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A Taste of Life

08/17/2018 09:55:34 AM

Aug17

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.

Addressing fundamental issues for functional society

08/15/2018 10:56:38 AM

Aug15

David Harris

This week’s parsha, Shoftim, with its outstanding rhetoric, addresses fundamental issues for a functional society. Conflicts arise at all levels, and there must be an equitable mechanism to resolve them. The regulations and the underlying ethical principles apply to all persons of the society: the people,...Read more...

Introspection, searching as the calendar changes

08/08/2018 10:01:40 AM

Aug8

Cantor Peter Halpern

This weekend, we turn the page to the Hebrew month of Elul, traditionally a month of introspective preparation for the High Holy Days. In the midst of a warm and beautiful summer, I wouldn’t expect most of us to be ready for that internal shift. I have noticed over the years though,...Read more...

Many moments of marvel, wonder and awe

08/01/2018 03:45:43 PM

Aug1

By Mary Jane Suzman

In our Torah portion this week, Ekev, God promises to bring the Israelites to a good land, “a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.” He adds “you shall eat and be satisfied and bless the Lord your God for the good...Read more...

Repairing our messy, complicated world

07/26/2018 10:03:04 AM

Jul26

This week marked a shift in the Jewish calendar. We ended the nine days of mourning leading up to our observance of Tisha B’av – the holiday marking the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and other tragic events throughout Jewish history. At this time of year, we recall...Read more...

Looking back even as we move forward

07/19/2018 10:05:28 AM

Jul19

Kim Bodemer

We are heading toward the end of the Torah reading cycle as we begin the final book, Devarim (Deuteronomy), this Shabbat. This week’s parasha begins with Moses giving a series of speeches imploring the Israelites to remember their history as they prepare to enter the promised...Read more...

Land and encountering unforseen issues

07/12/2018 11:12:51 AM

Jul12

Ofer Ben-Gai

 In parashat Matot-Masei, we read this week the sequel to a legal ruling from the previous parasha, Pinchas. The first episode happens while still in the desert, when owning land is still a theoretical dream. Five sisters claim their inheritance rights and win a ruling in their favor. Not a small...Read more...

The Declaration of Independence, Hillel and wise words

07/05/2018 01:51:50 PM

Jul5

Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

Every year on the fourth of July, Americans celebrate Independence Day with cookouts, concerts and fireworks. This year, I took a brief respite from the revelry to re-read America’s founding document, The Declaration of Independence, which was signed on this day in history. I suspect that almost...Read more...

Taking the long way home

06/28/2018 10:29:35 AM

Jun28

Sarah Ruderman Wilensky

There’s a sign at the end of my street that says “DO NOT ENTER BETWEEN 3 AND 5 PM”. For the first 18 months that we lived here, I ignored the sign. It was inconvenient. It was the end of the day. I had just picked up my kids from school, and they were hungry and tired, and I just wanted...Read more...

Connecting today to the mysterious red heifer

06/21/2018 10:13:08 AM

Jun21

Ellie Goldman

Chukkat, this week’s Torah portion, contains the mysterious laws about the sacrifice of the red heifer, a specific process used in ancient purification rituals. None of the laws around the red heifer apply to us today. There is no priesthood. There is no Mishkan (tabernacle)....Read more...

Korach and what constitutes moral leadership

06/14/2018 11:28:14 AM

Jun14

Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

This week’s Torah portion, Korach, and its corresponding haftarah portion share stories of moral leadership. In the Torah portion, we learn of Korach, a man who challenges God’s choice of leaders. Korach decides he knows best and leads a rebellion against Moses and Aaron....Read more...

Caleb, Joshua, spies and standing up for the truth

06/07/2018 11:23:15 AM

Jun7

Jeffrey B. Remz

This week’s Torah reading, Shelach Lecha (“Go forth”) is often remembered (thanks to Manischewitz wine and its logo of yesteryear) for two men carrying grapes. What were Joshua and Caleb doing with the grapes? On the directive of God via Moses, at the conclusion of their...Read more...

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...

Sun, August 19 2018 8 Elul 5778