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Torah with Rabbi Rudin: Check out Rabbi Rudin's Hebrew and Torah classes!

08/11/2020 02:29:47 PM

Aug11

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

Rabbi Rudin

Parshat Ki Tissa; The Sin that Keeps on Giving

03/02/2021 05:12:35 PM

Mar2

Rabbi Rudin

golden calf

When the people saw that Moshe delayed descending Mount Sinai, they went to Aharon: Make us a god that will lead us, for the man Moshe who took us out of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 

Ever since then, in every sin that Israel has...Read more...

Purim, 5781 - The Nighttime Megillah

02/24/2021 09:30:34 PM

Feb24

Of all the Books of the Bible, only the Book of Esther, the Megillah, is publicly read at night rather than only by day the way we read Torah. What is the hidden meaning of this night reading?   The story of the Megillah seems to conceal as much as it reveals. What is hidden beneath the palace intrigues and rivalries? What does the laughter and the satire conceal?
 
In two short videos, Rabbi Rudin explores the Nighttime Megillah and its meaningful and surprising message for right now.   Check it out!
 

Part One: Five nagging questions

Part Two: Light in the Darkness

Enjoy The Maccabeats' Purim Song about the Hidden Miracle!

 

The Mishkan -  More Than an Ikea Project - D'var Torah for Parshat Terumah, 5781

02/24/2021 10:26:05 AM

Feb24

Man and woman building diy furniture

The last two thirds of the Book of Exodus is focused on building the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the traveling compound containing a fenced-in courtyard, altar, tent and inner sanctum sanctorum that held the Aron HaBrit; the Ark...Read more...

Parshat Mishpatim -  Beginning the Journey with Celebration

02/10/2021 12:50:33 PM

Feb10

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

Mountains

This week's Torah portion, Mishpatim, contains the "rules of the road" for creating a society infused with the holiness of the Sinai Moment.  It is the way back to the lost Garden; the primal harmony and staging ground for the full realization of our godly creative potential....Read more...

Parshat  Yitro - The Ten Commandments… Plus 613?

02/01/2021 09:17:59 AM

Feb1

 

                                                           ten commendments

The Rabbis are clear: Moses hung...Read more...

Shabbat Message - Parshat Bo...

01/22/2021 12:51:10 PM

Jan22

In this Parsha, Moses instructs us to always remember the moment of liberation from Egyptian Slavery: ultimately it was not a miracle, not a plague but the will for freedom and release from oppression that powered the Exodus.  That will and that longing burns in the Jewish heart: I invite you to light Shabbat candles this evening and feel that flame within. 

Hybrid Shabbat services tomorrow start at 9:30 AM- join us on Zoom! Shabbat on Broadway is tonight on Zoom: see the calendar. 

As a lead-in to Shabbat, check out the beautiful Martin Luther King Celebration organized by Adath Shalom's Rebecca Fisher and her family. 

We Have A Dream sign for MLK day

Join us for our Tu Bishvat Celebrations- Gift yourself a fruit that you haven't eaten since before Rosh HaShana, say, "Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, Boreh Pri Ha'Eytz", she'hechiyanu and share with a loved one: reflect on the blessings and wonder of the natural world!  

Parshat Bo, 5781

01/20/2021 11:00:17 AM

Jan20

Adonai said to come to Pharoah...
 
If Moses is told to come to Pharoah rather than to go to Pharoah, there must be a deeper meaning.
 
What is the difference after all between coming and going?
 
Well, coming means moving toward and going means moving away. "Come here." "Go there." "Come" means moving toward the speaker and "go" means moving away from the speaker.
 
So, by saying come to...Read more...

Build a Year of Blessing, One Step at a Time

01/13/2021 11:04:49 AM

Jan13

Before his death, our ancestor, Jacob, bestows blessings on all of us. They thrum and echo in the heart of every Jew. Each of us draws our spiritual strength from these blessings, said so long ago but still reverberating. We were meant to be a blessing and so we have been.
 
But there is a strange uncertainty: how many blessings did Jacob bestow? Was it thirteen? One to each tribe and a double blessing to Joseph through his sons...Read more...

D'var Torah for Parshat Shemot - Say Their Names

01/06/2021 11:36:39 AM

Jan6

12 tribes of Israel in stained glass

These are the names of the Children of Israel who came down to Egypt with their father, Jacob and their households:
 
Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Judah, Yisachar, Zebulon, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher...and Joseph who...Read more...

