15 Tammuz 5781

By templenj | June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021 This week’s Torah portion, Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9), presents us with a fantastical story of the talking donkey. Our relationship with animals is strong, but for some, not so. We allow animals into our homes, our bedrooms, and our most intimate moments, lavishing affection on them during the quiet moments of our days.…

8 Tammuz 5781

By templenj | June 18, 2021

June 18, 2021 I officiated at a wedding about three and a half years ago. Okay, it was actually only about fifteen months ago; but with the Corona Virus, it seems like a lot longer. It was a beautiful wedding filled with love. There were lots of hugs, handshakes, and kisses of Mazel Tov. When the…

1 Tammuz 5781

By templenj | June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021 After weathering the challenge mounted by Korach in this week’s Torah named after him, Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32), the tribe of Levi assumes its proper status as the tribe in charge of taking care of the Tabernacle. The people of Israel are told: “They [the Levites] shall follow after you and guard the…

24 Sivan 5781

By templenj | June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021 The story of the spies in this week’s Torah portion, Shelach-L’cha (Numbers 13:1-15:41), ends in a 40-year march through the Wilderness so that the generation of the Exodus will have passed on, and a new generation would be the one that enters into the “Promised Land.”  When the People heard the discouraging…

17 Sivan 5781

By templenj | May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021 2021 has been a heck of a year so far and we are feeling more and more hopeful as people get vaccinated. At the same time, we are also feeling despair as to the number fighting against science and the obligation to be a supportive member of society. Despair is best summarized…

10 Sivan 5781

By templenj | May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021 This past weekend (which feels like eons ago) I experienced the most incredible spiritual whiplash. We celebrated Shavuot, a holiday dedicated to the giving of Torah, of revelation, of the covenant, as was as joined together in the sacred ceremony of Confirmation with nine of our young adults and their families. But…

3 Sivan 5781

By templenj | May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021 According to the Torah, we are just now, with this week’s Torah portion at the beginning of the Book of Numbers, entering Bamidbar/the wilderness (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20). According to us, it feels like 40 years of wandering aimlessly, hoping to reach the promised land with no idea how to get there,…

2021-2022 Religious School Registration is open

By Karen Rosenberg | May 3, 2021

View the 2021-2022 School Calendar All Religious School and Hebrew High School families are required to complete new Religious School Student Information Forms and re-enroll in the Remind Text Service. If you haven’t done so already, please follow each of these steps: 1.  Click on this link to log in to your Shul Cloud account and…

18 Iyar 5781 – 33rd Day of the Omer

By templenj | April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021 As a product of our Reform camping system, I have had since childhood a fascination and a fondness for archery. One of my earliest memories, probably from about the time I was fourteen years old, attending the URJ Greene Family in Bruceville, Texas, searching through shrubs and small trees with my counselor…

11 Iyar 5781

By templenj | April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021 I learned this joke many years ago as I was studying the nuances of the Yiddish language: Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin, had just died and the communist party was looking for a fitting inscription for his tombstone.  Remarkably, a Jew came up with the  perfect inscription: “Beauty, Purity, and Sacrifice.”  Fellow Jews…

4 Iyar 5781

By templenj | April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021 This week’s double Torah reading of Tazria and Metzorah (Leviticus 12:1-15:33) run high on the “least favorite portions of the year” list. They talk in detail about Tzara’at, discolorations of the skin, clothing, or even the walls of one’s house. Sometimes those blemishes fit certain criteria and could be classified as an…

27 Nisan 5781

By templenj | April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021 Our Torah reading this week contains one of the most infamous stories in the Torah, the tragic deaths of Nadav and Avihu in Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47). As always, the question is, what does this story have to teach us today? The portion starts off upbeat: the Tabernacle in the desert was…