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Community Blog

01/10/2020 11:28:41 AM

Jan10

Welcome! Check out Rabbi Lizz's divrei Torah and other community updates here.

Provisions, Protection, and Parshanut

01/14/2022 01:50:38 PM

Jan14

Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Beshallah in which the Israelites finally depart from their slave homes in Egypt. The parasha opens, “Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, ‘The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people roundabout, by way of the...Read more...

Parashat Bo: We Are Always Waiting to See if Rome Burns          

01/06/2022 02:50:26 PM

Jan6

          For the last several years since I first read Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg’s The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus, Parashat Bo immediately calls to mind her phrasing, “motionless tableau of leaving,” a “tableau of release” (page 165). There are many nuggets of wisdom I have learned from the four books of hers that I have read, but few have so...Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes, and Nachas

12/23/2021 03:52:17 PM

Dec23

Nibbles, Noshes & Nachas

Nachas-A Yiddish word meaning that you are happy and proud, especially of the...Read more...

Assimilation, Chanukah, and Joseph

12/03/2021 02:01:30 PM

Dec3

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach! Chanukah is at its core a holiday about embracing freedom of religion, a pride in being Jewish, and a refusal to change just for the sake of fitting in with those in power. As modern, progressive Jews, we have changed ourselves a bit to keep up with the times, but we maintain our Jewishness and can still appreciate our ancestors who fought for our right to do so. The emphasis of the miracle of the...Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes, & Nachas

11/29/2021 01:25:43 PM

Nov29

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Conspiring, Consequences, and Collateral 

11/12/2021 11:32:32 AM

Nov12

     Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Vayetzei, in which Jacob runs off to his uncle Laban’s house to escape his brother Esau, who in last week’s parasha he twice deceived and claimed what was rightfully Esau’s. In this week’s parasha, Jacob meets and immediately falls in love with Laban’s daughter Rachel. However, in the light of the morning after the wedding, he discovers that the...Read more...

Nothing About Us Without Us

11/05/2021 07:04:51 PM

Nov5

          Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Toldot, in which we read about the birth of Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Rebecca and Isaac. In the beginning of the parasha, the Torah tells us, “Isaac pleaded lenokhah ishto” (Genesis 25:21). Most commonly, this is translated as “on behalf of his wife,” but Rabbi Shai Held points out in his...Read more...

Voices, Visions, and Variety

10/15/2021 11:18:54 AM

Oct15

       Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Lech-Lecha, in which we start to learn about Abram. God forms a special covenant with Abram in this parasha which serves to effectively be the betrothal with the Hebrews that will develop into the ketubah signed with the Israelites at Mount Sinai. This parasha shows us a momentous moment and relationship for our peoplehood and faith, but...Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes, and Nachas

10/13/2021 10:06:22 AM

Oct13

Nibbles, Noshes & Nachas

Nachas-A Yiddish word meaning that you are happy and proud, especially of the...Read more...

Faith and Fantastical Beasts

10/08/2021 01:17:17 PM

Oct8

     Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is, of course, Parashat Noach, in which we read about the story of Noah’s ark, the flood that covered the whole earth, and finally a strange little story about a group of people that tried to build a tower up to heaven and were punished with the creation of multiple languages. 

     I am often pretty ungenerous in my reading of...Read more...

Blessings, Beasts, Bereshit

10/02/2021 09:07:47 AM

Oct2

Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Bereshit, the beginning of it all! In chapter two of Genesis, we read that God presented the first human with animals to keep the human company and for them to be in partnership over the earth. The exact meaning of the verses are unclear, because it appears to be telling us that God created the animals with this purpose, although chapter one tells us that the animals were...Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes & Nachas

09/29/2021 12:34:56 PM

Sep29

Nachas-A Yiddish word meaning that you are happy and proud, especially of the accomplishments of your children

Read more...

Climate, Catastrophe, and Coming Together

09/24/2021 08:59:34 AM

Sep24

                Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach! This Shabbat we celebrate Sukkot, the week-long festival of harvest and dwelling in temporary huts. As such, the Torah reading this Shabbat is a section from Exodus in which the rules of the three pilgrimage festivals, which include Sukkot, are given, along with the story of Moses desiring to...Read more...

Singing, Summarizing, and Simcha

09/23/2021 02:20:17 PM

Sep23

            Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Ha’azinu, in which Moses addresses the Israelites for the final time, singing them a song that warns of the future, containing blessings and curses. It is a beautiful song, but also quite dark in parts, and the parasha is the end of Moses’s life. Next Shabbat we will jump back to Exodus for...Read more...

Memory, Mourning, and Memorials

09/14/2021 01:19:46 PM

Sep14

Good afternoon! How’s everyone hanging in there? We still have a while to go before the gates of repentance clang shut, before our prayerful fasting is over, but the Day of Atonement is more than half hour. What have you gotten out of these hours? What do you still hope to get out of the next hour or three before we say goodnight?

