• Feb2024

    The Witness of Conscience

    February 5, 2024

    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...

  • Jan2024

    STARTING OVER

    January 1, 2024

    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...

  • Dec2023

    The Menorah, the Maccabees, and Us: A Spark of the Divine  On Hanukkah the central religious action we undertake is the lighting of the candles. The tiny candles have always stirred powerful feelings among us. As Dr. Paul Romanoff[1] wrote: For centuries the Menorah burned constantly.           In its light...

  • Nov2023

    Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem and Israel  On Shabbat and holy days, our Sephardic and Mizrachi sisters and brothers recite Psalm 122, a late Psalm, in which holy day pilgrims in Jerusalem reflect on what it might have been like for pilgrims of prior eras to be in Jerusalem....

  • Oct2023

    Dear Am HaYam family, I returned home last Sunday from a family simcha, and was under the weather. I am still recovering, but wanted to send you another note before Shabbat (It is Thursday, 10/19). I understand the Israel Solidarity Gathering that was hosted at Temple Beth Torah, and which...

  • Dear Am HaYam family, I wanted to follow-up my initial response to last Saturday’s brutal attacks on Israel. As you know the attacks came not only on Shabbat, but on the holy day of Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. At the time of writing this (Wednesday evening) more than 1,200...

  • Dear Am HaYam Family: We have all been in agony since hearing the news of the coordinated Hamas terror attacks on Israel on the holy day of Sh’mini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. While we celebrated both days on Shabbat, for many Jews outside of Israel, the holy day period actually ended Sunday...

  • Using Patience

    October 1, 2023

    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...

  • Sep2023

     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...

  • T’shuvah: Time for a Tune-Up

    September 1, 2023

    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...