Everyone Has One Sermon

They say that all rabbis have only one sermon.  If you’re lucky you have two, but when you look at the second it’s almost always an extension or variation on the first. Growing up, my Rabbi’s one sermon was God is everything.  Sometimes it was God is everywhere, a subplot of the main idea.  After five and a half years of being a rabbi, I realize that mine is “Let no one remain a stranger.”  That’s my sermon, that’s my Torah, that’s my truth and my message to the world.

Posted on December 30, 2016

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It’s Not A Supernatural Miracle

Eternal light in the ancient Temple symbolized an uninterrupted connection between God and the people. When the Romans desecrated the Temple that connection was ruptured, but when the menorah was re-kindled with the tiniest amount of remaining oil, the light did not go out, lasting until new oil could be rendered. The miracle was an event of great comfort in the time of the Maccabees, and can be, to us, in our own time. The deep miracle of Chanukah is that, despite profound breaches, the flow of divine energy into our world does not cease.

Posted on December 29, 2016

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A Rabbi’s Christmas Message

With the flurry of discussion about how Jewish and interfaith families are handling the confluence of Hanukkah and Christmas this year, I’m here to say “chill out.” As a rabbi whose job is to engage with and support interfaith families, I’m well aware that this time of year may create angst for interfaith couples as well as their parents and relatives. I’m not dismissing or diminishing the very real emotions that are tied up with these holiday celebrations. What I do want to say is that we don’t need to feel concerned, anxious, or afraid.

Posted on December 23, 2016

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Don’t Let the Light Go Out!

Last night our congregation’s chant meditation group met to contemplate light as we arrived at the cusp of the darkest day of the year and looked ahead to the festival of Hanukkah. Many of us in our community have been struggling to see bright times ahead or feel optimistic about what may lie ahead in the USA and beyond as we  enter 2017. So the meditation, the inspiration of people chanting together in harmony, and the kavvanot (intentional teachings) that interspersed the chanting provided some timely inspiration and a reminder of ways that we can sustain our own light when we feel we are in darker times.

Posted on December 21, 2016

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