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.
December 18, 2016
(delivered by Rabbi Maderer at Shabbat service 12/18/16) Last week I shared with you a time when I lived in the suburbs and my family overdid it in the area of home security. I made fun of the way that, even with a burglar alarm in our house, we added to the front porch, an extra security measure: a big dog-food bowl. Even though we did not have a dog. I went on to make fun of — and to be clear, I was making fun of my mother– I went on to make fun of the way that, to make it seem real, we painted onto the bowl the name of our fake dog: Shomer, Hebrew for “guard.”
Funny story: Last week, here in Philadelphia… you guessed it. My garage was broken into. Who here believes in karma?
Now, seriously, do you think there is a connection? One week I am making fun of my mother for over-securing our house all those years ago, and days after I write those words, a break-in. Coincidence? Karma? God? There was a time I would have said: there is no such thing as coincidence. I believed God influenced the details of our lives. Yet as my life and rabbinate move forward, I find my response to the world changes: more questions, less certainty of God’s role, judgment, or expectation. Read the rest of this entry »