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A Bisl Torah

Outside Our Door


My morning ritual involves 15 minutes of uninterrupted coffee drinking, scrolling through emails and reading the news. On Wednesday morning, a few congregants had already reached out, asking me to check our front doorstep. Apparently, within the blocks surrounding Sinai Temple were strewn packages of hate mail. Ziplock bags blaming Jews for evil within the world and the use of typical antisemitic phrases and slurs. Our security is aware of this action and took appropriate steps to report such behavior.

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Receiving


The Gottman Institute, an organization dedicated to the repairing and rebuilding of relationships, is known for “Love Maps.” Through a couple’s journey, each partner is encouraged to engage in a love map. A love map identifies the priorities, interests, dreams, and aspirations of each partner. How well did you know each other at the start of the relationship? How well do you know each other now? And a love map, while seemingly designed for couples, can be applied to other relationships. How well do we know the people in our lives? And do we put in the work to understand how they have transformed, who they are today?

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A Song of Lament


On Sunday, I spent the day at the baseball field, watching my sons enjoy their favorite sport. At my older son’s game, the opposing team used an application that called out each player’s name. And more entertaining, it played a specific song as that batter took their stance.

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The Rabbi I Am


This week I was honored to attend the rabbinic ordination at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. This also marks the 13th anniversary of my own rabbinic ordination. I watched the seven newly minted rabbis look at the audience with joy, a little trepidation, and mostly, accomplishment over their completed journey.

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Elevate


It has become “tradition” to light yellow candles on Yom HaShoah, honoring the memories of those that perished in the Holocaust. What is the purpose in lighting these candles year after year?

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Crumbs


I thought cleaning for Pesach was a nightmare. Nope. Cleaning for Pesach was somewhat therapeutic. A blend of kashering dishes, clearing out the pantry, and giving the fridge a good scrubbing.

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What’s Missing?


One of the main themes of Passover is humility. We eat matzah that is flattened as a reminder to calm down our often puffed up egos. But I think we forget to concentrate on that which is missing: The yeast.

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