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A Taste of Life

06/04/2018 02:09:34 AM

Jun4

The clergy and others in the Temple Shalom community offer their thoughts about Judaism and life in the weekly Taste of Life, a staple of the Thursday newsletter.

Freedom, equality and the November election

05/31/2018 09:16:54 AM

May31

Rabbi Allison L. Berry

Jewish tradition teaches that all of us are created, b’tzelem Elohim,” in the image of God. We are created with a spark of the divine inside us. Since each of us are holy, sacred and unique beings, we are entitled to live lives of dignity, quality and respect. This November, the dignity and...Read more...

Making yourself at home at Temple Shalom

05/24/2018 10:28:10 AM

May24

Carol Berlin

One of the rewards of belonging to a synagogue is the creation of community. As a teacher in the small group Hebrew program, I have watched friendships form, especially over three years teaching a magnificent group of girls who have made Tuesday afternoons magical. But what about their parents?
In response,...Read more...

Spring is in the air

05/17/2018 10:25:29 AM

May17

Cantor Peter Halpern

Driving to Temple this morning and relishing the lush, colorful Newton scenery, I was thinking about the word “spring.” The Torah mentions the Hebrew word “Aviv” several times, often associated with Passover. It is an agricultural reference, literally meaning the stage in the growth of grain when the seeds...Read more...

Making memories for a lifetime

05/10/2018 02:56:31 PM

May10

Lori Leiderman

After Passover, one of our second graders generously offered me a set of Passover finger puppets. It seems a guest brought them to his Seder, but he thought they might be better used with some of our younger children at Temple Shalom. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, but explained that I wanted him...Read more...

The wisdom of Lag B'Omer

05/03/2018 02:52:40 PM

May3

Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

The 33rd day of the Omer, the period of counting 49 days between the spring liberation festival of Passover and the early summer revelation holiday of Shavuot, is Lag B'Omer. (“Lag” is a combination of Hebrew letters adding to 33.) This minor holiday often coincides with the arrival of spring. There...Read more...

Relationships and commandments

04/26/2018 03:42:05 PM

Apr26

Student Rabbi Phil Bressler

A practical, if not necessarily accurate, distinction between different types of mitzvot (commandments) is that some govern relationships bein adam l'havero (between human beings) while others apply only bein adam l'akom (between human beings and God).
The reality, however, is that every commanded...Read more...

A Celebration and a Reflection: Israel at 70

04/19/2018 03:17:36 PM

Apr19

Rabbi Allison Berry

This week, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel. As we mark this profound moment, we observe both Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’atz Ma’ut (the celebration of Israel becoming a state) and mingle great joy with our remembrance of...Read more...

Wanting more and living more wisely

04/15/2018 01:04:07 PM

Apr15

By Cantor Peter Halpern

We usually open our Shabbat Halleilu services with a rousing melody for the text from Psalm 150 – “Kol Han’shama t’haleil Yah” (“Let every living being praise God”). Psalm 90 has a very different tone, perspective and message. It is one which clergy often draw from in...Read more...

Growing, evolving, the Seder becomes more

04/05/2018 09:11:51 AM

Apr5

By Becca Yudkoff

During Passover we spend most of our time in New Jersey with my in-laws and extended family. Having just had our third baby, I was curious how this was going to go down. We stuffed our mini-van full of all the essential and non-essential items, including an excess of diapers, too many pairs of shoes,...Read more...

Making the promise of freedom a reality at Passover

03/29/2018 10:52:12 AM

Mar29

By Rabbi Allison Berry

On Sunday evening, 115 women gathered at Temple Shalom to celebrate Passover. This Seder, sponsored by Sisterhood, was a celebration of women’s stories and women’s voices. My favorite reading from this year’s Haggadah (the liturgy recited at the seder) was scholar Susannah Heschel's reflection about the...Read more...

The beauty of Vayikra, yes Vayikra

03/22/2018 01:39:31 PM

Mar22

Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

Last week, we began reading Vayikra, Leviticus, which happens to be my favorite book in the Torah. Many might find this surprising, especially given that many understand Leviticus as consisting only of rituals, particularly sacrificial laws, the priestly cult and the challenge of impurities....Read more...

Successfully working together

03/15/2018 02:42:49 PM

Mar15

Ellie Goldman

This week, we begin the book of Leviticus – Vayikra.  Each spring, as we leave behind the wild ride of family drama that is the story of our ancestors in Genesis and Exodus, I always find myself welcoming the structured monotony and legalese of Leviticus. Its clear authoritative voice is comforting...Read more...

Adding to the foundation of community

03/09/2018 08:16:05 AM

Mar9

By Rabbi Allison Berry
I recently received an email from a member of our congregation asking if the Temple could connect her to other local Jews of Italian ancestry (send me an email if this is you!). She is planning to travel to Italy this summer with her two young daughters in order to introduce her children...Read more...

True listening to children

03/02/2018 12:02:36 PM

Mar2

By Lucy Banerji
Jewish tradition holds that each child is born with infinite potential. Holding this belief dearly, I am disturbed by criticism targeted at the children who raised their voices in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas school tragedy. This is a matter of social justice. Too often children are viewed as...Read more...

Be strengthened and stay the course

02/25/2018 11:59:35 AM

Feb25

By Peter Halpern
A few days ago, I was on the way into the locker room at my gym when I glanced up at a headline on the TV - “Peter Rabbit and allergy bullying.” I had been looking out for the opening of the movie because Nathan thought the trailer was cute and we had planned to see it. You may have read...Read more...

Seeking real justice, a moment of silence

02/18/2018 12:29:23 PM

Feb18

By Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley
I drive my son to school most mornings. I am not exactly a morning person, but it is often the highlight of my day. The short ride is filled with precious moments of giggling, loud pop music and real conversation. As we pull into the circular drop-off loop, he gathers his...Read more...

Praying with our feet and healing the world

02/09/2018 03:11:09 PM

Feb9

By Andrea Levinsky
“When we heed the call for justice, we are praying with our feet.”
At URJ Biennial, I heard Rabbi Joe Black sing his song, “Praying With Our Feet,” which is part of a new CD “Together As One: New Songs for Social Justice.” Based on a famous quote by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel...Read more...

Inclusion Month: honoring differences

02/02/2018 02:53:56 PM

Feb2

By Emily Kieval
“For  my house shall be a house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56:5).

 At Temple Shalom, we are proud of our longstanding commitment to being a place where all are welcome.
Each February, along with Jewish communities around the world, we celebrate...Read more...

Learning from others and loving Passover

01/29/2018 02:04:28 PM

Jan29

By Lynda Schwartz
I know from my own experience that preparing for Passover and hosting a Seder can be very intimidating, especially if you didn’t grow up Jewish.
When I was a newlywed, I wasn’t Jewish, but I wanted to support my husband Jay’s Passover observance. I knew that some people...Read more...

The Secret recipe

01/18/2018 10:23:13 AM

Jan18

By Cantor Peter Halpern
Have you ever wondered why a tablespoon of sugar, some vanilla, flour, a raw egg and a handful of chocolate chips just doesn’t taste as good as a chocolate chip cookie? I, for one, have never tried to eat the ingredients separately, and I imagine I’m not alone. Most of us have times...Read more...

Deepening our understanding

01/12/2018 10:30:15 AM

Jan12

By Rabbi Allison Berry
During the month of January, both Rabbi Abrasley and I celebrate milestone birthdays. Yes, I have heard the jokes about being “over the hill,” and I am now used to fending off questions about degenerating eyesight. But as these important dates approach, despite my own personal anxiety...Read more...

Mon, June 25 2018 12 Tammuz 5778