Torah Lishma, Torah For Its Own Sake

Teachings from Our Rabbi

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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?

Celebrating Sukkot

on Saturday, 01 October 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, October 2011 Issue

Our Temple Beth Or Sukkot celebration is always a spirited communal gathering filled with music, stories, and the beauty of the night sky above us. This year will be no exception—we will enjoy a Shabbat dinner hosted by the membership committee and then share Shabbat in our Sukkah.

Teshuvat HaGeder: Designing Our Fences

on Wednesday, 28 September 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5772

I recently asked a congregant to share a personal reflection during the High Holidays. The response:

“Rabbi, when I examine myself, I realize that I come up with the same short comings year after year. It's not that I don't see any improvement at all, or that I have unrealistic expectations.

I just experience myself struggling with the same exact issues every year. And of course, they all have to do with interpersonal relationships— how can I be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend. It gets...disheartening.”

The King in the Field

on Thursday, 01 September 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, September 2011 Issue

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains the paradox of Elul with the following metaphor: The king’s usual place is in the capital city, in the royal palace. Anyone wishing to approach the king must go through the appropriate channels in the palace bureaucracy and gain the approval of a succession of royal secretaries and ministers. They must journey to the capital and pass through the many gates, corridors and antechambers that lead to the throne room. Their presentation must be meticulously prepared, and they must adhere to an exacting code of dress, speech and mannerism upon entering into the royal presence.

When is Self-Sacrifice Permissible?

on Saturday, 30 July 2011. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Parshat Ma’asei

 The value of human life, pikuach nefesh, prevails above all else in Judaism. A person’s survival is of highest worth…except in three cases—there are three things that Jews are commanded to refrain from even if this means being killed themselves: committing or abetting an act of murder, being a party to incest, and engaging in idol worship. // Committing or abetting an act of murder, being a party to incest, and defaming God’s name.

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