“Does a Zombie Rabbi Say Kaddish for Itself?”

“Does a zombie rabbi say Kaddish for itself?” This was the tongue-in-cheek observation from my son, fresh from his bar mitzvah, as we discussed Halloween. Would an undead rabbi recite the prayer for the dead for himself? Building on the trend that seems to have taken over public entertainment, I was musing about combining popular …

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Take Me Out…With a Story

Last week I traveled to Philadelphia to attend the board meeting of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, to which I was elected last March. I'm honored to serve my association, and that service brings me back east twice a year. While my schedule permits me only so much time to extend my trip either on the front end …

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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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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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