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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Purim: Life Needs Farce and Fantasy

From the Rabbi’s Study   Purim: Life Needs Farce and Fantasy   The Scroll of Esther (M’gilat Ester) contains a melodramatic tale of court intrigue, not unlike what one might find in the Arabian Nights. The outlines of its story are well-known, but in reading the tale, questions abound. Why...

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Message About Ukraine

Dear Am HaYam Family, It is with heavy heart that we approach Shabbat, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We are concerned about the potential for this conflict to deepen. We are concerned about the potential for other countries to enter the conflict on one side of the other. We are...

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Let’s Place Our Bets Carefully

From the Rabbi’s Study   Let’s Place Our Bets Carefully The man sitting on the park bench facing the synagogue was a picture of dejection. His shabby clothes looked as if he had slept in them, and his tired face was covered by a heavy growth. Overcome by pity for...

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Cleaning Our Temple from the Idols We Worship

From the Rabbi’s Study Cleaning Our Temple from the Idols We Worship Two seasoned sailors heard the chaplain preach on the Ten Commandments. When the sermon was over, one sailor muttered to his friend, “Well, at least I never made any graven images.” That sailor, like most of us, looked...

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The Narrow Bridge We’re On, and the Courage of Hanukkah

From the Rabbi’s Study The Narrow Bridge We’re On, and the Courage of Hanukkah Rav Nachman of Bratzlav taught that, “The world is a very narrow bridge. What’s essential, however, is to fear not.” Artist Michael Morgenstern was inspired by Rav Nachman to create this work of art:  We are...

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