Chanukah Blessings

November 30, 2009

Meditations for Each Night of Chanukah (If you have special readings or traditions for Chanukah, please share them with us.)

FREEDOM – – First Night: We kindle these Chanukah Lights in memory of the dedication and courage of the Maccabees. They willingly sacrificed their lives for the freedom to worship God as their hearts and minds dictated. As we kindle these candles, we rededicate ourselves to work for the equal rights of all people, and for the realization of a society of democracy and freedom. Read the rest of this entry »


Carrie Rickey Discusses: Parallels between the Movie, “A Serious Man” and The Book of Job

November 30, 2009
Film has the power to awaken Jewish identity and to raise questions of fate and faith.  We are blessed to have Carrie Rickey, the Philadelphia Inquirer Film Critic, as a member of RS and as a film-discussion leader for Synaplex Shabbat this Friday, Dec. 4.  Join us at 5:30 pm for a nosh and a choice of 2 Shabbat services.  Then engage in a discussion with Carrie Rickey as she explores the provacative new Coen Brothers film, A Serious Man.  Head out to see A Serious Man now, and check out Carrie Rickey’s review.

Analysis of Goldstone Report — Follow-up to Rabbi Kuhn’s Article “In Support of Israel”

November 25, 2009

Thank you to Rick Berkman (RS member and former president) for providing Moshe Halbertal’s analysis of the Goldstone Report.  Moshe Halbertal is an ethicist from the Hartman Institue in Jerusalem and wrote the code of conduct for the Israel Defense Forces.


In Support of Israel

November 24, 2009

By Rabbi Bill Kuhn

Now is the time to support the State of Israel as never before.  As Israel is under existential threat on several fronts, it is the obligation of Jews around the world to speak up and to use every resource and means available to save our spiritual homeland.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, said in his Shabbat morning sermon at the Biennial convention in Toronto on November 7th, “When the history of Reform Judaism is written a century from now, its authors will ask…did we do enough to assure the security and well-being of the State of Israel?”

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Connecting in Our Open Tent

November 19, 2009

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

When it comes to city living today, many of us are living on top of one another while we don’t even know each other. The neighborhood is so transient; one of the greatest challenges of our day is to make meaningful, lasting connections. Such ties are the inspiration for our new RS Empty Nesters group that draws members who want to share their experience in their new chapter of life. And such ties are the promise for our plans for the RS Buerger Early Learning Center, where we hope families will begin life-long shared journeys together. In so many different forms, RS members’ lives are enriched by sharing their experiences in community.

Personal stories are such a powerful way to invite others into our open tent. How do YOU connect at RS? Why did you join and how does congregational life bring you meaning?


The Torah of Blogging

November 17, 2009

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

Do you feel comfortable commenting on a blog article publically?  What would Moses do?

One internet scholar explains that when social networking was first introduced, teen-agers were the most comfortable with it.  Children of the internet, teens commented on any blog post that so moved them and often exposed their private feelings.  Their parents, and adults over the age of 45 were more likely to expose nothing on the internet.  Adults were accustomed to communicating with one person and not with the public.  Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Deborah Lipstadt

November 12, 2009

By Rabbi Bill Kuhn

 It is timely that we will welcome Dr. Deborah Lipstadt to Congregation Rodeph Shalom on Friday, November 13 at our 8:00 p.m. Shabbat Service, as this year’s Joseph J. & Lulu S. Rosenbluth Memorial Lecture guest speaker. Dr. Lipstadt is an internationally renowned expert and author on Holocaust denial. We have all heard with horror all of the publicity given Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently stole the election for the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has repeatedly spread his lies that the Holocaust did not happen, and that he believes Israel should be wiped off the map. The fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons is extremely frightening, in light of these statements and sentiments spewed by Ahmadinejad. One can only hope that President Obama and the world community can find a way to stop Iran’s efforts to destroy Israel before it is too late.

 Holocaust denial is nothing new, unfortunately. Dr. Lipstadt made a thorough study of this topic in her ground-breaking book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (The Free Press, NYC, 1993).

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