Hamas and the Struggle for Our Children: #BringBackOurBoys

bringbackourboys2

Three teenage boys traveling home from their religious seminary to be with their families for the Jewish Sabbath get into a car and the nightmare begins. The fates of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali are unknown. It is not even known which terror group has abducted them. It would not be a surprise to discover it was Hamas, the internationally recognized terrorist organization, that has used kidnappings before in its struggle to uproot the State of Israel. The United States State Department has condemned … [Read more...]

History Made Personal: A Book Review of Teach Them Diligently

Wein-diligently

Rabbi Berel Wein is beyond any doubt one of the most profound, prolific and inspired rabbis of the 20th century. I have never learned with him personally or attended any of his lectures but nonetheless I have encountered his teachings throughout my life. Rabbi Wein is a moral voice on societal issues, a contemplator of Jewish history and Jewish destiny and a master educator. It is with that background into the man that I brought with me when I began reading his new autobiography, Teach Them … [Read more...]

An Experiment for Rosh Hashanah

Let me offer you a small experiment/challenge for this upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The purpose of this experiment is to see if it changes the way you experience your time in synagogue during this most important time of the year. Just this one year, perhaps even just for one service, try the following:Try to become more of a participant and less of a critic. A participant immerses him or herself into the experience. A participant suspends the skepticism and tries to get the most … [Read more...]

Kumare: The Allure of Otherness

I watched the documentary Kumare this weekend and I was struck by its portrayal of the development of a religious community and the search of people for meaning and fulfillment in their own lives. The movie follows the filmmaker as he morphs into an Indian Guru and plants himself in Phoenix, Arizona where he develops a coherent belief system and attracts followers. Throughout the movie he attempts to convey to his followers that they actually do not need a Guru and they can be their own … [Read more...]

The Complaint

COMPLAINT

Houses of Worship are unique organizations in many ways. The House of Worship, regardless of faith, functions as a spiritual home for individuals to commune with their God, their traditions and their people. For many the House of Worship is an anchor in an ever-changing fluid world. A place of stability. A rock of peace and serenity. A haven from the tumultous currents of the outside world.However, Houses of Worship also have a lot in common with every other mission-directed people-focused … [Read more...]

What Amazes You?

hagadah[1]

Tomorrow night people around the world will sit down with their family and friends and partake in the Passover seder. The seder is perhaps the oldest continuously practiced ritual unbroken throughout the generations. Throughout time and place it has adopted various new customs and adapted old ones but the essential component remains the same: the retelling of the Exodus. The great formative narrative of the Children of Israel, in which God with an outstretched arm and a mighty hand redeemed the … [Read more...]


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