September 2012 archive

Army Values and Jewish Values- Yom Kippur 5773

One hundred fifty years ago, almost to the day, the first Rabbi was commissioned as a chaplain in the United States Army.  Last year, a memorial was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery to the 13 Jewish chaplains who have died during active duty service to our beloved country.  Their sacrifice is a tribute to the …

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For the Love of Yiddish- Rosh HaShana, 5773

May all your teeth fall out except one, so you can still have a toothache. May you grow like an onion, with your head in the ground. If you can’t say anything nice, say it in Yiddish. My dad’s parents, Jessie and Harold, were born, respectively, in Lynn, MA and Bloomfield, CT. My mom’s father, …

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Power of Community

Originally published in Jewish News of Greater Phoenix Online. September 21, 2012. ******* Vayelech, Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30 Moses’ life is drawing to a close. With his final breath, he encourages Joshua and the people to be strong and fearless, and to maintain their awe of the Holy One. What is the source of this communal power? …

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Book Contribution

I’m very proud to share my contribution to a new book, On Sacred Ground:  Jewish and Christian Clergy Reflect on Transformative Passages From The Five Books of Moses, edited by Jeff Bernhardt and published by Blackbird Books. “And it shall be, when you come close to war, the priest shall approach and speak to the …

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Avinu Malkenu- Save Us!

Last Sat night, we ushered in the Yamim Noraim, the days of awe, with an awesomely moving Selichot service, One thing struck me, though- the translation of the prayer Avinua Malkenu. In this prayer, we beg God to treat us with grace, to answer us- we acknowledge that we need compassion beyond the merits of …

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L’El Orech Din

L’El Orech Din- To the One Who Arranges Judgment “Hinei Yom haDin”- Judgment Day has arrived. This is the powerful message of the Untaneh Tokef prayer, with its depiction of the heavenly court and even the angels trembling before God’s throne. The theme is expanded in the beautiful piyyut on p. 401 (in the Gates …

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