Blog

The Torah Drash, a modern look at ancient words

Each week synagogues read the weekly Torah portion and rabbis seek modern meaning in ancient words.  This week Rabbi Chester, interim rabbi at Temple Isaiah this year, used the portion to look at our modern political situation. It’s worth reading.   Parshat Toldot: Genesis 25:19 – 28:9 I am one who believes that some things…

Read More »

In These Troubled Times, Get Support

Last week I asked folks on my email list, how are you doing after the Pittsburgh shooting. This reply did not surprise me, “I’m crying a lot.” For some people this tragedy stood alone and stark. For others it added to other troubles in their lives. I asked the people on my list of Seekers and Jews…

Read More »

At Which Service Is a Tallit Worn?

Rabbi Larry Milder of Beth Emek in Pleasanton addressed this question in an email to his members.  I like his very through answer and I’m sharing it with you here.   Tallit in the Morning You walk into the synagogue for services and see a basket of tallitot, prayer shawls. Do you pick one up?…

Read More »

Jewish Conversation or Competition?

The women at Beth Emek asked me for a program on Jewish conversations. With the excellent suggestions from their leader this is what we came up with. Note: you can request a program for your synagogue or Jewish group that is shaped to your interests and needs.   Jewish Conversation or Competition? Do you ever…

Read More »

Don’t Orthodox Jews HAVE to fast on Yom Kippur?

Some Jews are commanded NOT TO FAST. Thus, the local Orthodox shul, Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland, has sent out this reminder to their members several times in the last couple weeks. Location for Medically Required Food and Nursing Mothers: While the holiest day of the year involves five forms of physical restriction (see below for…

Read More »