2020 Posts


Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 01/29/2020

I am always amused, and at the same time horrified, by the account of the third plague. "Aaron held out his arm with the rod and struck the dust of the earth, and vermin came upon human and beast. All the dust of the earth turned to lice throughout the land of Egypt.

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 01/31/2020

Almost all rituals that initiate candidates into a defined group involve saying something. When someone comes forward to be a citizen of the United States they take an oath of allegiance. New police swear an oath to never betray their badge, their integrity, their character or the public trust.

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 02/07/2020

The sadness we feel at Rabbi Feldman's z"l passing is still with us, as it will be for a long time. And yet this Shabbat the Torah reading schedule inexorably brings us to Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea.

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Erev Shabbat Message From Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 02/14/2020

Every so often we read in the Torah a verse or two that grabs us and won't let go. This week I was moved anew by Exodus 19:4-6, "I lifted you up on eagle's wings and I brought you to me...and you will be a treasure for Me from among all nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you will be for Me a nation of priests and a holy people..."

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Erev Shabbat Message From Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 02/21/2020

I am often asked "What do you think is the essence of Judaism?" Usually my response is based squarely on a quote from this week's Torah portion. In Exodus 24:5-8 we readers are given front-row seats at the ritual that Moses performed to confirm the Israelites in the covenant that God had proposed to them on the mountain.

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Erev Shabbat Message From Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 02/28/2020

"Build me a sanctuary," said God. It was the culmination of God's creation that God would have a pied-a-terre in the finite realm. Designed for human operation, the sanctuary would be a sophisticated piece of spirituaI tech ware that would initiate a easy, user-friendly interface between humans and the divine.

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Erev Shabbat Message From Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 03/06/2020

When I teach people about the tradition of Judaism, and I need to explain what are Mishnah, and Talmud, I say something like: First there was the Torah. Torah has lots of instructions, but they're not always so clear. So the wise, beginning with Moshe, were forced to invent interpretation strategies.

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Erev Shabbat Message From Rabbi Bob Freedman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 03/13/2020

I'm writing this in reaction to the fear that has been generated about Corona virus. Many of those to whom I've spoken are of two minds. I've heard and share respect for the necessity of being very careful in the face of a disease that is extremely contagious and whose effects are not yet well understood.

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 04/03/2020

Thanks to our current plague, we are in a sha-at d'chak, a time of crisis. Not only because we are worried about those whom we love, but also for the holiday, we really want to be together with family and community. 

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 03/27/2020

Remember the joke? An old curse says, "May you live in interesting times." Thanks to the corona virus we're in the middle of as "interesting" a time as any of us can remember.  However, it's good to be mindful of another adage to set against the "curse:"

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 04/17/2020

April 22, 28th day of Nisan, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Though I doubt I have anything to say about the Holocaust that hasn't been said before, I'm compelled to write about it. I hope my compulsion will shock you too into thinking about it. It's so easy to slide away from the Holocaust in our minds...

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 04/24/2020

How quarantine and trust intertwine is so complex. Here's the text from this week's Torah portion, talking about mold in the walls of a house, that got me thinking about it. [Leviticus 14:34-37] "The owner of the house [noticing red or green streaks in the walls] shall come and tell the priest saying, 'Something that looks to me like a plague is in my house.' 

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 05/01/2020

Ush'avtem mayim b'sasson, mimay'ney ha-y'shu-a, you will draw water in joy from springs of salvation. It's a great song to dance the hora to. It's also in the Haftarah for Yom Ha-atsma-ut, Israeli Independence day, the day on which I'm writing this.

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 05/08/2020

It's late Saturday night in a bar in the Jewish section of town. A man and a dog walk into a bar. The man orders a slivovitz for himself, and for his dog, a beer in a dish.

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 05/15/2020

Have you noticed the robins lately? It seems like there are a lot of them. Actually there hasn't been a dramatic rise in robin birthrate this year. We're just seeing more of them close up. Less human activity, less traffic. makes them bolder. 

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Bob Freeman
Posted by The Jewish Center on 05/22/2020

One of the tasks I set myself when I accepted this assignment was to prepare a kavannah, a prayer intention, for every Shabbat morning service. Then Covid happened. I'm still preparing my kavvanot, but the time of quarantine, not being able to daven with people around, has made me think even more about prayer. I'll share what I've been thinking with you.

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg
Posted by The Jewish Center on 06/05/2020

I am thrilled to be starting as your Interim Spiritual Leader. I look forward to meeting you personally, and getting to know the people of this community. I am only sorry that I begin my time here in the middle of a pandemic. 

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg
Posted by The Jewish Center on 06/26/2020

Please click here for Rabbi Schoenberg's Erev Shabbat Message

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Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg
Posted by The Jewish Center on 07/10/2020

Please CLICK HERE for Rabbi Schoenberg's Erev Shabbat Message
Pinchas

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