Spirituality – Ritual

TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT GOD TO TREAT YOU SHABBAT CHOL KA MOED PESACH 5784

Posted on May 21, 2024

SHABBAT CHOL HA’MOED PESACH (5784) Shabbat Shalom. Mo’adim l’Simcha. In a moment of great weakness, Rabbi Greene has permitted me to prepare a D’var Torah for this morning. Some of you long-time regulars in the evening minyan may recognize a familiar theme. If so, I apologize, but it is one that is very important to Continue Reading »

IT TAKES SEVERAL READINGS TO GET THE FULL MEANING

Posted on January 21, 2024

INQUIRE, STUDY DEEPLY, STUDY REPEATEDLY Why do we read the entire Torah in annual cycles? Every year, starting and ending at Simchat Torah we read, in the same order, the same words from the five books of Moses. Is there not some concern the repetition will become rote or even boring? Might we not just Continue Reading »

A QUESTION OF SEQUENCE

Posted on October 27, 2023

A QUESTION OF SEQUENCE    A friend pointed out an interesting anomaly in a portion of our liturgy.  There are a number of places in the service, notably early in the Torah service where we say “HaShem Melech, HaShem Moloch HaShem Yimloch la’olam va’ed, God is King, God was King, God will be king for Continue Reading »

THE CHANGES TO THE AMIDAH FOR THE HIGH HOLIDAY SEASON

Posted on August 22, 2023

THE CHANGES TO THE AMIDAH FOR THE HIGH HOLIDAY SEASON Each year, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there are changes and additions to the weekday and the holiday and Shabbat Amidah. There are changes to all of the first three blessings. To one of the thirteen weekday petitions, and to the last two. Taken Continue Reading »

SOUNDING THE SHOFAR DURING ELUL

Posted on August 23, 2022

SHOFAR BLOWING DURING ELUL During the month of Elul, the last Hebrew month before Rosh Hashanah, the Shofar is sounded at every morning service except Shabbat. In our congregation we also blow shofar at night, a custom we developed for congregants who, because of work schedules etc., could not make the morning minyan. The sounding Continue Reading »

DEUTERONOMY AS A METAPHOR FOR GROWTH

Posted on August 8, 2022

DEUTERONOMY AS METAPHOR     The book of D’varim (Deuteronomy) can be looked upon as a metaphor for personal growth. Let’s start with a look at Moses at the burning bush in Exodus, chapter 3. Moses has, rather impetuously, killed an Egyptian taskmaster and had to flee to Midian. Now he is tending his father-in-law’s sheep Continue Reading »

OBSERVING THE FAST DAYS

Posted on July 10, 2022

THE FAST DAYS I was thinking about the rituals commemorating the humiliating defeat of Israel/Judea culminating with the destruction of the first and second Temples first by the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE and later the Roman Empire in 70 CE. Our rituals concerning national calamity involve scriptural readings, changes to the prayer Continue Reading »

KABBALAT SHABBAT

Posted on February 22, 2022

KABBALAT SHABBAT    One of the most beautiful moments in the week is the time, late Friday afternoon, when the work week is finally ending and Shabbat is about to begin. It is, for those of us who take Shabbat at all seriously, a special, spiritual mystical time. It is a moment when we can Continue Reading »

APPLYING SPIRITUAL GROWTH TO LIVING ONE’S LIFE

Posted on February 2, 2022

APPLYING SPIRITUAL GROWTH TO LIVING ONE’S LIFE LIFE Recently, a friend who had read most of my posts asked how my spirituality and my relationship to the prayers and the texts affects my day-to-day life. How does this change my life, my behavior, my relationship with the world? I have paraphrased his question a bit, Continue Reading »

PARTICIPATION IN THE SHALIACH TZIBBOR’S REPETITION OF THE AMIDAH

Posted on January 7, 2022

THOUGHTS ON CONGREGATONAL “PARTICIPATION” IN THE REPETITION OF THE AMIDAH The Amidah is the central section of the traditional prayer service. It consists of 19 separate prayers or B’rachot on ordinary weekdays, seven on Shabbat or a Holiday and what feels like 15 or 20 million on the High Holidays, especially Rosh Hashana Musaf. The Continue Reading »