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"
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?
Thursday, March 18, 2021/ 5 Nisan, 5781 Our Year with Covid 19 Last year we gathered for the reading of Megilat Esther with the storm clouds of the Corona Virus pandemic approaching. We had a nice crowd for the reading, many in costume, with an outwardly festive mood. I could ...continue reading "Our Year with Covid-19"
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.