Benediction for an Historic Day at the Supreme Court

This morning I had the distinct honor of offering the benediction at the swearing in of Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis, who became the first Native American justice on the Washington State Supreme Court, and the new Chief Justice Debra Stephens. Video can be found here. Thank you, it is an honor to be with you here …

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The Response to Hate is to Reveal Ourselves

We read the climax of the Joseph story in this week’s portion of Vayigash, as the sons of Jacob are reunited. Joseph’s brothers hate him because he was their father’s favorite, and he tended to have dreams that indicated his superiority. First they plan to kill him, then decide to sell him into slavery in …

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The Lesson of Hanukkah? Do It Anyway.

This past Yom Kippur, reflecting on the work that we are called upon to do in these times, I invoked the image of Hanukkah. And now that we have entered that holiday, I revisit those words and, slightly revised, I share them again: I’ve been inspired recently by the author Courtney Martin who wrote a …

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Anti-Semitism: Horses, or Zebras?

Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind as reactions and reactions to the reactions swirled in the wake of President Trump's Executive Order around anti-Semitism. Early reports claimed the order was redefining Judaism as a "nationality," a problematic designation since it has the potential to lead to a further identification of Jews as "other" or …

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Hanukkah Cocktail: “Gelty Pleasure”

Not that I'm known for my culinary arts, but I did cook up a Hanukkah-themed cocktail a few years ago and serve it every year at our congregational Hanukkah party. Essentially it is a spiked hot chocolate made with gelt. Simple, but good! Gelty Pleasure Ingredients: 2 pieces of milk chocolate gelt Hot water Goldschlager* …

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Pass the Venison

As we move into this Shabbat perhaps still digesting our Thanksgiving meal, our thoughts once again turn to food as we look at this week’s Torah portion, Toldot. Jacob and Esau are the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah, and their relationship is marked by rivalry. Esau is the hunter and his father’s favorite (and …

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Sanctuary is Solidarity

We have almost reached three months into our Sanctuary action at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, three months since we welcomed in a woman and child who are at risk of deportation as they work out their asylum claim, hoping to stay in the United States. It has been a tremendously intense and moving few months. Serving …

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Should We Stop Saying “Have a Nice Day?”

This last week, we were in Boise to attend the funeral of my mother-in-law. It was a powerful gathering of family and friends, and it was comforting to be with loved ones. Tears were shed, memories shared, and laughter abounded. We spent a couple of days in Boise, observing shiva as well as clearing out …

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Counting the Stars: Remembering Alice Kinberg z”l

This past Monday night we heard the tragic news that my mother-in-law, Alice Kinberg, was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street and had succumbed to her injuries. She was 72. She had been living in Boise near her son, my brother-in-law, and his family for the past few years. Prior to that she …

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