Should Humans Have Been Created? (Yom Kippur Day 5779)

Rather than a full sermon, I decided to engage the congregation in text study on Yom Kippur Day, with some opening and closing remarks: We love this text from Isaiah, and believe he is speaking to us. His emphasis on ethics over ritual, right behavior rather than right performance, this is something we can understand. …

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Open Roads and Open Doors (Kol Nidre 5779)

There is a name I want you to remember, a name that perhaps you have not heard before, a minor player in a larger drama, a person whose seemingly banal insignificance is what makes her so important. I want you to remember the name Helen Roseland, who was the assistant postmistress in Eagle Grove, Iowa …

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Seven Things You Can Do to Save the World (Rosh Hashanah 5779)

For those of you who have been here in the past for Rosh Hashanah, and for those of you who have paid attention—which arguably, could be a smaller number—I have stood on the bimah on erev Rosh Hashanah and shared a list. A list of teachings I have gleaned from various events that have happened …

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Spiritual Cleaning

Last year we started what hopefully will be a new tradition at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, a community cleaning of our sacred space right before the High Holidays. We have a regular cleaner who does surface cleaning a few times a week, and when something major needs cleaning or repair (the carpets or the roof), then …

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Shofar and Sanctuary

My congregation Temple Beth Hatfiloh took the step of becoming a sanctuary congregation as a means of advocating for immigrant justice. Here are the words I shared at our ceremony on August 29, attended by about 100 community members, including the faith community, city leaders, state legislators and a representative from our member of Congress. …

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Walking in the Footsteps of Kings

Arriving back at the synagogue after a long vacation seems somewhat surreal. In many ways, it as if I hadn’t left. In other ways, I feel like I have been gone for much longer. Taking these 3 ½ weeks off has been a tremendous gift. I feel blessed that I am supported by the congregation …

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Why a Road Trip Focused on Justice?

I won't be posting on my Rabbi360 blog for a bit because I'm taking some time off for study and vacation. But, I can't stay away from the keyboard too long. My family and I are taking a long road trip across the country to visit some important social justice and civil rights sites (as …

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