Looking Back on Last Week’s Israel Conversation

September 2, 2014

Thank you to the many congregants who participated in last week’s “Israel: It’s Time for a Conversation.”  Your open minds, listening ears and compassion hearts enabled the clergy to share our perspectives with full trust, and allowed so many of you to engage in a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion. Please continue to engage in Israel through our course this fall, ReadRS book discussions, the Tel Aviv to Ramallah Hip-Hop concert and our trip to Israel this spring.

On Wednesday, we opened the conversation with the words of Psalm 122:6-9: Read the rest of this entry »


Letting Go This Elul

August 27, 2014

Re-eh: see, the opening word of this week’s Torah portion.  See, I set before you blessing and curse.  Look hard. Sometimes it’s hard to see what is blessing and what is curse.  What is right and what’s not right.  Or what’s no longer right.

Now on the cusp of Elul, the Hebrew month that begins Wednesday and prepares us for the teshuvah–repentance– of the High Holy Day season, we look hard so that we can tell the difference between the blessing and the curse, the good and the bad.  We look hard at our choices, our priorities, our relationship with God, our relationships with other people.  We examine the conflicts in our lives and devote ourselves to improvement, change, growth.

For this week’s summer crowdsourcing sermon, your clergy posed the question: “Have you ever carried around a grudge or a feeling that did not allow you to move forward completely?  Have you ever let go of such a feeling?” Read the rest of this entry »


Crowd Sourcing Sermon

August 22, 2014

Crowdsourcing Sermon

August 29 Sermon

For this summer’s sermons, we’d like to incorporate your perspectives. The clergy will pose a question at the beginning of each week. Your responses to the question will help inform the sermon for that week.

Please respond to the August 29 sermon topic: “Have you ever found extraordinary moments in ordinary experiences?  Describe the moment.Have you ever found extraordinary moments in ordinary experiences? Describe the moment.”


Israel: It’s Time for a Conversation

August 21, 2014

We look forward to a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation:

Israel: It’s Time for a Conversation

Wed., Aug 27, 7:00 pm, with RS Clergy
As our concern for Israel grows, our hopes for peace are challenged, and our mourning for the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives continues, the RS clergy invites you join a conversation.  We would like to share our perspectives about our commitment to Israel and about the conflict and war, explore ways we can talk to friends and offer thoughts about how to navigate the media.  Most important, we’ll provide time for our congregation to share, ask questions and connect.  We’ll conclude with a prayer for peace.
Suggested background reading and media sources:
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Union for Reform Judiasm
Thomas Friedman, New York Times
David Harris, American Jewish Committee

Remembering Lee Stanley

August 20, 2014

Lee 3Lee Stanley is remembered for keeping traditions alive at RS. Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer (August 19, 2014) wrote: “To the members of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Lee Stanley was a keeper of history – a beloved, rumpled man who wore a straggly beard and oversize suits, and kept at his enthusiastic recall an unmatched knowledge of the congregation’s musical tradition. In his earnest way, fellow congregants say, Stanley could pluck from his mind details most others had long forgotten – or never thought to preserve: the precise date the congregation changed the melody for a particular song or tinkered with the Hebrew phrasing of a prayer.”

Do you have a memory of Lee that you would like to share?


AGING WITH DIGNITY, PURPOSE & MEANING

August 20, 2014

Shabbat Sermon by Rabbi Kuhn, August 15, 2014

geroge carlinThe late, great comedian George Carlin had a great bit about aging. He said when you’re young, you can’t wait to get older. You become 21. But then you turn 30. Sounds like bad milk. He turned, we had to throw him out. You become 21, you turn 30, then you’re pushing 40. Whoa!! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you reach 50, and your dreams are gone. But wait! You make it to 60. You didn’t think you would.

Then you build up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that, it’s a day by day thing. You HIT Wednesday.

You get into your 80’s, and every day is a complete cycle. You HIT lunch; you turn 4:30; you reach bedtime.

And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90’s you start going backwards. I was just 92!

And so it goes. In our society that idolizes youth, it may be difficult to deal with the fact that everyone ages, if you’re lucky that is.

And of course, Judaism has a lot to say about aging with dignity, and finding meaning and purpose in your life as you grow older.

Read the rest of this entry »


Crowdsourcing Sermons

August 18, 2014

Crowdsourcing Sermon

August 22 Sermon

For this summer’s sermons, we’d like to incorporate your perspectives. The clergy will pose a question at the beginning of each week. Your responses to the question will help inform the sermon for that week.

Please respond to the August 22 sermon topic: “Have you ever carried around a grudge or a feeling that did not allow you to move forward completely?  Have you ever let go of such a feeling?”


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