Holiday Messages

Shabbat Shuvah: Re-Righting Our Stories

October 4, 2016
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Shabbat Shuvah:  Re-Righting Our Stories

Listen to an audio version “ I am now one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer be active.” With that surprising realization, Moses begins his final address to the children of Israel. When Moses completes this address he will have accomplished what few others take the opportunity to do. With the...
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Tish B’Av – A View From the Rubble

August 9, 2016
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Tish B’Av – A View From the Rubble

People don’t get along all of the time. We are often tired or stressed out and it can be hard to keep our cool when someone cuts us off on the highway during the commute, let their kids run amuck in the restaurant, or let their dog mark its territory on our front lawn....
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Shabbat Parah – Get Ready For Change

April 1, 2016
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Shabbat Parah – Get Ready For Change

I have always thought that cheshbon hanefesh, literally a reckoning with one’s own soul was a practice most appropriate at the beginning of Elul, the month that preceded Rosh Hashanah. To this end Rabbi Israel Salanter, founder of the nineteenth century Mussar revival, undertook a forty day period of silence annually, from the beginning...
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Purim, the Church and Jewish Marginality

March 16, 2016
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Purim, the Church and Jewish Marginality

This is a “leap year” for Israel’s lunar calendar. The Jewish “leap year”, which occurs seven times in a 19-year cycle, has 13 months instead of the regular year’s 12. This is so that the lunar-based Jewish year should remain aligned with the solar seasons (12 lunar months make up a total of 354...
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A More Intimate Gathering

October 16, 2014
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A More Intimate Gathering

Listen to an audio version When I was a boy growing up in New York our family gatherings were like a scene out of the Barry Levinson movie Avalon. On Thanksgiving and Chanukah especially our get-togethers would involve not only our immediate family, but also an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, great...
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Lessons Learned From A Little Sukkah

September 22, 2010
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Lessons Learned From A Little Sukkah

In Judaism it is considered a mitzvah to not only dwell in a sukkah, but also to build it. In fact the process is considered one of such joyous fulfillment that it is best to do it as soon after Yom Kippur as is possible. So on Sunday, the day after Yom Kippur we...
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