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D’var Torah, Shavuot, 5784 - A Tale of Two Grains

06/10/2024 11:17:22 AM

Jun10

Rabbi Rudin

 

Rabbi Rudin

And you shall count from the gathering of the first Omer of barley seven weeks: fifty days and then at the wheat harvest make a new offering... (Leviticus...Read more...

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

06/05/2024 12:50:50 PM

Jun5

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

Rabbi Rudin

Parshat BaMidbar On the Move Again - A Tale of Two Rallies

06/05/2024 12:37:25 PM

Jun5

Rabbi Rudin

Read about the Israel Day Parade on June 9th

 

The Adath Shalom Delegation to the Israel Day Parade along with our friend from Ofakim (sister city) Daniel Ori.  BIG tip of the Rabbinic Shtreimel to Ilyssa Tepperman...Read more...

B’Chukotai - Let the Land Rest- and let us rest too! The Sabbatical Year- and This Year

05/29/2024 01:03:48 PM

May29

Rabbi Rudin

 

In this week’s Torah portion, the final portion of the Book of Leviticus, we are told to be sure to allow the Land to lie fallow every seven years in celebration of the Sabbatical Year.   Not only that, but during the same sabbatical year, shemitta in Hebrew, we are to free all indentured...Read more...

Parshat Emor: The Blasphemer: Asking for Shelter, Invoking Destruction

05/13/2024 09:00:56 AM

May13

Rabbi Rudin

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Parshat Emor features one of the most disturbing incidents of the Torah: a young man, born to an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father, seeks entry into the tribal encampment of Dan, his mother’s tribe.  When he is rejected, he appeals to the Beit Din, the court of Moses...Read more...

To Ofakim- Post-Pesach Greeting

05/08/2024 02:14:07 PM

May8

Rabbi Rudin

Shalom Friends;

Below, please find a greeting we prepared and sent to the Ofakim Community, our partner community in Israel (located in Southern Israel) in conclusion of Passover and wishing them a Happy Israel Independence Day.

 

 Ofakim and Metrowest have been in a partnership since the 1990’s- a partnership dramatically strengthened and reinforced this past year in the...Read more...

D’var Torah for Pesach, 5784 The Three Needs of the Exodus

04/17/2024 01:27:08 PM

Apr17

Free Yourself and Your Home of the...Read more...

Israel Solidarity Delegation Last Report

04/10/2024 10:11:33 AM

Apr10

Rabbi Rudin

Our trip to partner community Ofakim

Resilience, Hope, Solidarity- Final Thoughts

Our group in front of the memorial mural of October 7th when fifty citizens of Ofakim lost their lives, many in the acts of defense that eventually drove the terrorists out of the city.

The shelter of anonymity...Read more...

Israel Solidarity Mission Part II -Southern Israel- Tears, Love, Determination

04/03/2024 10:36:57 AM

Apr3

Rabbi Rudin

In this week’s Torah portion, Shemini, we relive the harrowing deaths of the projected future leaders of the nation, Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu.

Wise, kind, virtuous and gifted, the two young men approach the Holy of Holies without permission on the day when the Tabernacle is inaugurated.  As divine flame emerges from the Holy of Holies to consume the offering outside on the altar, signaling the arrival of G-d’s...Read more...

Adath Shalom’s Israel Solidarity Delegation -March, 2024

03/26/2024 09:15:51 AM

Mar26

Rabbi Rudin

Memorial at the Nova Music Festival Site

 

Four intense days of volunteering, supporting, bearing...Read more...

Parshat VaYikra- Hearing, Heeding and Doing

03/20/2024 09:39:07 AM

Mar20

Rabbi Rudin

(G-d) called to Moses and spoke to him…

The first word of this week’s Torah portion, VaYikra, is one of the most immediate and evocative of the entire scripture.   Take a look at the way it appears in every Torah scroll in the world:

VaYikra- G-d is...Read more...

Parshat Pekudei: Looking at Our Community Through the Eyes of a Guest

03/13/2024 10:34:12 AM

Mar13

Rabbi Rudin

A few weeks ago, Rabbi Rafi Tvizer of Ofakim, Israel, part of a delegation to the Greater MetroWest Jewish Federation sent from the communities that had been devastated by the horrific events of Black Shabbat, arrived to stay with me for two nights as part of the home hospitality featured in these emotional and powerful delegations.  I have known Rabbi Rafi- we met while both volunteering during cleanup from Hurricane Sandy when he was...Read more...

