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A Taste of Life

03/05/2020 09:00:34 AM


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 weekly newsletter.

What can I do to fight injustice?

03/04/2020 01:45:54 PM


Fred Kraus

My wife and daughter recently went on the trip with other Temple members and staff to Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham to learn about the Civil Rights Movement. I was amazed by their stories: what they saw, whom they met and what they learned in just three short days. (It also made it painfully obvious...Read more...

The core value of inclusion

02/19/2020 11:22:08 AM


Liz Shiro

My Aunt Paula has cerebral palsy. Her favorite hobby is knitting. I have the baby blankets she knitted for my sister and I when we were born and the blankets she knitted my girls when they were born. My blanket is tightly knitted with a look of expert attention. The ones she made my girls were a...Read more...

Enhancing the diversity of our congregation

02/12/2020 12:25:48 PM


Michelle Alkon

This February, Temple Shalom is celebrating JDAAIM: Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month in a very special way, with thanks and recognition of a newly remodeled sacred space that is warm, welcoming, beautiful and accessible.
In her High Holy...

Worshipping together through joyous song

02/05/2020 03:38:50 PM


Cantor Leah Shafritz

This week's Torah portion, B'shalach, is a favorite among cantors. The Shabbat on which this portion is read is nicknamed Shabbat Shira (“Shabbat of song”) because the portion contains Shirat Hayam (“the Song of the Sea”). We read the narrative, that we'll revisit in...Read more...

Keeping traditions alive

01/29/2020 11:11:51 AM


Caroline Dorn

Next week, we get to experience on of my favorite holidays – the 134th annual Groundhog Day. Based in absolutely no science, Americans everywhere will watch eagerly as a small woodchuck determines whether we will have an early spring or six more weeks of winter. Although I prefer to...Read more...

VOTE REFORM –  The World Zionist Congress, an imperative and a privilege

01/22/2020 01:18:14 PM


Dr. William Korn, Chair, Temple Shalom Israel Engagement Task


By coincidence, I just happened across these interesting receipt-like documents in my father’s old papers just as we are ramping up our World Zionist Organization voting drive. Until now, I didn’t,...Read more...

Knowing your neighbor and MLK

01/15/2020 11:48:48 AM


Cantor Leah Shafritz

As we begin reading Exodus this week, we close the chapter of Joseph, who proved an invaluable member of the Pharaoh's court, so much so that he and his family are granted the best land and livestock in the region while Egypt is struck by famine. This narrative is contrasted...Read more...

Not being held captive by the past

01/01/2020 09:10:56 AM


Jeff Remz

The enduring family drama of Joseph and his brothers continues in this week’s parshah, Vayigash. Joseph, who once was thrown into a pit by his brothers before being sold to passing Midianites, finally reveals himself to his understandably astonished and frightened brothers, who came to Egypt to...Read more...

Taking time for silence and experiencing the holy

12/18/2019 03:39:18 PM


Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

Last Friday night, Rabbi Berry and I stood in silence with 5,000 Jews, who had gathered for the Reform Movement’s Biennial Conference. Every other year, thousands of Jews from across North America and around the world gather to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing,...Read more...

Wrestling with conflicting aspects of ourselves

12/11/2019 12:14:24 PM


Josh Conescu

It is often difficult to separate from our past. I am now the child of who I was then. Torah begins with a convulsive separation - a force named God wills itself into being, speaking a separation of darkness from light. Bereshit amplifies motifs of “separation” - from Eden, from home,...Read more...

Experiencing the discomfort yielding greater awareness 

12/04/2019 11:59:28 AM


Kim Bodemer

The story of our Biblical ancestor, Jacob, continues this week as he flees his home after employing some less than honorable methods to secure his birthright. The evening he leaves home, Jacob finds himself alone, and uncertain of what lies ahead as he travels to his uncle’s house in Haran. He lays...Read more...

Benefitting the whole community

11/27/2019 08:39:15 AM


Fred Cohen

This week’s parashat, Toldot 26:34, states that when Esau was 40, he married two Hittite women and that the marriages were “a source of bitterness to Isaac and Rebekah.” That attitude continued until recently, much like the story of a son who told his mother that he was marrying a Native...Read more...

