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…

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…

Life's Ninth of Av's

Life’s Ninth of Av’s

I have a story to tell you. It’s about a tiny bird. I’ll come back to that. Tisha b’Av has been set aside as a day for the Jewish community to remember the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple two thousand…

Father's Day: Contemplating American & Immigrant Dads

Father’s Day: Contemplating American & Immigrant Dads

As I wrap up a perfectly lovely and loving Father’s Day, my children are nowhere nearby but I have had wonderful phone conversations and know that they are well. Before I can put this day to bed, I feel compelled…

Where Was God Then? Where Is God Now?

Where Was God Then? Where Is God Now?

A horrific story of the Holocaust to share with you. Many of you will know it. Young people might not. But it describes just one small, terrible moment during which only three people died, which was pretty benign for genocide….

Kids in Action

Kids in Action

There’s a story about a kid named Sammy who was walking along feeling sorry for himself because his family had recently moved to a new town, he hadn’t made any friends, and his parents seemed to be busy all the…

Celebrating Purim in the #MeToo and Post-Parkland Era

Celebrating Purim in the #MeToo and Post-Parkland Era

It’s the season of Jonah in our home – his birthday is February 14, his yahrzeit is March 5, and his Concert is March 10. Since he’s on my mind, no reason he shouldn’t be on yours as well. So here’s…