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God Tested Abraham. And Abraham Returned the Favor.

This week in our Torah reading cycle we come to parashat Vayera. While in the first couple of portions we have discrete stories being told each week-first about creation, then about Noah-and later in Genesis we will tell the Joseph saga over several weeks, this week’s portion is packed with several very dense and powerful ...

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The Garden of Boredom

Well, it's been a wonderful month of reflection and celebration as we made our way through the fall holiday cycle, culminating with my son Ozi's bar mitzvah. It was wonderful to be able to share that event with the community. So for my first column back from my Tishre hiatus I turn it over to ...

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A Rabbi and His Cat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7fCq1Az9Aw While making a slideshow for my son's bar mitzvah, I found I had a lot of photos of me and our kitten Peanut. So I decided to make my own slideshow...

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Kol Nidre 5774: “Worry, and Be Happy–the Jewish Way of Happiness”

As you know, this year I turned 40 years old. And now that I am 40, I’ve come to realize and gain perspective on many things. And one of the many things I have realized since reaching this milestone, is that I suddenly realized why my parents listened to the “oldies” station growing up. They ...

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Yom Kippur Day 5774: “Both/And, not Either/Or”

The call to social justice is so strong in our tradition. We heard it just now, in the words of Isaiah that we read this afternoon: This is the fast I desire To unlock fetters of wickedness And untie the cords of the yoke To let the oppressed go free To break off every yoke ...

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Rosh Hashanah Day 5774: “Building the Parapet of Gun Legislation”

While we read this morning this from Genesis, my mind turns to a verse from Deuteronomy which we recently read as part of our regular Torah reading cycle. In Deuteronomy chapter 22 verse 8 we read: “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, so that you do not ...

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Erev Rosh Hashanah 5774: “10 Things I have Learned Serving as a Congregational Rabbi for 10 Years”

Maybe you think you know what I am going to talk about this year. What is the list going to be this year, you may think? Anything major that happens to me you think, Ok, we are going to hear about this at Rosh Hashanah! For at this time I come to you with some ...

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L’shanah Tovah!

Wishing you a sweet and wonderful new year! L'shanah tovah!

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Concerns and Hopes

Last week I attended a forum at St. Michael's parish about a new proposed homeless shelter in Olympia. The shelter would be a low barrier shelter, recognizing some of the conditions that are obstacles at existing shelters and creating a place for people to go when they normally wouldn't have another option. The current proposed location is ...

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