Today we are reading Parashat Yitro.
Last Shabbat we read Parashat Beshallah. Moses successfullygot the Jews out of
Egypt, acrossthe sea of reeds and safe
after the attack initiated by Amalek. Moses demonstrated his leadership as a diplomat
in representing God to Pharoah and in uniting the Jewish people to leave Egypt.
Moses demonstrated his leadership in amilitary
context to defeat the...
Perplexing. Enigmatic. That’s how Bible scholars describe the three verse
narrative from our Torah portion about Tzipporah, Moshe and their new-born son.
Here is the
Moshe has fled Egypt
after killing a man for abusing a Hebrew slave.
He meets the daughters of Yitro near a well and chases away the
shepherds who are harassing the women. Yitro...
Today marks the 100th anniversary of
the November 11 agreement that ended the First World War. Today also marks the 80th
anniversary of Kristallnacht, the organized riot that revealed to all, in
dramatic fashion, the true intent of the Nazi regime. These were times of great
trial and testing.
During the past two weeks, we have
also been witness to and participants in great trial and...
colleague Rabbi Ethan Linden of Camp Ramah in Berkshires wrote:
is a Tree of Life to those who hold fast to it and all of its supporters are
happy. I have been holding, clinging, but this week, I have not been
happy. I’ve been saddened. I’ve been broken. Branches of our
Tree of Life have been broken. They have been snapped off of the tree. There
Josette joins me in the hope that this year will be a shanah
tovah, one of blessing for you and your family, the people of Israel and the world.
Rosh Hashanah is saturated with memories. Occasionally, we
are so overwhelmed by these memories that we cannot speak, we cannot articulate
why they are so significant. But they remain at the core of souls, at the heart
of our inner...
beliefs sustain you? What commitments guide you through life? What is so
important that you would makes sacrifices for them? I invite you to reflect on these questions
you do, I have a confession to make.
This past year, I became a heretic. Heresy, which comes from a Greek
word which meant “choice," came to mean a freely chosen
opinion at variance with an...
received a pre Yom Kippur request from someone in hospital: I won’t be able to
be in shul for Yizkor. Would you please remember the names of my loved ones
during the time of memory.
to recall the names of those we love. Names impart identity and meaning to our
to recent research, using or hearing your own name is considered comparable...
It is so good to see you here for our regular Tuesday night
In 1954, Bette Nesmith Graham had a problem with her job as a
typist. When she sought to correct
a mistake, the eraser would smear ink over
the page. She knew that artists made corrections or covered up mistakes not by
erasing their work, but by painting over them.
Graham mixed up some fast-drying white tempera...
One day we give her a bath. The next
day, she closes the door and says, “It’s private! ” We want to
assert our privacy and we also give it away.
In a recent article in The New
Yorker, Louis Menand asks,
“Is there something primal about the need for privacy, for secrecy, for hiding
places and personal space? These are things we seem to...
as we mark Shavuot and recite yizkor memorial prayers, I’d like to
discuss three hearts with you. The heart of Sinai, the heart of King David and
the heart of Fania Feiner.
to the Torah,
בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י לְצֵ֥את בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל
מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה...
In Canada, we have been pained by the recent
deaths of so many young athletes, killed in a road accident in rural
Saskatchewan. Many of us recall similar times of national mourning in Israel
after a terrorist attack on a home or the bombing of a bus, a cafe or a
restaurant. In the Torah, the only narrative portion of the Book of Leviticus
tells of the deaths of Nadav and Avihu at what had...
ẖSeder is celebration of passage to
freedom, but it also reflects deep loss.
In his commentary to the Haggadah,
Elie Wiesel writes:
Like most Jewish
children, I especially loved the Passover holiday. Solemn and joyous, it
allowed us to escape time. Slaves of the pharaohs, we followed Moses into the
unknown... . His summons to freedom was stronger than fear.
Today, I want to tell you the story of Master Sgt. Roddie
Edmonds, a Christian from
Knoxville, Tennessee. It is a story that was unknown to his family and the
public until a few years ago.
In December 1944, six months after D-Day,
an infantry division of the United States Army landed in France. During the
cold and wet winter the soldiers travelled across France and Belgium. After an...
In addition to eating matzah and refraining
from leavened food, an essential mitzvah of Pesaẖ is Maggid, the
telling of the Exodus story. Moshe our Teacher emphasizes this when he
addresses the people of Israel before they leave Egypt.
“When you come to the land … you shall say
to your children, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the Eternal, who passed over the
houses of the...
I was ordained
at the Jewish Theological Seminary. However, it was at Beth Tzedec that I
became a rabbi.
It was here, for
the past nearly nine years, that I learned what it means to be a spiritual
leader, to help construct the Jewish life of a community. It was here that I
celebrated with you at life’s most joyful moments and sat with you amidst your
deepest pain. I hope that I have...