April 14, 2015
It is such a great honor for me personally, as well as our members who are here from Congregation Rodeph Shalom to be able to worship with you this morning. I’d like to thank your Rev. Mark Tyler for inviting us and thank all of you for welcoming us so warmly to share in this fellowship with you, as we hope to deepen our relationship between these two historic congregations in our City. We are so blessed to welcome Rev. Tyler and your wonderful choir and so may of you to our congregation each year in January, as we share in the celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday weekend. That service is one of the real highlights of Rodeph Shalom’s year, because I believe it is so important for our two congregations to build on our friendship and our meaningful relationship, as we work together to make our City a better place.
I am proud that we have ongoing dialogues, Bible Study, and that we work together on POWER and more. This partnership is good for our congregation, and I hope you find it meaningful as well. I bring greetings from Rabbi Maderer and Rabbi Freedman, who are not able to be here today, but who love the Mother Bethel/Rodeph Shalom relationship. We join together today in prayer, just a few days after the 47th anniversary of his assassination on April 4, 1968. I believe it is so important for us to celebrate Dr. King together because I believe his life points out how many similarities there are between the African-American and Jewish experiences. While there are differences, we certainly have more in common than not. And the life of Martin Luther King is an inspiring example of how we do share so much.
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April 11, 2015
by Rabbi Jill Maderer
This week’s Torah portion, Shmini, describes what can serve as a korban–a sacrifice. And when the wrong thing is used as a korban, tragedy results.
Recently, Monica Lewinsky has made the news, because she has begun to speak publicly about the media storm that consumed her identity. Now at the age of 41, the former Whitehouse intern reflects back when she was 22, and made serious and foolish mistakes, when she began a relationship with her older and exceedingly more powerful boss, the then president of the United States. Lewinsky’s boss abused his power and her friend violated her trust. Still, the most painful part of the experience for Lewinsky was the public humiliation she endured.
In 1998, our society allowed the wrong thing to be used as a korban–a sacrifice– when Monica Lewinsky became the first person to be publicly shamed in the age of the internet. Everyone knew her mistakes, many seemed to derive joy from degrading her, ostracizing her, reducing her to her faults, and exaggerating them beyond recognition. Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2015
Tonight I pray for the State of Israel. And I pray in dismay and worry, having heard the statement from the Prime Minister, broadcast around the world: We are willing to become smaller, so we don’t have to think bigger; we would rather cover the bud than take this chance to bloom.
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March 20, 2015
I hope your Pesach preparations are going well! If you’re ready to pull out the post-it’s and prepare to lead your own seder, here’s a list of Haggadah suggestions, from most in-depth to most simple… Read the rest of this entry »