The Witness of Conscience

The Witness of Conscience Our tradition tells of a certain rabbi with a strict sense of justice. Far and wide he was known as an incorruptible judge. One day his own wife raised an outcry because she believed that the housekeeper had stolen a piece of jewelry that was of...

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STARTING OVER

STARTING OVER  Every morning, weekday or Shabbat, we Jews traditionally praise G!d as m’chadesh ma’asei v’reishit, “the Renewer of Creation.”[1] G!d fashions something new each and every day. That includes renewing us, so that we can live out in wholeness what life may bring us this, and every, day. We...

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Using Patience

The biblical figure of Joseph is very good at waiting. Not in his youth, of course: the young Joseph cannot help but blurt out his dreams, no matter how offensive they might be to his listeners. With the hard knocks of living, however, he learns the art and wisdom of...

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Ne’ilah message: Goldberg’s Pencils

 Ne’ilah: Goldberg’s Pencils (delivered by Rabbi J.B. Sacks on September 25, 2023)   A reporter traveled across the country in search of interesting stories. She arrived at a small town in the Midwest. At first, it seemed like every other town she had visited. However, one thing was different: No...

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T’shuvah: Time for a Tune-Up

T’shuvah: Time for a Tune-Up  The buzz word during these days of preparation for the High Holy Days is the Hebrew word t’shuvah. Most translations render the word “repentance,” but that is, at best, a pallid attempt to convey the richness of the Hebrew original. The English “repentance” means “feeling...

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Tu B’Shevat: The Beauties of Nature

A tourist arrived in Taos, New Mexico, and found himself in a hotel room with a huge picture window overlooking a beautiful mountain. The tourist said to their spouse: “It would be a nice view, but I can’t see the scenery because that big mountain is in the way.” We...

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Hiddur Mitzvah: Color and Spice–and Everything Nice

Hiddur Mitzvah: Color and Spice–and Everything Nice   The extensive descriptions of the sanctuary in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible),[1] and the descriptions of the appointment of the priests and their vestments is filled with color, artistic skill, and an emphasis on beauty. The ancient Sages spoke of hiddur mitzvah,[2]...

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The Passion in Compassion

From the Rabbi’s Study   The Passion in Compassion As a member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, Cantor Isaac Goodfriend[1] joined his colleagues in a tour of a number of concentration camps and other sites. During the tour he visited the Polish farmer who had hidden him and...

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