A Bisl Torah

Privacy Please

It is a difficult balance to respect one’s privacy and still feel engaged in someone’s life. Social media has taught us to record and display each moment, significant or not. We learn about the meaningful occasions like when a baby is born or when someone gets married. But the mundane also clutters our newsfeed: which restaurant someone has tried for the first time and what someone is eating for breakfast is common information. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat instruct us to share, post, emote, and bare all. It is a wonder when someone chooses to hold back information. “Not airing…

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Stand By Me

While the news was breaking about the horrific events in Nice, France (how many more times will I need to write a sentence like that?) Sinai Temple opened her doors and prayed with the community. All colors, all creeds, all faiths…dancing and singing and hoping that for a few hours, the fear of the stranger would transform into acceptance of the other. Our law enforcement swayed, arms linked with African-American gospel preachers. And we sang the following: When the night has come And the land is dark And the moon is the only light we’ll see No I won’t be…

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Do You Feel Helpless?

Do you feel helpless? Every day we are barraged with a disregard for life, a reckless destruction of humanity. Why are human beings so egotistical to determine when and where life should cease? No human being should fear another; God should be the only determinant of when life begins and when life ends. Psalm 121 reads, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills; from where does help come? Help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” A raw, anguished cry for help, the Psalmist searches for answers from heaven above. Today, our voices echo the Psalmist….

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Are You an Owner or a Renter?

I recently sat with a Jewish professional and she challenged me to think about those phrases: do those that take part of our faith communities see themselves as owners or renters? An owner is a stakeholder. Someone that sees value in defining the mission of the synagogue, setting achievable goals, volunteering, planning events, all of which assists the clergy person in holy works of engagement. A renter floats. A renter stops in, partakes in a service or two but doesn’t see himself as someone that wishes to invest time, money or effort. A renter sees the synagogue as a “place”…

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