All is possible when we work together

11/20/2019 09:55:11 AM


Rabbi Allison Berry

This Saturday evening, we will gather as a community to rededicate our sacred space. And as we do, I will remember that Joseph Campbell once remarked: “anything is possible on the other side of the door to a sacred space.”
In September, we saw this adage come to life as we entered our...Read more...

The complexity and simplicity of everyday life

11/13/2019 11:37:41 AM


Fred Kraus

The “tension” between complexity and simplicity has been on my mind as the frenetic fall season transitions into winter.

Life can be terribly complicated. On top of family obligations and activities, there are no shortage of challenges in our professional lives and in our world: in science, medicine,...Read more...

Counting on each other, over sushi

11/06/2019 12:14:22 PM


Caroline Dorn

For the past few years, a friend and I have been meeting regularly at a sushi restaurant in between our apartments. There’s nothing particularly special about this restaurant – it’s small hard to find, and there are only a few tables. But it’s our place.
Last week, something was different. The lighting...

Taking the bitterness out of Mar Cheshvan

10/30/2019 12:15:16 PM


Cantor Leah Shafritz

This week, we welcomed the month of Cheshvan, often called "Mar Cheshvan," or bitter Cheshvan, because it contains no holidays, feast or fast days. Chanukah, all the way at the end of December in the month of Kislev, is the next celebration we have to look forward to. After a busy month full of...Read more...

The book of Genesis and new beginnings

10/23/2019 04:05:38 PM


By Ofer Ben-Gai

The book of Genesis describes several new beginnings. It starts with a utopian creation in chapter one. God examines the creation and declares it tov (good) or tov  me’od (very good). There are no failures in this story. Next, we have a new creation story in chapter two. This creation story is not...Read more...

Following the commandment of happiness

10/16/2019 01:01:01 PM


Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

If you really want to show off your holiday greeting skills this week, wish someone a moadim l’simcha! Literally translated, “moadim l’simcha” means “times for joy.” It is the traditional greeting during these days known as Chol Ha-moed, the intermediate days in the week-long festival of...Read more...

Unplugging and the chance to recharge on Sukkot

10/08/2019 10:02:42 AM


Ellie Goldman

Sunday night marks the start of Sukkot, one of the highlights of the Jewish year. I have always loved the process of putting up a sukkah, making it comfortable and warm, decorating it with leaves and fruits. I love to sit in the decorated sukkah and listen to the sounds of nature and feel the slight...Read more...

Dancing in the streets on Yom Kippur?

10/02/2019 09:31:17 AM


Jeffrey B. Remz

Rosh Hashanah kicks off the Jewish year with thoughts of a healthy and fulfilling year along with hopes for being inscribed in the Book of Life. Yom Kippur, on the other hand, could best be described as serious, pensive, somber. Or is it?

That serious notion was turned on its head starting...

It's not rocket science. It's Torah.

09/25/2019 09:36:46 PM


The Talmud teaches that Torah is black fire on white fire. The written text is black fire. Often, the meaning is hidden in white fire - our interpretation of that text. Our interpretive dance with Torah makes the experience of Torah wonderfully rich.

Sometimes, the words mean precisely what they...

Hineni. I am here. I am ready.

09/18/2019 03:23:09 PM


By Allison Berry

 As a child, my father-in-law attended the same Montreal congregation as singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. They only met a few times, but he is proud of the fact Cohen featured Congregation Shaar Hashalom’s children’s choir singing on his final album, “You Want it Darker.”

Much to my...

09/11/2019 03:06:10 PM


By Kim Bodemer

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, contains 72 commandments, ranging in scope from the treatment of captives to birds’ nests. In this portion, we are told of the rights of aliens, the importance of giving charity and about fair weights and measures among many of other...Read more...

Journey of transformation for the new year

09/04/2019 10:54:58 AM


Cantor Leah Shafritz

In my Taste of Life article a few weeks ago, I offered, in Rabbi Alan Lew's words, the opportunity for us to consider Tisha b'Av as the start of the process of transformation we undergo during this season. The imagery of the destruction of the Temple, which we traditionally commemorate on Tisha b'Av,...Read more...

Israel On Our Mind

01/09/0008 11:28:53 AM


Scott Birnbaum and Rabbi Allison Berry

This Shabbat, we reach the end of the book of Genesis. We read about the death of our patriarch Jacob. Jacob dies not in his homeland (modern...Read more...

Wed, June 23 2021 13 Tammuz 5781