Soon, we turn...Read more...

Marching, Voting, and Repairing

09/14/2021 01:18:46 PM

Sep14

Good morning and tzom kal. I hope your fasts are moving along as painlessly as possible. Our fasts this day are an opportunity to more deeply connect with our compassion, our humility, our sorrow over the evils of the world, and our gratitude of the beauty of the world and the bounty we enjoy most days.

          We...Read more...

This is Not How We've Always Done It

09/14/2021 01:04:22 PM

Sep14

Good evening and good yontif. We gather this evening for what is known as the Kol Nidrei service, named for the opening prayer we heard in its haunting melody earlier. We think of tonight and the 24 hours to follow as the holiest day of the year. A time of fasting and self-affliction, a time of communal mourning and repentance. The liturgy maintains a high church tone regardless of denomination and...Read more...

Leadership, Legacies, and Lifelong Learning

09/10/2021 10:47:22 AM

Sep10

          Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Vayeilech, or Deuteronomy chapter 31. Jews all over the world will read this segment of our holy scripture this Shabbat: some out of the sacred scroll, some from books, and some may not literally read it in its totality but learn about it in Torah studies and sermons. We welcome our distinguished guests to...Read more...

Hurts and Hindrances

09/07/2021 07:19:52 AM

Sep7

Boker Tov and Shana Tova. Today is the birth day of the world! A day of celebration and sweetness. And a day of solemnity and repentance. A day of holding multiple truths.

          So, you all probably know by now I listen to too many podcasts. With my queue constantly 300 episodes deep, I rarely re-listen to episodes that will...Read more...

Returning, Renewing, and Repenting

09/06/2021 10:14:13 AM

Sep6

Good evening and gut yontif. We have been vaguely in the season of Teshuvah for a month now, and the High Holy Days are here. Are you prepared to Return, Renew, and Repent? I find I am not sure that I am this year. Even as I am happy to welcome so many of you back into our beautiful sanctuary, I cannot stave off the fear that this is also still unsafe. I cannot stave off the sadness that there are...Read more...

Covenants, Community, and Coequality

09/05/2021 10:21:16 AM

Sep5

          This weekend, I was blessed to officiate over a Baby Naming. Like many Reform baby namings, it happened a bit later than the 8th day. This year especially, with every gather so uncertain and anything that requires planning feeling so daunting, it has not been uncommon to wait several months to host such a ceremony. And so, it was with so much joy and relief that...Read more...

Bikkurim, Best Efforts, and Bringing Back Shemita

08/27/2021 03:25:28 PM

Aug27

          Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Ki Tavo, in which rules regarding the sacrifice of the first fruits are given, along with rules regarding tithes and Moses’s theatrical blessings and curses on Mount G’rizim and Mount Eival. Of the first fruits offerings, Rashi states: “Not all fruits are subject to the mitzvah of bikkurim (first...Read more...

Freedom, Fairness, and Fellowship

08/20/2021 02:08:52 PM

Aug20

    Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Ki Teitzei, which contains many reiterations of Levitical laws regarding sexual purity and marriage, familial obligations outside of the bedroom, commandments regarding the treatment of animals and slaves, and some laws regarding proper business practices. 

    Of the latter, I have previously considered the verses, “You shall not abuse a...Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes, and Nachas

08/17/2021 02:52:38 PM

Aug17

Latkes and LightsRead more...

Countries, Cruises, and Coasts

07/14/2021 09:40:28 PM

Jul14

Over the past few years tour companies and cruise lines have begun offering Jewish Heritage themed and highlighted tours that lead us to Discover the Diaspora. It is encouraging that we are recognized and valued as travelers. 
If there is a destination near or far that calls to you, please let me know and I will work to create that perfect journey for you, your   family, even your organization. Jewish themes are a focus, but I...Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes, and Nachas

07/11/2021 02:17:01 PM

Jul11

Read more...

Nibbles, Noshes & Nachas

06/23/2021 07:56:39 PM

Jun23

Latkes and LightsRead more...

Nibbles, Noshes, & Nachas

06/14/2021 01:36:40 PM

Jun14

Latkes and LightsRead more...

Korach, Kerach, and Caring

06/11/2021 11:26:08 AM

Jun11

          Shabbat Shalom! In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Korach, we read about a man who is dissatisfied with what he sees around him and dares to dream up a world in which he is recognized for his own importance and that all people are allowed to share in holiness and leadership.  Depending on your position, you might see Korach as a democratizer unfairly...Read more...

Faith, Fighting, and Fervor

06/04/2021 12:09:00 PM

Jun4

          Shabbat Shalom! This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Shalach, in which Moses sends 12 scouts, one from each tribe, to scope out the inhabitants of the Holy Land and determine how they will go about conquering the land. All but two return certain of the undefeatable strength of those they wish to dispossess and only Caleb and Joshua assure Moses that the land is good and God is on their...Read more...

Wed, January 26 2022 24 Shevat 5782