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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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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The Amalek in Us

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, we are given a long list of commandments, many dealing with issues of economic justice and ethical behavior. The portion ends with the vehement exhortation about Amalek: "Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt--how, undeterred by fear of God, he surprised you on …

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Parking Outside the Lines

File this one under: Really?! Yesterday when stopping for coffee on the way to the synagogue after dropping Erez at camp I encountered the following car parked on Capitol Way. If you know me, or at least remember my Rosh Hashanah sermon last year, this type of parking job really gets under my skin. In …

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