D’var Torah: VaYakhel- Our Tabernacle, Our Community, Our World

03/06/2024 09:28:24 AM

Mar6

Rabbi Rudin

This Week’s Torah Portion Speaks About the Needs of Our Day

This week’s Torah portion describes the actual assembly of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), or wilderness sanctuary, which served as the spiritual center of the Jewish encampment on the way to the Promised...Read more...

Parshat Ki Tissa, 5784 - The Golden Calf and the Pattern of Brokeness -

02/27/2024 01:16:07 PM

Feb27

Rabbi Rudin

A disturbing pattern appears throughout the Torah narratives.

 

At first, everything seems pristine and pure.  G-d’s intention and plan moves forward to a stunning and holy conclusion- and then there’s a sudden dark turn that forces G-d’s hand as it were and a new, broken reality...Read more...

        A Special Shabbat Guest, this coming Shabbat, 2/23-24

02/20/2024 09:03:21 AM

Feb20

 

Dear Adath Shalom Mishpacha (family);

Rabbi Rafi Tvizer of Ofakim

We are all looking forward to an exciting upcoming weekend! Rabbi Rafi Tvizer from the “City of Heroes”, our Ofakim...Read more...

Tarshat Teruma - Building the Mishkan

02/13/2024 05:48:19 PM

Feb13

Rabbi Rudin

A Message for Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month

Can you imagine a situation in which you make a donation to a worthy cause - only to be told, no thank you?  We have enough?

 

That’s what...Read more...

Parshat Yitro - How Does the Covenant Work Exactly?

01/29/2024 09:59:23 AM

Jan29

Rabbi Rudin

 

On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai…the Israelites encamped there in front of the mountain.

 

Moses went up to God. יהוה called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus...Read more...

Hot off the Press! Shabbat Shirah, 5784

01/23/2024 01:55:06 PM

Jan23

Rabbi Rudin

Counting Birds

Note: This Shabbat, Shabbat Shirah, the Shabbat of Song has a tradition to feed birds.   We devote one Shabbat a year to focusing on songs to G-d: birds sing to G-d constantly!  In gratitude to our winged friends, we scatter crumbs and seeds for them, especially in the winter.  Also, please take part in the worldwide bird count which runs from February 16-19, collecting important data on bird...Read more...

D’var Torah for Parshat Bo

01/17/2024 09:02:34 AM

Jan17

Rabbi Rudin

What does it take for someone to change their mind?

Pharaoh is the archetype of the cruel, oppressive tyrant who is so filled with hate, so invested in his own power and ego that he refuses to have the slightest bit of empathy for the people he has enslaved and brutalized.  His lack...Read more...

Celebrate: It’s the Months of Shevat!

01/09/2024 11:25:20 AM

Jan9

Rabbi Rudin

This month’s, (the Hebrew month of Shevat (January/February)) zodiac sign is Aquarius.  In Hebrew it’s called by the more prosaic name of דלי D’li- which literally means a bucket, water container or vessel.

 

Part of the meaning is purely geographical: in the...Read more...

Parshat Shemot: The Never-ending Exodus

01/02/2024 09:29:49 AM

Jan2

Rabbi Rudin

I’ve heard that every person has a central metaphor through which they see life.  For some, life is a journey, for others a quest and for others perhaps a climb, a circus, a dream or even a feast.

In this week’s Torah portion, we are introduced to what I think is Judaism’s...Read more...

Recognizing the Brother in the Other- D’var Torah for Parshat VaYechi

12/27/2023 11:03:11 AM

Dec27

Rabbi Rudin

Not just Fundraising… But Friendship! Adath Shalom pilots a Bridge-Building program with our Sister Community in Israel

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi, the long-estranged tribes of Israel are finally united once again.  The burden of generations of rivalry and hatred that...Read more...

D’var Torah: VaYigash 5784 - The Essence of the Book of Genesis and of the Torah

12/20/2023 08:47:41 AM

Dec20

Rabbi Rudin

There is no more poignant and beautiful moment in the Torah than this week’s Parsha when Judah opens his heart to his estranged and unrecognized brother, begging for him to release Benjamin who has been framed, and to accept him, Judah, in his stead as a slave.

