April 23, 2018 – Rabbi Chai Levy

Over Pesah break, I visited Joshua Tree National Park for the first time. It’s a desert, a midbar, a wilderness. The wilderness, the midbar, is a powerful place. Like a desert, the metaphoric midbar – those times of change and uncertainty -can be a frightening place that feels unstable. But it’s also an awesome place […]

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April 16, 2018 – Rabbi Susan Leider

When you go on vacation, be careful:  Reading just one single book on your vacation reading list, can change everything. This happened to me in 2007 when I found myself literally gobbling up the Ominivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  The one quote that sums up the whole book, is the quote that Pollan brings by […]

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April 9, 2018 – Rabbi Paul Steinberg

The Wisdom of Spring The vivid bursts of springtime greens and yellows are not at all like the musty reds and oranges of autumn. Autumn is a season of decline – a time of impending loss, as seeds are hidden and scattered, and leaves fall away. During autumn, the days grow shorter and summer’s abundant […]

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April 2, 2018 – Rabbi Susan Leider

Embrace boredom.  How is this succinct command coming from a book called, “Deep Work?”  What does boredom have to do with “deep work” anyway?  Carl Jung, a master of deep work, knew that routine and ritual were critical elements in making space for boredom to unfold, and in turn, making space for deep work.  “Deep […]

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March 26, 2018 – Rabbi Chai Levy

The call to leadership is filled with many conflicting emotions: inspiration along with self-doubt, a sense of responsibility along with fear, the desire to grow and for things to change, along with a comfort in things staying exactly the same. It has been an intense week for me personally, as I’ve experienced the mix of […]

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March 19, 2018 – Rabbi Susan Leider

The ancient rabbis were deeply insightful when they envisioned caring for the dead and guiding those mourning the loss of a loved one.  Before the dawn of modern psychology, the rabbis uncannily addressed these existential human needs: naming the loss of a human being in the world, creating concentric circles of time in which to […]

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March 12, 2018 – Rabbi Paul Steinberg

The Power of Memory I never did USY or BBYO.  I never went to Jewish summer camp.  I never set foot in a Hillel House and I didn’t go on a Birthright trip.  In fact, in my teens and early twenties I hardly did anything Jewish at all. By the standards of many Jewish sociologists, […]

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February 26, 2018 – Rabbi Chai Levy

Purim: Not Just for Kids Purim is a great holiday for kids. From dressing up in costumes to making noise when the name of Haman (Booo!) is read, it’s a time to let loose and get a little crazy. But why should the children get to have all the fun? The truth is: Purim isn’t […]

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February 19, 2018 – Rabbi Susan Leider

Hevraya: Many of you have asked about Hevraya, the recent semi-silent clergy retreat in which I recently participated.  What does Hevraya mean?  And is it impossible to picture rabbis on a silent retreat?! Hevraya is an Aramaic word that appears in the Zohar, the quintessential collection of Jewish mystical writings.  There, the Hevraya (an Aramaic […]

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