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Long ago, our rabbis realized that the Torah is very much like a beautiful orchard. From a distance, you may see only a grouping of trees. As you approach, you notice the leaves, the blossoms, and the fruit on the individual trees. When you come even closer, you may see the skin that covers the fruit. If you are persistent and peel back the skin, your reward is a delicious treat. Just like the orchard which at a distance is only a field of trees, concealed there are layers upon layers of wonderful things.
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CATEGORIES: Shabbat Table Talk
When tragedy strikes, it strikes the community first and then the nation. The tragedy that unfolded early Sunday morning in the Pulse Nightclub in downtown Orlando has rocked the families and friends who have lost loved ones as well as those 53 injured in the worst mass shooting in American history.
The religious community of Or Chadash stands in solidarity and united in denouncing violence. The Jewish community is still affected by the brutal terrorist attack at Sarona in Tel Aviv earlier this week by Palestinian terrorists.
This afternoon I participated in a Jewish Diversity Program for our Border Patrol off of their main office adjacent to Davis Monthan Air Force Base. One of the lessons I taught them was that for many religions – especially for Judaism and Christianity – our rituals, symbols and traditions have arisen from a connection with the culture from which we have existed. Tonight I would like to share with you one such historical development that has had a lasting impact on us as Reform Jews.
Our Israelite ancestors borrowed and transformed a rich legacy from the Canaanites. But it is the Pharisees who appropriated from the Greco-Roman world a new sense of individualism and a new method of parsing texts.
A change took place at that time that changed the outlook of the Jews from the communal national status of the Israelites to the ethical responsibilities of the individual. Categories of individuals were now delegated particular responsibilities within the communal setting: Men had responsibilities different than those of women, and Jews and gentiles had distinctions established that did not exist within the biblical text.
It is an honor and privilege to be one of the family speakers this evening.
I would like to share a few brief family stories which illustrate how the value of l'Dor v'Dor has impacted my family and our connection to HUC-JIR and the Reform movement
What I have learned from my family, my studies at HUC, and my vocation as a rabbi is that it is not enough to be born Jewish. Judaism is realized not through birth or through rituals; but through the actualization of one's convictions.
Categories: Community Events
It was at a time when he had not yet emerged publicly as the leader of the Chassidic movement. The Baal Shem Tov (1700- May 1760) still wore the cloak of anonymity as he traveled through the towns and villages of the Carpathians (1500 km mountain range – Central Europe). It was one of his holy practices to ask every Jew he met – man and woman, the aged and the children – how they were, how business was, and so on. One of his greatest pleasures was to listen to the answers that each of them would give – answers that came from the heart. They would reply with words of praise and thanks to God. Every answer would contain something like, my business is well, "Thank God," or my family is well, "The Lord be blessed."
This is the weekend before Passover. Tonight and tomorrow we are called to observe Shabbat HaGadol, “The Great Sabbath.” Its origin is found in the special Haftarah and its reference to “Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great (gadol) and awesome day of God” (3:23).
The prophet speaks of the day of redemption in the future. Passover, in the Haggadah, represents the redemption of the past and serves as the archetype for the future redemption. In fact, 1700 years ago Rabbi Yehoshua says: “In Nisan the world was created … the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt; and in Nisan they will be redeemed in time to come.” (Rosh HaShanah 11a)
Introduction to Shabbat Table Talk
Pharaoh and Moses
Apologies to Rabbi Lookstein
Ki Yachol Lah - כי יכול לה
Small Role; Big Impact
In Response to the Orlando Shooting
When Tragedy Strikes
HUC-JIR L'DOR VADOR Gala
The Baal Shem Tov and His Sage
Share Your Stories
Appreciating Everyone's Gifts
Women Named and Unnamed, Beginning a New Year
The Journey that Changed Our World
Give Bigotry and Racism No Quarter
Loving the Stranger and the Estranged
Seeing the Good Land
Pinchas Is Not Our Religious Model
The Jewish View on Marriage Equality: The Jewish Response to the Supreme Court Decision
Adaption from Rabbi Karyn Kedar's, Omer: A Counting.
Hod of Malchut, "Humility in Nobility."
Netzach of Malchut, "Endurance in Nobility"
Compassion in Nobility
Behar– The Tender Tongue
Endurance in Bonding
Let Me Be What I Can Be
Rabbi Leonard Beerman - My Rabbi
Shmitah: A Sabbath for A Year Making a Difference for Your Lives
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