At that...Read more...

Page o Chanukah stuff

12/13/2023 09:42:51 AM

Dec13

                                                                        Page O Chanukah...Read more...

Chanukah  5784

12/04/2023 08:53:02 AM

Dec4

Rabbi Rudin

So here’s the question: Is Chanukah a historical commemoration? You know, the paradigm of Jewish holidays: they tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat.

Not according to Rabbi Tzadok of Lublin, one of the 19th century’s most creative and thoughtful Jewish...Read more...

Parshat VaYishlach, 5784 - The Kiss Heard Around the World (or was it a bite?)

11/28/2023 01:16:48 PM

Nov28

Beyond being the sacred text that molded western civilization and has had the most impact of any work of literature ever, the Bible in and general and the Torah in particular contain what can only be described as incredible storytelling.

Take this week’s parsha.  Jacob and Esau,...Read more...

 Parshat Toldot/Chodesh Kislev, 5784 Chanukah, 5784:  Bringing and Being the Light

11/15/2023 09:55:51 AM

Nov15

Rabbi Rudin

Three of our congregational leaders at the Washington Rally on November 14th

 

Adath Shalom’s Vice President gave us the theme of this year back at Rosh HaShana when she told us to Be the Light. Now, as we prepare for...Read more...

Chayei Sarah, 5784 Campus Update: One of our College Students Speaks out!

11/07/2023 05:35:28 PM

Nov7

Sarah Imenu, Sarah Our Mother, whose life is celebrated in this week’s Parsha, exemplifies the authenticity and moral courage that nurtures the Jewish people to this day. It is appropriate to share the words of one of our community’s spiritual successors of Sarah as we continue to be nurtured by her example.

This week’s D’var Tora comes to us from Adath Shalom alumna, Carly, who celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at our shul and...Read more...

Hunkering Down or Heading Out?  

11/01/2023 10:42:18 AM

Nov1

Rabbi Rudin

Abraham our Ancestor is not exactly a shrinking violet. When his nephew Lot is kidnapped among others by a large invading force, Abraham does not suffice with prayer. He assembles a small coalition and goes after the invaders.  Coming by night upon the overconfident army of the Mesopatamian...Read more...

It is Time to Pay Attention: D’var Torah for Lech L’cha, 5784

10/23/2023 09:14:15 AM

Oct23

Rabbi Rudin

In this week’s Parsha, Lech L’cha, we are introduced to Abraham. 

Kind of a weird introduction, actually. “G-d said to Abraham, ‘Go from your country, your birthplace, your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and magnify your name and through you all the families of the...Read more...

Love for and of Israel

10/17/2023 01:33:42 PM

Oct17

Jon Kessler

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Dear Adath Shalom Family;

This week's D'var Torah was written by our member Jon Kessler. Jon asks us to look beyond the darkness and challenges of this moment and to reflect on our own relationship with the land and people of Israel.  Whatever your connection, I hope that you...Read more...

Simchat Torah - Judaism Celebrates Change

10/04/2023 09:19:13 AM

Oct4

Rabbi Rudin

If you’ve seen or heard about Simchat Torah celebrations in New York, Moscow, Boston, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, London, Johannesburg, you know that they are huge, joyful spectacles where we dance our Torahs out into the streets and the joy, music and celebration are explosive and...Read more...

The Sukkah: Enduring in Its Impermanence Sukkot 5784

09/27/2023 08:58:03 AM

Sep27

Rabbi Rudin

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Sitting out in the Sukkah on a crisp fall evening is the mother of all immersive experiences.

You feel somehow secure and enclosed in the flimsy walls and patchy roof but at the same time, the fragility of the shelter makes you acutely aware of the outside darkness and the...Read more...

Yom Kippur, 5784

09/19/2023 08:44:19 AM

Sep19

Rabbi Rudin

Every year we are asked to run a spiritual marathon - 25 hours of prayer, reflection, repentance and… fasting!

I hear stories of our ancestors in the old country making it a literal marathon where they are in shul for the entire time, everyone dressed in white robes,...Read more...

