June 25, 2017
Have you seen the new Wonder Woman movie?
I have been thinking about Wonder Woman this week, because of some recent news commentary. The Israeli Woman who sued El Al airlines for sexism won her landmark case. She had been told to change her seat because an Orthodox man wanted to ensure that he would not inadvertently be touched by a woman. The Israeli court found the gender-based seat-changing coercion practice, violates Israel’s anti-discrimination codes.
The woman, Renee Rabinowitz, was represented by the Israel Religious Action Center, the public advocacy and legal arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. The head of the Israel Religious Action Center, Anat Hoffman, described the 83-year old plaintiff Renee Rabinowitz as Wonder Woman. Funny, because Anat Hoffman might herself be called a Wonder Woman. From the courtroom to the Women of the Wall, Anat Hoffman has for years advocated for civil rights, women’s rights, state separation from Orthodox authority, and democracy in Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
June 14, 2017
I am so pleased to share with our RS congregants: “Lunch with Rabbi Maderer– Engaging with our New Senior Rabbi.” The Rodeph Shalom community and I have shared a brit, a relationship, for a long time. Already for almost 16 years, we have studied Torah, celebrated Shabbat and holidays, and together on Yom Kippur stood before God to ask forgiveness. I have accompanied you through your lifecycles, and you have turned to me with your joys and your struggles. We have laughed together and learned together. Yet, this season brings change.
One of my favorite modern Jewish text comes from *Rav Kook, the first chief rabbi of Israel. He taught: What is old make new, and what is new make holy. Although our relationship has been established many years ago, and remains strong, rooted in such history, our relationship now shifts as I become your senior rabbi. I am reaching out to engage with you now because I would like to invite you to re-meet me, to get to know me again in my new role. Together, I welcome you to make our relationship with one another and with Congregation, new and holy.
I’d like the opportunity to have a renewed encounter with every congregant in our Rodeph Shalom family. You are invited to please join me for a small-group lunch. Over the coming weeks and months, I will hold a series of these lunches with small enough groups for us to really share in conversation. There, I intend to share something of myself and my vision, and I intend to do a lot of listening so that I can understand from you what is most meaningful about your connection to Rodeph Shalom. This engagement effort reflects my vision and priorities and I am grateful for the clergy and senior staff’s support in my pursuit of these encounters. Please rsvp here
for “Lunch with Rabbi Maderer: Engaging with our New Senior Rabbi.”
Together, what is old we will make new, and what is new we will make holy.
June 4, 2017
Delivered by Rabbi Maderer Friday night when we offered Renewal of Marriage Vows, and it was also Rabbi Maderer’s first Shabbat as senior rabbi.
When Cantor Frankel chants the 7 Blessings/the Sheva Brachot in the vows renewal ceremony, we will hear a list of almost every word the Hebrew dictionary knows for joy. And what a joy it is to celebrate the bond of love and commitment! The conclusions of the final two of the blessings ask God to cause the couple to rejoice. Traditionally text says chatan and kallah, groom and bride; we are a community that thankfully includes LGBTQ couples and so we make a change to: reh-im and ahuvim, two words for beloved. If you listen closely, you will hear that in the 6th blessing, we ask God to cause one beloved and (in Hebrew v’) the other beloved, to rejoice together. In the 7th blessing, we ask God to cause one beloved with (in Hebrew im) the other beloved to rejoice together. By the time we reach the 7th blessing, the couple is not only one and the other, but one with the other, bound together in covenant. Read the rest of this entry »