Thoughts & Teachings

Lessons from our synagogue
  • Rabbi Ron Shulman · Individual in Community: An Appreciation

    We can’t be the Jews we aspire to be alone. We need each other. We need a community filled with peers, with those younger and older than we are, with those of similar and different temperaments and perspectives. Jewish life wisdom teaches us to gather together. We who are rabbis, cantors, educators, and administrators may teach. We may be guides who offer Jewish inspiration along the path of life. Ultimately, we who serve a congregation are here to facilitate... Read More

  • Rabbi Ron Shulman · Shavuot

    Shavuot is one of the most anticipated festivals on the Jewish calendar. Anticipating this holiday we count fifty days. Described as the time we commemorate the gift of Torah, Shavuotcelebrates God’s revelation to the Jewish people. We prepare to approach such a significant date. That’s why we’ve been counting the days since Passover. We think and get ready to receive Torah anew because we realize that Torah is an actual reflection of God. The gift of Torah... Read More

  • Rabbis Shulman & Wechsler · Relief Aid for Nepal

    The recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal evokes many thoughts and feelings. Through the media’s reporting of this natural disaster and its devastation, we are all witnesses to the horrendous number of victims and stories of survivors who mourn them. Estimates worry that thousands more may have died while millions more require immediate humanitarian assistance. Deeply touched, we are concerned for their welfare and futures. We may ask why something of this... Read More

  • Bein Shoah le Tekumah · Between the Destruction of the Holocaust and the Establishment of Israel

    Life is lived in stages.  In as much as we experience moments and days, we live within stages.  Experiences are categorized according to when they are lived.  Milestones mark the beginnings and endings of these stages, but then we live within them, each with their special character that colors our memories of them. Our Jewish life is no different.  With milestones marking significant moments, both our lives and our years are divided into stages of living,... Read More

  • The Prophet Elijah · Rabbi Debi Wechsler

    For literally millennia, Jews have been asking one question about Elijah - When will finally get here? No one knows but even more than your in laws, he is the most delayed dinner guest in all of history. But while we wait, the challenge of Pesah is for us to be Elijah in his stead. We can do his work by bringing hope and by doing “good” for those who are poor and hungry and those who despair.  Let us do the work of Elijah. Let us bring our hametz to the foodbank... Read More

  • Shabbat Parah · Rabbi Debi Wechsler

    This Shabbat we call Shabbat Parah, the first of four special Shabbatot leading up to Pesah, the festival of witnessing.  The purpose of the redemption from Egyptian slavery, the purpose of God’s intervention through the plagues and the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in the Exodus narrative was, “So that you may tell the story in the hearing of your children and your children’s children.” (Exodus 10:2) We were redeemed from Egypt so that we might tell the story... Read More

  • Purim 2015 · Rabbi Ron Shulman

    Why didn’t Mordecai bow down to Haman? After all, that is how the whole megilah gets started, right? Well not quite! But it is Mordecai’s act of disobedience and disrespect that motivates Haman’s desire to destroy the Jews of Shushan. When the other men in King Ahashueros’ court asked Mordecai why he refused to bow before Haman, all Mordecai told them was that he was a Jew.   Why didn’t Mordecai bow down to Haman? Perhaps he felt that, as a Jew, it was not... Read More

  • Tu Bi Shevat 2015

    The Mishnah tells us that we observe four New Years: Nisan 1 is the New Year for dating the reign of Kings and dating the beginning of the Festival cycle. Elul 1 (Tishrei 1 according to Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Eliezer) is the New Year for determining the tithe of animals. Tishrei 1 is the New Year for years when we begin counting the New Year.  It is also when we begin a new yearly cycle for counting the Sabbatical (shemittah)... Read More

  • Parshat Shemot · Rabbi Debi Wechsler

    This week a hero is born, a savior, you might say. We read the beginning of the Book of Shemot and are told of the birth of Moses, a baby so beautiful that his mother hides him from sight for three months. And when she can no longer hide him, she puts him into a wicker basket and leaves him among the reeds by the bank of the Nile River.  But no woman who has spent nine months waiting for the birth of a child would just leave him unaccompanied.   Va tay tatzav... Read More

  • Hannukah · How Will You Light Your Hanukkiyah?

    How will you light your hanukkiyah?  The Talmud in tractate Shabbat records four traditions of how to light a hanukkiyah: The mitzvah of Hanukkah is one light for a man and his household. The zealous kindle a light for each member of the household. Beit Shammai maintain: On the first day eight lights are lit and thereafter they are gradually reduced. Beit Hillel say: On the first day one is lit and thereafter they are ... Read More

Today's Services

June 30 13 Tammuz

Our Next Shabbat

Fri, July 3

6:00 PM Oneg Shabbat/Minhah

6:15 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

8:18 PM Candle Lighting

Recent Sermon

June 27, 2015

The Symbols We Honor

Rabbi Ron Shulman

Transcript

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Prayer & Reflection

A community generated wall of prayers
  • During this summer season, we are grateful for nature’s vibrant feel and the warmth it brings our spirits. We celebrate the rhythms...

    During this summer season, we are grateful for nature’s vibrant feel and the warmth it brings our spirits. We celebrate the rhythms and seasons of life, marveling at a world so vast and beautiful. May our summer days bring us productivity and pleasure. May our summer nights bring us calm and restoration. Blessed is God, Oseh ma’aseh b’reishit. We praise God, for the wonders of creation.

    Read More -Summer Season
  • We extend our prayers and care to the victims of floods and extreme weather in and around Houston, Texas and everywhere nature's wrath...

    We extend our prayers and care to the victims of floods and extreme weather in and around Houston, Texas and everywhere nature's wrath overwhelms her beauty. May those impacted achieve recovery, reconstruction, and renewal. We offer our compassion and resources in support.

    Read More -Extreme Weather
  • Seeking justice, we pray for the welfare of Baltimore's citizens, for peaceful protests, and for response to the blight and despair...

    Seeking justice, we pray for the welfare of Baltimore's citizens, for peaceful protests, and for response to the blight and despair with which so many of our neighbors live.

    Read More -Seeking Calm in Baltimore