, thoughtful, respectful discourse is mostly missing in favor of screeds. We speak past each other; is it any wonder no one is listening to anything except to that which we do already agree?
Dr.… Read More »
What’s the worst thing you can do? Of all the options out there, I’m sure each of us has a strong opinion. For Rashi, it turns out to be idolatry. Who is Rashi? And what, exactly, is idolatry?
Rashi is perhaps the most beloved commentator on the Hebrew Bible. He lived in France in the 11th century, probably growing grapes and turning them into wine for a living. In his spare time, he devoted himself to learning and teaching Torah,… Read More »
In this week’s portion, we once again find the Israelites kvetching, as we find they were prone to do throughout their long journey through the desert. The people begin to complain, first at Taberah, where a fire breaks out amidst the people, then at Kibrot-Hataavah, where they cry out for meat. God is furious with them, and Moses feels the full burden of his leadership, so God agrees to divide his load among seventy elders. Towards… Read More »
A few weeks ago, Temple Isaiah’s Confirmation Class of 2017 led our congregation in prayer, offering insightful reflections on life, Judaism, and community. Rabbi Miller and I were so proud of these young women and men. Granted, as high school sophomores they sometimes lived up to the etymology of the word “sophomore”, which originally meant “arguer” (according to Dictionary.com). But what is Judaism if not a civilization built… Read More »
Chodesh tov! Today is the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, which means that Shavuot is just around the corner. It begins Tuesday night and in addition to being an ancient pilgrimage holiday, Shavuot celebrates Matan Torah – the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. We hope you will join us at Temple Isaiah on Tuesday night at 7pm in the Sanctuary when we will gather for a Shavuot ritual and hear from ten of our members, who will… Read More »
“If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments…,” says God in the very last parashah of Leviticus (B’chukotai, chapter 26). And then a stream of the most delightful blessings pours forth. Rain will come when appropriate, agriculture will thrive, people will have far too much to eat. There will be peace in the land and any potential foes will be frightened away.
Furthermore, God will dwell among us. The Hebrew phrase,… Read More »