The Meaning of Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, the Renewal of the World

09/11/2023 03:02:57 PM

Sep11

Rabbi Rudin

Rosh HaShana is just another day, right? It’s not an equinox or a solstice. It has no astronomical significance. No eclipse, no magnetic flux, no bells and whistles. It’s not even the first month of the year - it’s the seventh. It’s not even the anniversary of the...Read more...

When Do We Do the Inner Work?

09/03/2023 10:21:33 PM

Sep3

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

D’var Torah for Selichot Services, 5783/2023

Selichot services take place on Saturday night and we hear again the plaintive...Read more...

The Shofar Ten - Part II - Rabbi Saadya Gaon’s Final Five Reasons for Sounding the Shofar

08/30/2023 06:49:33 AM

Aug30

Rabbi Rudin

The sound of the Shofar is powerful, evocative, moving - but why exactly? To try to explain, Rabbi Saadya Gaon, Rosh Yeshiva of the Harvard of Yeshivas, Sura back in tenth century Babylonia, near modern day Baghdad assigned not one but ten Jewish historical moments that the Shofar...Read more...

The Shofar Ten - Part One

08/21/2023 12:34:54 PM

Aug21

Rabbi Rudin

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The plaintive cry of the Shofar is a highlight of Rosh HaShana but what exactly does it mean?

Tenth Century whiz-kid Rabbi (he was appointed head of the largest Yeshiva in Babylonia at only 36 years old) Saadia Gaon gives us ten spiritual associations that the Shofar...Read more...

Rosh Chodesh Elul: Sound the Shofar!  Eight Things to Know about Elul

08/14/2023 09:18:44 AM

Aug14

Rabbi Rudin

 

The Jewish month that begins on Thursday and Friday is the last month of the year - Elul. The Shofar is sounded each day of Elul (including Rosh Chodesh and aside from the last day of the month) to awaken our souls to Teshuva (repentance),...Read more...

Parshat Re’eh: I have set before you a blessing and a curse… The Summer of 2023: Seeking blessing, facing challenges

08/08/2023 08:41:54 AM

Aug8

Rabbi Rudin

This week’s parsha declares that in every circumstance, we have the opportunity to wrest blessings from challenges.

In a difficult summer that saw the highest recorded temperatures in history, filled our skies with smoke and challenged us with the anxieties of uncertain times,...Read more...

Parshat VaEtchanan- Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation

07/24/2023 09:28:01 AM

Jul24

Rabbi Rudin

The Unanswered Prayer

 

At that time, I begged G-d…let me please cross over and see the good land across the Jordan, the goodly highlands and the mountains of Israel! (Deuteronomy 3:25)

Moses has dedicated his entire...Read more...

The White Fast and the Black Fast... and Why-

07/18/2023 03:51:49 PM

Jul18

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

     Listen to Rabbi Rudin - Click HERE 
 

There are Two 24 hour Fast Days in Judaism: the White Fast of Yom Kippur and the Black Fast of Tisha B’Av.

Many people fast during...Read more...

                        Mattot-Masei: These are the Journeys of the Children of Israel…                           

07/11/2023 01:49:49 PM

Jul11

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

The Torah’s account of the forty-two encampments of our ancient travels through the wilderness on their way to Israel contains a message.  Miraculous wells of pure water that spring from the rocks, enemies that dog our steps but who fall before our faith,...Read more...

The Season of Sorrow:  Tisha B'Av  and the Three Weeks

07/04/2023 10:44:05 AM

Jul4

 Know for certainty that every descent we experience in life is only for the sake  of rising up even higher

-Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav

 On the Ninth of Av, the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people...Read more...

All of Us Means All of Us D'var Torah for  Parshat Chukkat-Balak

06/27/2023 10:21:19 PM

Jun27

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

This interpretation of the Torah narrative is inspired by Rabbinic teachings called Midrash.  

In this week’s Torah portion, those who hate and fear us, in this case, his majesty, Balak ben Tzippur, King of Moab and his allies, hire a major league sorcerer (in modern terms, we’d call him an ‘influencer’), Balaam, to curse us.  

I know that those you curse are cursed, says...Read more...

The End of Strife Parshat Korach, 5783Book of Numbers, 16-18

06/21/2023 11:37:57 AM

Jun21

Rabbi Moshe Rudin


strife

This week’s Parsha, Korach, describes a terrible schism in the Jewish people.  The once righteous but ultimately mistaken and sinful Korach, who has been passed over for priestly leadership in favor of his cousin, Aaron, gathers a large group and attacks Moses...Read more...

