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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2019 Passover Guide

With Purim just a few days behind us, it is already time for beginning Pesah (Passover) preparations.  One of the most observed Jewish holidays in the U.S. 21st century, Pesah resonates with us on both individual and communal levels.  Our tradition gives us space to identify with the feeling of being personally enslaved and it […]

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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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