Making Sparks Fly! Developing Your Spiritual Dynamo - D'var Torah for Parshat VaYechi

12/30/2020 03:48:50 PM

Dec30

Faraday Machine

Back in 1830, young Michael Faraday was messing around with magnets and wires when he made a curious discovery: when you moved a magnet close to a wire coil, it produced a little zap of electricity! Wowza! Rather than metal plates in stinky...Read more...

Fasting as a Conservative Jewish Spiritual Practice The Tenth of Tevet and the Time Machine of Hunger...

12/23/2020 11:21:15 AM

Dec23

Jerusalem wall

Every so often it seems that fasting as a health practice comes into vogue, complete with studies, graphs and excited personal testimonies.
 
But Judaism has highlighted seasonal fasts as a way of focusing our hearts and minds for the...Read more...

The Secret of the Light -  Chanukah, 5781

12/16/2020 11:42:42 AM

Dec16

ancient and modern menorahs

This essay is my journey in Torah, seeking understanding, wisdom and strength to endure during these terrible months. I dedicate it to those who have lost loved ones, to the holy souls who have passed in our congregational family and to...Read more...

Chanukah, 5781 - A Personal Dedication to Share

12/09/2020 08:58:19 AM

Dec9

Street with Chanuka lights

Rabbi Rudin’s Chanukah​ Prayer to Share

Daveed Diggs​ (Jefferson/Lafayette in Hamilton) Puppy for Hanukkah

Maccabeats​ bring the light! Click to hear their latest...Read more...

The Power of... Bribes? - Parshat VaYishlach, 5781

12/02/2020 12:11:07 PM

Dec2

Jacob hugs Esau cartoon

Our primordial ancestral family's odyssey is rife with conflict and drama....Here's a quick recap.

Abraham forms an eternal bond with G-d involving progeny: a great and numerous nation, territory, the Land of Israel and prosperity -- to be a...Read more...

Let Us Give Thanks...

11/23/2020 10:33:27 AM

Nov23

Sunrise over clouds

Many, many years ago when I was a Jew-froed college kid in Minnesota, I was busking with my old guitar on campus and met up with one of the many Evangelical youth ministers, who -- hearing me singing in Hebrew -- wanted to talk about God.

Not wanting to have a long, drawn-out showdown with a missionary, I stated flatly that I didn’t believe in God, that I was angry at God, that I was in rebellion against the whole idea of God and the failures of faith to address the crises of humanity. Did I mean it? To a degree, yes, but as we Jews all know, our relationship with HaShem is complicated...so rather than opening the window to a nuanced and complex inner experience, I just gave the youth minister the shorthand version, hoping to resolve things quickly.

But the minister saw through the ruse immediately. He smiled and said, “But you are haunted by God. You are infused with God -- God speaks powerfully through you.” Then we each went our separate ways in the cool Minneapolis spring night.

Reflecting on that brief exchange, over the years, I have thought that irrespective of our individual beliefs or lack of same, we Jews don’t just have a message -- we ARE a message. “You are My witnesses,” HaShem tells us through Prophet Isaiah. What is the message we embody?

That is too deep a question for any answer...but it seems to me that whatever it is, somehow we are a statement of faith, of eternal optimism. A people who have come through all that history, and the worst that humanity had to throw at us, and found a way to rise up time after time, not for selfishness and self-aggrandizement, but to bless the world in every human endeavor. I don’t think that it’s an accident that the CEO of Pfizer and the Chief Scientist of Moderna -- both the first companies to develop a vaccine -- are Jews, motivated by the search for healing truth.

To appropriate philosopher Marshall McLuhen’s proclamation about television: the media is the message, then whatever we as individual Jews believe or practice of our ancient faith, we are the message that HaShem has not given up on the world, that the still small Voice calling us to a higher life is still murmuring its gentle, challenging song in every human heart.
    
I am convinced more and more, from sixty years of life on this planet, that that message is the one that most needs to be heard by despairing, struggling, divided humanity.

The word Jew, Yehudi, literally means “proclaimer.” With every fiber of my being I abjure every child of Israel in this world to embrace that destiny, that message, to be that message. Many years ago now, I put to music words from King David’s Book of Psalms, which I shared at an interfaith Thanksgiving gathering. I haven’t looked at the song for a long time, but now that I have, it seems to me to express that message, at least as I understand it.

So -- truly, brothers and sisters of Beit Yisrael, let us give thanks to HaShem for the hope, love and strength implanted like a golden seed in our heart. Let us give thanks to HaShem, for we know somehow in our kishkes that HaShem is there waiting for us, encouraging us, supporting us through all the great trials of the times. Perhaps some call this the “self-actualization drive” or the placebo response or evolutionary imperative -- but we all know that whatever veil HaShem is concealed in, the light of pure life, pure being, shines through us. Let us give thanks.