The Five Minute Rabbi Part Two

06/13/2023 08:50:51 AM

Jun13

Rabbi Rudin

Don’t Read- Listen!

Right Here

 

This is part II of a mini-podcast series on the laws of Shabbat observance in...Read more...

A Darkness that Can Be  Felt - Interfaith Dialogue in the Haze

06/07/2023 01:43:02 PM

Jun7

Rabbi Rudin

Once a month I take part in an interfaith conversation with a group of Christians, Hindus and Muslims. Over the time that our Interfaith Council has met, we have learned to trust each other and become friends. Our discussions are open-hearted. Despite...Read more...

The Five Minute Rabbi

05/31/2023 09:29:47 AM

May31

Rabbi Rudin

Don’t read this- listen to it right here!

 

The Torah says (Exodus, parshat Mishpatim): Six Days you shall labor and perform all of your...Read more...

       Shavuot: Seven Weeks to Freedom

05/23/2023 03:11:31 PM

May23

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

            

What is Shavuot?  Well, seven weeks ago we celebrated the anniversary of the Exodus. Freedom from slavery and the horrors of Pharaoh’s Egypt. ...Read more...

In the Desert: Again. Parshat BaMidbar

05/14/2023 07:02:22 PM

May14

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

In Numbers, the fourth book of the Torah, we join the Jewish people on their journey through the howling wilderness on our way to the Promised Land.  We encounter moments of joy and challenges of rebellion and disaster.  But through it all, though long...Read more...

The Secret of Jewish Observance

05/08/2023 10:52:09 PM

May8

Rabbi Moshe Rudin

Contemplating the Conclusion of the Jewish Year, 5783

Looking at Jewish spiritual life, it’s really astonishing just how much stuff we do.  I mean look at it:  We start the year by blowing loud blasts on Ram’s...Read more...

Lag B’Omer!  The Holiday of Hiddenness

05/03/2023 05:33:17 AM

May3

Rabbi Rudin

No texts, no prayers, no services…. And no real name!  Lag B’Omer actually means “thirty three days of the Omer Count”! 

 

So what gives?

Read more...

The Five Minute  Rabbi:  What to Know about...Counting the Omer!

05/02/2023 05:36:38 PM

May2

Rabbi Rudin

                                                                                      See/hear this week's message on the go:  

Read more...

Israel: It’s Not Complicated

04/25/2023 01:26:23 PM

Apr25

Rabbi Rudin

It is very rare to see positive coverage of Israel in the world press.  There are too many examples and too much explanation is required to expose how profound the distortion is for this short message.  But as one who has been to Israel thirty times (at...Read more...

Take the Clean Speech Challenge - Together with Jewish Organizations and Shuls from all over Jersey!

04/18/2023 08:45:44 AM

Apr18

Rabbi Rudin

Who is the one who desires life, who loves their days and sees good?  It is the one who guards their tongue from speaking ill, and their lips from guile, turning aside from hurtfulness, seeking peace and pursuing peace.

-Psalm 34:13-15

Judaism doesn’t...Read more...

Where is our miracle?   D’var Torah for the Seventh Day of Pesach

04/10/2023 11:23:14 AM

Apr10

Rabbi Rudin

 

On the Seventh Day of Pesach which begins Tuesday night, we celebrate the Parting of the Sea of Reeds. 

The story goes like this: Pharaoh and Egypt have finally released Israel.  We head out, mustering at Ramses and then...Read more...

Tishrei vs. Nisan - The Great Creation Debate

03/15/2021 12:44:53 PM

Mar15

Rabbi Rudin

D’var Torah for Rosh Chodesh

 

When was the world brought into being?  When did G-d say, “let there be light?”  When was humanity created in the image of the...Read more...

Celebrating Women’s History MonthThe Mystery of the Tzovot

03/08/2021 09:29:40 PM

Mar8

Rabbi Rudin

 

Dedicated to Cantor Lois, Rabbi Jill Hammer and Dr. Ora Horn Prouser, my great teachers and sources of light

 

In the building...Read more...

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...Read more...

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!...Read more...

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...Read more...

"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...

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784