September 27, 2017
It sounds like a classic nightmare. I wake up late and rush to class, only to find that we have an exam for which I had totally forgotten to study. With sweat running down my neck, in a state of sheer panic, I look down at the sheet of paper on my desk not knowing a single answer…
Unfortunately, this was not a dream, and in fact, reality during my senior year of college in a Medieval Philosophy class. And so, bereft of options, like so many of my ancestors before me, I began to pray, “Dear God, if you could just help me pass this test, I promise to study so hard in the future and be a really good person…”
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September 23, 2017
In all of my years preaching from our bimah, I think the sermon about which I have received the most response is the one that described my character revealing challenges in the Whole Foods parking lot. Speaking of which: What do you think of the new Whole Foods? I know that many of you shop there, because I see you there all the time. Even after a year of the new lay-out and new procedures, the new Whole Foods still unsettles me. When I’ve observed my discomfort I’ve thought of you. I’ve thought, every time congregants tell me that change in something as meaningful as synagogue life is difficult, I need to remember this — how disoriented I can feel about something so simple, as a new version of my grocery store. Change– change of all kinds– is hard. Read the rest of this entry »
December 25, 2016
A rabbi named Francine Green Roston recently moved with her family from New Jersey to Whitefish, Montana, in search of a slower pace of life. As you can imagine, there are not many Jews in their new small town (although with a name like “Whitefish,” you’d think…) but Rabbi Roston has found a small Jewish community.
She also discovered that her neighbors include the white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. Last week, ignited by the emerging white supremacy movement, a neo-Nazi website issued a call to take action against the Jews of Whitefish. The site listed the names, pictures, contact information, and addresses of alleged Jews in town, and photo-shopped pictures of Rabbi Roston with a Nazi-era yellow star. Read the rest of this entry »
November 24, 2016
Discover more Jewish values on raising kids who are responsible, grateful and menschy with money on Tues., Nov 29, when NY Times money columnist Ron Lieber speaks.
When this year’s Slichot speaker, Dr. Dan Gottleib of WHYY hosted his final weekly Voices in the Family last year, he focused the show on gratitude. As callers thanked Dr. Dan for giving them something– courage or patience or thanks… he responded (paraphrased) “I don’t give anyone anything that isn’t already there. It’s about seeing what’s already there.”
Seeing what’s already there– this is Judaism’s approach to Thanksgiving. One Hebrew term for gratitude is “hakarat hatov.” Read the rest of this entry »