The Owner of the Garden

The Owner of the Garden

In this week’s parasha, Ha’azinu, Israel has completed its forty years of post-Egypt wandering and is looking into the Promised Land from the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Moses is about to die and is offering his farewell address,…

It's New Year's -- Who's Up For Some Resolutioning?

It’s New Year’s — Who’s Up For Some Resolutioning?

You know this story? Back in Eastern Europe, sometime during the nineteenth century, there was a small village that had a Police Chief who found great pleasure in persecuting the Jews who lived there. One morning, the Police Chief encountered…

We're All Just Trying To Get Home

We’re All Just Trying To Get Home

Four weeks ago, 39 members of our temple registered to travel to Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma. Our objective was to retrace the steps of America’s Civil Rights Movement and ask ourselves, as Jews and as human beings, what those moments…

Thanksgiving Thoughts 2018

Thanksgiving Thoughts 2018

In these waning hours of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some of what has made me feel grateful today. Last Sunday afternoon, folks and their clergy of every denomination in my neighborhood joined together for a celebration of diversity, hope…

A Mixture That Must Happen: Tears of Sadness for the Tree of Life Family and, Eventually, Tears of Joy for Our Own

A Mixture That Must Happen: Tears of Sadness for the Tree of Life Family and, Eventually, Tears of Joy for Our Own

I presented this on Friday evening, November 2, 2018, one week after the Tree of Life murders in Pittsburgh. Months ago, and I don’t really understand how, Jedd and a quite-pregnant Tiffany Chesterson scheduled a babynaming for tonight. Didn’t they…

You Never Know What a Guest Might Bring!

You Never Know What a Guest Might Bring!

This d’rash was presented on Fri, Oct 26, 2018, at Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT, when Woodlands Community Temple was invited to participate in a spiritual-cultural exchange, sharing with them the music of our service, “A Joyful Noise,” as well…

Refugees Welcome!

Refugees Welcome!

This d’rash was presented as part of our synagogue’s observance of HIAS Refugee Shabbat. At the end, there is a letter that can help a refugee near where I live to remain in the United States with his family. Please…

With Another Quarter

With Another Quarter

Bereshit, the first chapters of Torah, tells the Jewish people’s story of Creation, opening our eyes to the many avenues for interpreting and understanding how (and why) the world came to be. Then there are our own Bereshit moments — when the…

Now What?

Now What?

Throughout my entire rabbinic career, whenever Sukkot has arrived, I have enjoyed explaining that sukkot – the three-sided booths we erect following Yom Kippur and in which we spend a week visiting with friends, dining with family, and watching squirrels…

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

In case you didn’t know, it’s the Hebrew month of Elul. These are the four weeks leading up to the High Holy Days, a time when most Jewish families are thinking about, well, probably nothing having to do with the…