In the words inscribed on my tallit, taken from Psalms: Pitchu li sha-arey tzedek, avovam odeh-ya/Open for me the gates of righteousness and I will enter in thanks. As I have stepped through new gates, I enter with profound gratitude. Read the rest of this entry »
Can a Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Light the Menorah Together? Hanukkah Candlelighting in Rittenhouse SquareDecember 4, 2015
Join us for the Center City Kehillah Hanukkah Candlelighting in Rittenhouse Square, Tues., Dec 8, 5:15pm!
“Since when is Hanukkah so important?” I once heard someone ask a rabbi. “Sukkot is important, Pesach is important, Shabbat is important, but Hanukkah is such a minor holiday! Why do we give in to the Christmas culture that identifies December as the time for an important holiday?!”
“Well,” the rabbi responded, “it’s true that Hanukkah is not particularly important compared to other Jewish festivals. It’s a minor holiday that gets a whole lot of attention. But, if Jews are creating happy Jewish memories and experiences around a Jewish holiday, who are we to take that away?” Read the rest of this entry »
- In addition to the name Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the front of the building expansion will include a purpose-driven quotation from Jewish tradition. We value your ideas and hope you will participate! Please submit your suggestion to the clergy and leadership through Charlene McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Dena Herrin, RS President
Before I tell you about a profound moment that I had, let me give you some context. As some of you know, my connections to Judaism for most of my life were weak at best. I left Hebrew school, which I hated, at 10 years old and barely stepped in a synagogue for the next 25 years. I occasionally went with my parents for the High Holy Days, but really didn’t understand or engage in the service. The word and concept of God made me very uncomfortable, still does. Our Rosh Hashanah dinners, Yom Kippur breakfasts and Passover Seders were occasions I enjoyed as family gatherings, and to a much lesser extent, cultural events. For me, there really was no spirituality or deep religious context to these holidays. I joined Rodeph Shalom in an effort to find some Jewish connection for my children. We are an interfaith family and my Jewish foundations were simply too shallow to provide relevant content and meaning for my family. I share this background because the moment that I want to tell you about occurred in the sanctuary here, at Rodeph Shalom, at a time when my connections to Judaism and to the synagogue were very superficial.