Torah Lishma, Torah For Its Own Sake

Teachings from Our Rabbi


Tallit & Teffilin: Relevant for Today's Jews?

on Thursday, 01 December 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

The ORacle, December 2011 Issue

A congregant recently remarked, “I noticed that many people are wearing a tallit [prayer shawl] at services, perhaps we can add the third paragraph of the Sh’ma that includes the mitzvah of tzitzit?”

Wresting With Gratitude

on Friday, 25 November 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Thanksgiving 2011

"There is a well-known scene in Fiddler on The Roof, when Tevye and the other men of the village are discussing the Czar of Russia. Someone suggests that a blessing be said on behalf of the czar. Another asks inquisitively, “Is there a blessing for the czar?” The rabbi responds, “In Judaism there is a blessing for everything.” He continues, “May the Lord bless and keep the czar . . . far away from us!”

Judaism and Occupy Wall Street

on Friday, 11 November 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Jews have participated in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement since right before Rosh Hashana this year. Protestors have shared Shabbat meals, dined in Sukkot, danced with Torahs. With signs saying “We are the 99%” (as opposed to the 1% who hold the vast majority of the wealth in this country), they gather to protest corporate greed, social and economic inequality, and bailouts for banks in the absence of bailouts for students and homeowners. And yes, while there are those on the fringe who have resorted to violence, let this not detract from the righteousness of the cause.

Havdalah, A Taste of the World to Come

on Tuesday, 01 November 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, November 2011 Issue

Havdalah is a favorite ritual of mine. The lights dim and we sway softly to the familiar melody, the light of the Havdalah candle reflected in each person’s eyes. The hiss of the candle’s flame as it meets the sweet wine reminds us of our opportunity each week to recommit ourselves to the people we seek to be in our highest moments. We welcome the week with our arms around each other singing “Shavuah Tov.” Together we begin anew with a foundation of community, a foundation of holiness.

The Book of Life

on Friday, 07 October 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Kol Nidre 5772

“You are judge and prosecutor, litigant and witness, author, and sealer. You record and recount.” We recite these words again and again from the Unetaneh Tokef prayer throughout the High Holy Days. What does it mean to address a Divine author or the Creator as writer? Where does the Eternal’s pen stop and ours begin? What kind of writing is in the Eternal’s record and what does it reveal about us?

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