From Rabbi Rachel Kort
Empowering Individuals to Take the Lead in their Jewish Lives My parents never told me why I should be Jewish. Instead, they raised me with rich Jewish experiences that invited me to discover why I should be Jewish for myself. I grew up eating Happy Meals in the temple sukkah, writing post-cards to my Ethiopian-Israeli […]
From Rabbi Jessica Marshall
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Nine years ago, I sat in the Temple Beth Or sanctuary during my interview weekend. It was Sunday morning during the Q&A open to all congregants. After a full and intense weekend, and I was doing my best to wow all of you 🙂 Someone asked the question if I thought my age would be a challenge, and after I responded, a certain congregant who shall remain nameless, but who had a starring role in the infamous hot tub story and is the proud papa to 6 kids said, “I don’t think it’s a challenge, I think it’s an asset.” I remember feeling so grateful for his confidence in me and the willingness of a community to put their trust in a rabbi who was still a bit of a greenhorn. How we’ve grown together the past 9 years…
Dear Temple Beth Or Members, The past 9 years have been filled with blessings in co-creating a sacred kehillah together. It has been the deepest honor to be your rabbi sharing simchas and supporting each other through sorrows. I have treasured sharing Shabbat and holidays, deepening our relationships through learning Torah, shmoozing at onegs, meals […]
“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens. You shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Eternal your God.”
Our Jewish self-identity revolves around our earliest roots as gerim, as strangers. The commandment not to oppress the stranger is repeated thirty-six times—the most often repeated commandment in the Torah. Our appreciation of this commandment is reenacted each Pesach as we retell of our Egyptian enslavement and also recalled every time we recite the kiddush, the blessing over the wine, thanking God for freeing us from Egyptian bondage. Moses even goes as far as to name his son Gershom, meaning “a stranger there.” Gershom stands as a powerful symbol of our mindfulness of this commandment.