Rock the (Jewish) Vote!

September 30, 2014

“Give ear O heaven… let the earth hear the words…”

In this week’s Torah portion, Ha’azinu, Moses calls upon heaven and earth to witness this important moment in Jewish history.  According to commentators the use of heaven and earth as witnesses is common in near eastern literature and forms what is called a merism – a mechanism that uses two extremes to signify totality.  Moses is essentially saying that this moment – the moment when he will leave the people in the capable hands of Joshua to continue their journey into the Promised Land – this moment is of universal significance.

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Rabbi Nachman and Mental Illness – Erev Rosh Hashanah 5775

September 26, 2014

On the cusp of the 19th century, in a shtetl in Western Ukraine, Feiga and Simcha were celebrating the birth of their son, Nachman.  Nachman was named after his grandfather, a great rabbi and a disciple of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism.

At his bris, Feiga turned to her brother, Rabbi Baruch, one of the wisest men of the generation, and requested that he bless her son that there should never be any strife surrounding him. He replied, “That is not something that can be done.”

Rabbi Baruch’s response was more true than even he may have predicted.  Throughout his tumultuous life, Nachman would see the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

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Mindfulness and Spirituality: Join Us for Selichot

September 18, 2014
This Saturday we welcome a powerful guest speaker and teacher of spirituality to help us kick-off the High Holy Days with Selichot.
“Going Long, Going Deep: Delving into Our Souls as We Delve into a New High Holy Day Prayerbook” with Rabbi Rex Perlmeter on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 8pm
We will explore passages from the new High Holy Day prayerbook of the Reform Movement, Mishkan HaNefesh, with Rabbi Rex Perlmeter who serves on the  High Holy Day Prayer Book Advisory Board and is a Founding Director of the Jewish Wellness Center.
8:00pm: Grand Dessert Buffet  
8:15pm:  Study Session
9:30pm: Selichot Service

Family Friendly High Holy Day Services at RS

September 17, 2014

Open your heart, deepen your soul and celebrate…Please join us for a meaningful High Holy Day season!

Contemporary Multi-generational Morning Services– Rosh Hashanah: Thursday, September 25, 8:30 am; Yom Kippur: Saturday, October 4, 8:30 am A full service for adults; yet a family-friendly atmosphere with children of all ages. Gender-inclusive language, Hebrew transliteration, participation in singing and prayer. Informal, comfortable setting for families with young children and activities for children during the sermon. Requires a “pass”; please contact Catherine Fischer cfischer@rodephshalom.org to become a member or prospective member and get a pass.

Tashlich Service at Fairmount Waterworks
Thursday, September 25, 1:30pm, 640 Water Works Drive
Cast away your sins with breadcrumbs!  Open to all.

Afternoon Mini-Service for Families– Rosh Hashanah: Thursday, September 25, 3:00 pm; Yom Kippur: Saturday, October 4, 1:30 pm  A very brief service for families of very young (non-reading) children and their parents and grandparents. Open to the community; no charge, please just bring photo ID for security.


Sharing the Raincloud: The Power of Empathy

September 13, 2014

In an animated short film called, The Power of Empathy, Dr Brene Brown illustrates how empathy is different from sympathy.   Read the rest of this entry »


Memorial Service for Lee Stanley

September 12, 2014

Please join us as we share memories of our beloved Lee Stanley at a Memorial Service on Sunday, September 14 at 2pm in our Sanctuary

Lee webOur community mourns the passing of Lee Stanley, a man who was better than almost anyone I know at finding and expressing joy. The music of RS, and his father Cantor Harry Stanley’s legacy, meant so much to him, he could hardly contain himself when he heard a piece he loved or when he heard children singing. He constantly reminded me to be free with my own joy, to let it show, because the joy of people like Lee bring warmth into the world.
Lee also taught everyone around him to access their deepest compassion. When the vidui, the confession, comes on Yom Kippur, I will confess to the times when I have not been as compassionate as I should have been, and I will vow to do better. Lee’s memory will always remind me of that.
Cantor Erin Frankel


The Aisles Are Open: Spiritual Release

September 4, 2014
Last month, a rabbi visiting Camp Harlam Overnight Camp scowled when in the dining hall, he saw the campers banging on tables to the beat of Birkat Hamazon, Grace After Meals.   He missed it.  This rabbi missed the whole point.  He missed the fact that hundreds of campers knew all the words to a very long Hebrew blessing.  He missed the fact that in that moment they were absolutely aware of the connection between eating and gratitude.  He missed the Jewish pride in their eyes as they felt that knowing Hebrew and connecting Jewishly, is cool.  And he missed the spiritual release that was happening for our campers in that dining hall, during Birkat Hamazon and song session.

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