Here is the song. Anything good about it is due to Yonatan’s fine recording -- its deficiencies are mine alone... Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Much love, Rabbi Rudin

"First, the  Truth" -  Parshat Toldot, 5781

11/18/2020 10:13:40 AM

Nov18

Lindsay Wolf, Guest Scholar

 

This week's D'var was prepared by Lindsay Wolf for her Bat Mitzvah which was held via Zoom on Shabbat Mincha.  We are so proud and were so wowed by Lindsay's essay into her read on the narrative of how Rebecca and Jacob tricked Isaac into giving the Firstborn Blessing to Jacob rather than Esau that I wanted to share her profound words with her congregation.  Mazal Tov, Lindsay!

Bat Mitzvah Lindsay with torahRead more...

G-d? Are you There? - Chayei Sarah, 5781

11/11/2020 04:47:20 PM

Nov11

Rebecca and Eliezer at the well

We mourn the loss of Torah giant and leader of world Jewry Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth. His keen intellect, kind heart and incredible ability to universalize and articulate...Read more...

Pleading for the World - Parshat VaYera, 5781

11/05/2020 12:46:58 PM

Nov5

 

Abraham in stained glass

G-d said to Abraham: The outcry of the evil of Sodom and Gomorroh has come before Me. I will descend and destroy these sinful cities.
 
Abraham answered: Will You destroy the innocent along with the wicked? Far be it from You to do such a thing,...Read more...

One was Abraham... Parshat Lech L’cha

10/29/2020 12:23:55 PM

Oct29

 

Avraham in white on a hill at sunset/sunrise

Four thousand years ago, there was a guy named Avraham (Abraham).

Four thousand years ago... Hammurabi was a century away. The Phaistos Disc, the world’s oldest, weirdest archeological find, whose languages and even purpose are...Read more...

Curses and Blessings: Human Freedom and Human Responsibility

10/22/2020 11:27:48 AM

Oct22

Charlotte Sussman, Guest Scholar

 

This way, that way street sign

Note: Charlotte celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at Adath Shalom this past Shabbat after many delays due to the pandemic. Mazal Tov to her and to her parents, Jon and Joy and brother Zachary. We were delighted to be able to hold the service...Read more...

Beresheet

10/15/2020 02:18:08 PM

Oct15

moon, stars, Beresheet

 

The Genesis stories are the foundations of Jewish culture and spirituality. These are not simple fables but a complex and nuanced saga that constantly challenges us to look deeper into the issues raised and into...Read more...

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah -   When is G-d Close?

10/09/2020 04:10:30 PM

Oct9

Shemini Atzeret: Shabbat

The end of the Tishrei Holidays When we begin to pray for rain/start of the growing season Yizkor is said, so Yahrtzeit Candles are lit. The image of the holiday is that it's G-d's leave-taking after spending the month of Tishrei with his people and the world. Visit the Sukkah but don't say the blessing.

 
Simchat Torah: Sunday

Celebrated only in the Diaspora: in Israel, it's celebrated...Read more...

Happy Sukkot! Chag Sameach!

10/01/2020 06:54:43 PM

Oct1

clip art sukkah

And at the time of ingathering, you shall celebrate the Feast of Sukkot at the turning of the year...Seven Days shall you dwell in Sukkot and you shall rejoice on your festival.
 
What's with the Booth in the Backyard?
 
Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur are sacred...Read more...

Yom Kippur, 5781

09/24/2020 12:42:07 PM

Sep24

Yom Kippur, the White Fast, is not just a day of self-denial.  It is a day when we remind ourselves who we really are: not a physical organism merely but a spiritual being.  The day is one of struggle but ultimately of freedom and cleansing: a demarcation of a fresh start.

Kippur, atonement, is related to the concept of K'fira, negation.  We temporarily seek to escape from the boundaries of our individual existence and...Read more...

Signs of Hope - D'var Torah for Rosh Hashana, 5781

09/17/2020 11:11:34 AM

Sep17

In his bestseller The Gifts of the Jews, writer Thomas Cahill points out that Judaism's unique outlook liberated the world from the perception of human history as an endless round of birth, growth, decay and death to one that recognized the possibility, indeed the inevitability, of growth, evolution and progress.   In other words, if Judaism can be boiled down to a single word, that word would be Tikvah -- Hope -- as in Israel's national...Read more...

Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782