Ritual Director

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 »

REFLECTIONS ON COUNTING THE OMER

Posted on June 1, 2022

REFLECTIONS ON COUNTING THE OMER We are told in Leviticus 23:15-16 starting with the eve of the second day of Pesach, (when in temple times we are to bring an omer of barley as an offering) we are to count seven weeks, 49 days. The day after the end of seven weeks will make fifty Continue Reading »

 CAN THERE BE JEWISHNESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT” GOD-CENTRICITY”

Posted on May 9, 2022

 CAN THERE BE JEWISHNESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT” GOD-CENTRICITY” (for DIH with love and respect)    The question arises “can I be spiritual and have a sense of connected Jewishness without stressing the primacy of God and a relationship with God? I have known proclaimed atheists who are still very spiritual people. I know secular, non-observant Continue Reading »

OUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Posted on April 26, 2022

YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD To me, a big part of religious involvement is developing and understanding a relationship with God. I understand that this is not necessarily true of everyone. I understand that there are people who feel a connection to, and who observe religious tradition without a deep sense of connectedness to God Continue Reading »

WHO BENEFITS FROM MOURNERS’ KADDISH

Posted on March 31, 2022

 WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF MOURNERS’ KADDISH?    There are several different versions of the statement we know as Kaddish. There is the full Kaddish, an abbreviated one we call Hatzi Kaddish, a longer Kaddish d’Rabbanan we say after Torah study and a couple of others. The best-known version, to most of the Jewish community, Continue Reading »

MEETING GOD HALF-WAY

Posted on March 7, 2022

PERSONAL RESPOSIBILITY      There is an old joke. An old man is shaking a fist at God. He says “Dear Lord, I’ve been a pious man all my life. I observe the mitzvot. I am ethical and kind in my dealings with my fellow man. I pray regularly in shul. I have only asked one 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 »

THE BEAUTY OF HOME OBSERVANCE

Posted on February 14, 2022

BRING IT HOME Enhancing spirituality and knowledge in the synagogue are, to me, important parts of growth as a Jew and as a human being.  Paying attention to my obligations to God in ritual behavior (prayer, using tallit and t’fillin, being part a minyan) are important, perhaps vital, to a full Jewish life. I say Continue Reading »

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