Thoughts & Teachings

Lessons from our synagogue
  • Rabbi Ron Shulman · Anticipating 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, Shavuot celebrates 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

  • Rabbi Ron Shulman · Tell Passover's Story and Ask Questions

    In Torah, God commands Abraham to walk toward the land he will be shown to become a blessing and a great nation. This is our ancestor’s spiritual liberation, freed from idolatry to know God. Generations later, when Abraham’s descendants are actually enslaved in Egypt they await redemption. Fleeing Egyptian bondage they set out in great haste. This is our ancestor’s physical liberation. We tell both stories at our Passover Seders. We tell the well-known story... Read More

  • Prayer for the State of Israel

    Avinu She Ba shama’yim, Rock and Redeemer of the people Israel: Bless the State of Israel, with its promise of redemption. Shield it with Your love; spread over it the shelter of Your peace. Guide its leaders and advisors with Your light and Your truth. Help them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our Holy Land. Deliver them; crown their efforts with triumph. Bless the land with peace, and its inhabitants with lasting joy. And... Read More

  • Stephen Pomerantz · Building Meaning

    I sat here in this Sanctuary several weeks ago at a funeral with many of you, and experienced communal pain as never before. As a congregation we cried together, were profoundly silent together and afterwards we lingered in the lobby and hugged each other. It was heartbreaking, ….and it was astonishing.  Just a few days later, I was a world away in a breathtakingly beautiful town in Alaska. I found myself standing at the town dock with my wife, Leslie, and... Read More

  • Rabbi Ron Shulman · 40 Days of Awe

    We have begun our annual season of reflection and repentance. The Hebrew month of Elul, the last of the current Jewish year, is a time to look back on our deeds as we look forward to a new year for our lives. Midrash imagines that the forty days during which Moses was atop Mt. Sinai were from the first day of Elul through Yom Kippur. Forty days in God’s presence. Forty days to receive Torah. Forty days to establish the measure by which all of our days have... Read More

  • Rabbi Ron Shulman · Yahatz - Breaking the Middle Matzah

    Early in the Seder ritual, we break a piece of matzah, wrap it in a cloth, and hide the larger portion of it for after our meal. In some of our homes, children steal the wrapped matzah from the Seder leader and wait for a good “price” to return it. In other homes, the leader hides the matzah and the children search the house seeking it and then return it only after receiving their prize. Everyone knows the Seder can’t conclude until we eat this hidden matzah... Read More

  • Four Special Shabbatot · Rabbi Debi Wechsler

    This past Shabbat was 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

  • Rabbi Deborah Wechsler · Parshat Tetzaveh

    From the first parashah in the book of Shemot, of Exodus, Moses appears or is mentioned in every single parashah until the very last verses of the Torah.  He is written in to every account, every interaction, and every command.  Except for this week in Parshat Tetzaveh.  This is the only week from the moment Moses is born until the moment he records the story of his own death that Moses neither appears nor is mentioned. The Sages suggest two reasons for this... Read More

  • Rabbi Deborah Wechsler · Parshat Bo

    On 4 occasions the Torah tells us to teach our children and instruct them in the path of Judaism.  Each of the four passages has a direct connection with Pesach.  Three of the four are found in this week’s parshah, the fourth later in Devarim.  They are tied to what we know famously from the hagaddah, ve higadata le vinkha ba yom ha hu, you shall tell your son on that day, saying it is because of this which God did for me when he brought me out of Egypt.” (Exodus... Read More

  • Rabbi Debi Wechsler · Parshat Shemot

    This week a hero is born, a savior, you might say. We read the very 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... Read More

Today's Services

May 28 20 Iyyar

Our Next Shabbat

Sat, May 28

9:15 AM Shabbat Morning Service

6:45 PM Study Group

7:45 PM Minhah/Ma'ariv

8:51 PM Havdalah

Fri, June 3

6:00 PM Oneg Shabbat/Minhah

6:15 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

Sat, June 4

9:15 AM Shabbat Morning Service

7:00 PM Study Group

8:00 PM Minhah/Ma'ariv

Recent Sermon

May 14, 2016

Israel's Holy Day

Rabbi Ron Shulman

Transcript

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Prayer & Reflection

A community generated wall of prayers
  • When we approach something of great meaning we proceed slowly. We think, reflect, and prepare. May our counting these days of Omer...

    When we approach something of great meaning we proceed slowly. We think, reflect, and prepare. May our counting these days of Omer encourage us to live each day fully, to honor our responsibilities to people and to God, and to receive Torah anew for our lives.

    Read More -Counting the Omer
  • We pray that the State of Israel, the dawn of our people's redemption, experience security and peace. May the light of our tradition's...

    We pray that the State of Israel, the dawn of our people's redemption, experience security and peace. May the light of our tradition's ideals guide Israel's people and leaders. May those who defend our people's historic homeland find strength, courage, and humanity in their task. May Israel and her neighbors know peace. Amen.

    Read More -Prayer for the State of Israel
  • With all in Brussels and throughout the world, we grieve the loss of lives, praying for solace and healing. Denouncing these horrendous...

    With all in Brussels and throughout the world, we grieve the loss of lives, praying for solace and healing. Denouncing these horrendous acts of terror, we pray that hatred and violence may cease. Joining with all decent people, we commit ourselves to increasing compassion, goodness, and justice in our lives and for our world. Amen.

    Read More -Prayer for Brussels