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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 The Anguish of This Moment Dear Friends, I have been following the events in Israel and Gaza closely. Everything has unfolded so quickly and so alarmingly. I am extremely concerned as events appear to be spiraling out of control. I searched for language to articulate my ...continue reading "The Anguish of This Moment"

A Message from Rabbi Dov Gartenberg Wednesday, April 21, 2021 As the verdict in the Chauvin trial came down yesterday, I thought of this passage which we discussed last week in our Shabbat afternoon study group. “The famous biblical command at Deuteronomy 16:20, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue,’ implies categorically ...continue reading "Justice for Black America is Justice for All of America"

By holding a Shiva, the family also benefits the community. The family is inviting the community in to their home. One of the roles of the community is to console the individual within the community, to be present during a time of grief. By holding a Shiva, a family is giving an opportunity to the community to fulfill its purpose for existence.

By holding a Shiva, the family also benefits the community. The family is inviting the community in to their home. One of the roles of the community is to console the individual within the community, to be present during a time of grief. By holding a Shiva, a family is giving an opportunity to the community to fulfill its purpose for existence.

My approach to studying halachah with you is to explore the realm of real people living in the real world. I am not presenting Judaism as only a way of inventing space for God in the world, but also to present our way of life as a way of finding God in the nooks and crannies of our actual lives as we are already liv­ing them. This is Torah study that deals with the real world and provides insight into the way we might respond to all sorts of distressing, unexpected-and usually complicated aspects of living in that world. This is a deep exploration of Jewish practice that presumes that the most pious, ethical human being cannot avoid encountering vulgarity, obscenity, impropriety, and boorish behavior. Our central question throughout will be: How can Jewish practice help us to live morally, spiritually, in a compromised and complicated world?

My approach to studying halachah with you is to explore the realm of real people living in the real world. I am not presenting Judaism as only a way of inventing space for God in the world, but also to present our way of life as a way of finding God in the nooks and crannies of our actual lives as we are already liv­ing them. This is Torah study that deals with the real world and provides insight into the way we might respond to all sorts of distressing, unexpected-and usually complicated aspects of living in that world. This is a deep exploration of Jewish practice that presumes that the most pious, ethical human being cannot avoid encountering vulgarity, obscenity, impropriety, and boorish behavior. Our central question throughout will be: How can Jewish practice help us to live morally, spiritually, in a compromised and complicated world?

One of the main insights I have gained is that our congregation is going through a period of redefining its identity. There are diverse and opposing opinions within our membership on what we stand for not only as a local congregation, but also as a synagogue identified with the Conservative Movement. In this short essay, I want to begin to suggest a new way to articulate an identity for Congregation B’nai Israel which helps distinguish our place in the community and aligns us with dynamic changes occurring in the Conservative Movement across the country. This new articulation also reflects the approach I have taken and will continue to take while I serve as rabbi of CBI.

One of the main insights I have gained is that our congregation is going through a period of redefining its identity. There are diverse and opposing opinions within our membership on what we stand for not only as a local congregation, but also as a synagogue identified with the Conservative Movement. In this short essay, I want to begin to suggest a new way to articulate an identity for Congregation B’nai Israel which helps distinguish our place in the community and aligns us with dynamic changes occurring in the Conservative Movement across the country. This new articulation also reflects the approach I have taken and will continue to take while I serve as rabbi of CBI.

One of my finest teachers over my rabbinic career is the philosopher, Moshe Halbertal, with whom I studied at the Shalom Hartman Institute. His books on Jewish thought and on Maimonides are among the most respected in contemporary scholarship. He is a keen observer of contemporary events in both Israel ...continue reading "An Observation about Healthy Political Conversation in a Congregation"

As many of are getting vaccinated and we are starting to slowly emerge from confinement, accompanying our physical encounters with a ‘shehechiyanu’ is a way of greeting people with spiritual intention. It is a way of saying to a friend or family member that their presence is deeply felt by us. It is also a way of bringing God into our encounter and sanctifying the moment of physical encounter.

As many of are getting vaccinated and we are starting to slowly emerge from confinement, accompanying our physical encounters with a ‘shehechiyanu’ is a way of greeting people with spiritual intention. It is a way of saying to a friend or family member that their presence is deeply felt by us. It is also a way of bringing God into our encounter and sanctifying the moment of physical encounter.

This is my weekly message to Congregation B'nai Israel of Albuquerque on Thursday, 4/29/21 What does it mean to end our confinement? The Talmud tells a story of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his son who spent 12 years in a cave hiding from the Roman authorities who sought to ...continue reading "Leaving Our Caves: The Difficulties of Post-Pandemic Reentry"