Our Concealed Shortcomings: On Bias and Race

October 13, 2016

delivered by Rabbi Jill Maderer, Yom Kippur, Congregation Rodeph Shalom     

A story I love, from Rabbi Nachman of Brazslav.  A young woman visits her family and shares that she has become a master in the art of menorah making. She asks her parents to invite all of the other artisans in town to come see her masterpiece.  So all of the finest crafters come to view the menorah.  Later, the daughter asks her parents, “What did they think?” The parents reply, “We’re sorry to say, all of your fellow lamp-makers described a different flaw.” “Yes,” replies the daughter, “but that is the secret! They all say it was flawed, but what nobody realizes is this: Each sees a different part as blemished, but overlooks the mistakes that he himself would make.  You see, I made the menorah in this way on purpose — replete with deficiencies — in order to demonstrate that all of us have shortcomings.

Rabbi Nachman’s parable is drawn from the Psalmist, who calls to God: “Alumenu limor panecha” (Ps 90). “You can see our concealed darkness; You can see our concealed shortcomings, in the light of Your face.” God can see our shortcomings. Read the rest of this entry »


High Holiday Services for Families with Young Children

September 28, 2016

Rodeph Shalom’s High Holy Days Services Designed for Families with Young Children

Contemporary Multi-generational Morning Services

Requires a “pass”; please contact Catherine Fischer cfischer@rodephshalom.org.

Rosh Hashanah: Monday, October 3, 8:30 am

Yom Kippur: Wednesday, October 12, 8:30 am

A full service for adults; yet a family-friendly atmosphere with children of all ages. Clergy, congregational choir, and guitar lead accessible music, encouraging participants to join in. Designed for all ages, the informality provides a comfortable setting for families with young children and there are activities for the children during the sermon.

 

Tashlich Service at Fairmount Waterworks
Monday, October 3, 1:30-2:00pm
640 Water Works Drive Philadelphia, PA 19130
Cast away your sins with breadcrumbs.  Open to all.

                      

Afternoon Mini-Services for Families

Open to the community; no pass needed, please just bring photo ID for security.

Rosh Hashanah: Monday, October 3, 3:00 pm
Yom Kippur: Wednesday, October 12, 1:30 pm

A very brief service for families of very young children and their parents and grandparents.

 

 


Climbing into Their Skin: To Cultivate Abundant Kindness

September 26, 2015

delivered by Rabbi Jill Maderer Yom Kippur afternoon    

A man backs his car out of the driveway, and stops short to avoid running into a young boy, riding his skateboard on the sidewalk.  Annoyed, the man drives to the local cafe to pick up his morning coffee, and a woman parks her car in the spot he was eyeing.  Irritated, he walks into the store, only to see he needs to stand on a long line.  When he finally makes it to the front of the line, the person who was standing in front of him, returns to add a cookie to his order.  Exasperated, as if the world around him is irresponsible, incompetent and inconsiderate of his needs, the man sits down to wait for his coffee, and to reflect on how the world is everyone else’s oyster.

At that moment a stranger approaches him, and silently hands him a pair of eyeglasses.  When the man slides the glasses onto his face, his perspective changes.  Through this magical eyewear, the man can view a caption that follows each person in sight. Backtracking through his morning, he starts to see differently. Read the rest of this entry »


From Personal Lives to the Jewish Community in the Wake of the Iran Deal: If We Can Harm, We Can Heal

September 24, 2015

 

delivered by Rabbi Jill Maderer Yom Kippur morning       

So… Who lives in the Pope traffic box?  Me, too.   Although logistically complicated, I appreciate that this is a momentous occasion, for our Catholic friends and for our city, and I am intrigued about how we in the Jewish community might find meaning in the Pope’s visit.

On this sacred day, we open to atonement, change, repair. Pope Francis serves as an extraordinary model of faith in repair. Read the rest of this entry »


High Holy Day Service Options for Families at RS

September 11, 2015

High Holy Days Services for Families with Young Children


Contemporary Multi-generational Morning Services

Requires a “pass”; please contact Catherine Fischer cfischer@rodephshalom.org to become a member or prospective member and get a pass.

Rosh Hashanah: Mon., September 14, 8:30 am

Yom Kippur: Wed., September 23, 8:30 am

A full service for adults; yet a family-friendly atmosphere with children of all ages. Clergy, congregational choir, and guitar lead accessible music, encouraging participants to join in. Designed for all ages, the informality provides a comfortable setting for families with young children and there are activities for the children during the sermon.

Tashlich Service at Fairmount Waterworks
Mon., September 14, 1:30pm
640 Water Works Drive Philadelphia, PA 19130
Cast away your sins with breadcrumbs.  Open to all.

Afternoon Mini-Service for Families

Open to the community; no charge, please just bring photo ID for security.

Rosh Hashanah: Mon., September 14, 3:00 pm
Yom Kippur: 
Wed., September 23, 8:30 am

A very brief service for families of very young children and their parents and grandparents.


As If It’s All Happening on An Airplane: Vulnerability and the High Holy Days

August 30, 2015

I believe there are some of you here who are in the dating world, hoping to meet someone special.  I thought of you when I read a recent column by Emma Court in the NY Times called, “A Millenial’s Guide to Kissing.”

It begins: “When a total stranger kissed me under the artificial lights of an airplane cabin somewhere above international waters, my first thought was of the Orthodox woman sitting to my left…The kiss, coming out of nowhere, had turned me into the heroine of a bad romance novel: heart fluttering…those blue fleece blankets had never been so sexy….Between us sprang the kind of instant intimacy fostered by open personalities in tight quarters. We spoke in spurts of our trips and what we had done during the days spent in Israel…

[Once back on the ground], I hugged him a brisk no-nonsense goodbye. We didn’t exchange numbers…… Would things have been different, if one of us had had the courage, to say something other than goodbye before heading to our trains? I only realized later why it had been such an oddly familiar feeling: My generation treats every liaison as if it is happening on an airplane. Our story wasn’t so different, after all. I wonder what we collectively lose as we try so hard not to care. We pretend that it doesn’t matter, that we have time, that because we are young we are invulnerable.”  Read the rest of this entry »


To Just Sit: A Spiritual Mindfulness Message on Yom Kippur Afternoon

October 16, 2014

Were you able to find a seat ok?  You may have noticed that when you enter this early part of the Yom Kippur afternoon service, it’s easy to find a place to sit!  Nestled between the crowds of Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur morning, and the crowds that will soon arrive for Yizkor and Neilah, this afternoon service tends to be our quieter moment of the day.  And yet, here you are.  Perhaps you are drawn here because your family has always made Yom Kippur a full-day experience.  Perhaps you need a place to wait out the fast.  Perhaps you are avoiding slicing tomatoes back at your house, where your family is preparing to host a break-fast. And perhaps you are here, to soak up every last potential opportunity, for introspection on Yom Kippur.

I’d like to consider with you, the role of introspection, in these hours of Yom Kippur, and beyond.  What does it mean, to sit in reflection?   Read the rest of this entry »