Category: Uncategorized

Community Before Self

A late post this week as I have been distracted, as we all have been, by the events in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman last week killed 17 people in a high school. And while this is not the first time this has happened, this one has hit me particularly hard for a variety of ...

Trees and Sacred Taxes: Vote “Yes” on The Home Fund

Tu Bishvat teaches that taxes are holy. Tu Bishvat, which we just celebrated this week, is the Jewish new year of the trees, and opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge our interdependence with the natural world, and with trees specifically. It is generally observed through a seder, a ritual meal which—like the Passover seder—is marked by ...

The Fear of Freedom

I did not write last week because I took a trip out of town for a few days to Los Angeles. What brought me to LA (though I did tag on a few days of family vacation) was a two-day immersive learning experience at Beit T’shuvah, a Jewish residential treatment center for addiction that also ...

“And We Win”: A D’var Torah and Invocation for MLK Day

This year I was honored to be invited to give the invocation and benediction at the annual Martin Luther King Day banquet held at the South Puget Sound Community College. It was an inspiring evening, honoring the life of Dr. King by invoking his legacy, by honoring local educators and awarding scholarships, and hearing from ...

Everyplace

Posted this on Facebook the morning after our President spoke his latest racist remarks: Everyplace is a place where people live, dream, hope, struggle, survive. Everyplace is a place where children are born and nurtured, elders are honored and accompanied, the stricken are comforted, the happy are celebrated. Everyplace is a place of joy and ...

In Support of the Washington Voting Rights Act

A new legislative session, and a new opportunity to give testimony. This week I represented the Jewish Federation and the Faith Action Network in support of the Washington Voting Rights Act at a committee hearing. Text is below, click here for video link. Chair and members of the committee, my name is Rabbi Seth Goldstein ...

Good Translations. Or, Another Reason Not to Fast on the 10th of Tevet

Thursday was a minor fast day on the Jewish calendar: the 10th of Tevet. Minor in this case means that it is a sunrise to sunset fast, as opposed to the major fast of Yom Kippur, which is a full 25-hour fast. The themes, though, are not minor: it is a fast day because it ...

Time to Make Your Hanukkah Resolutions

This post originally appeared as part of the Rabbis Without Borders blog on My Jewish Learning. You can read the original post here. This week we welcome in the celebration of Hanukkah, the eight-day festival of lights. Marking an ancient military victory of the Jewish population over the ruling Greeks, Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting ...

Here Comes That Loser Dreamin’ Joe #letsthrowhiminapit

There is a lot with which I do not agree with our current President. We have different approaches to policy and leadership. He has taken many actions, in his personal life and as our President, that I find highly problematic, most recently the move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which turns against ...