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Disarming Hatred: A Response to the Tragedy in Pittsburgh

10/29/2018 08:26:34 PM

Oct29

Cantor Lauren Phillips Fogelman

When I was a teenager, I visited Europe with my family. Among the sites we toured were several synagogues, including the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul. At the time, the congregation had experienced both a mass shooting and a bombing. In 1986, gunmen opened fire during a Shabbat service, resulting in the death of 22 individuals. In 1992, a bomb exploded at the synagogue. Fortunately, that there were no casualties...Read more...

I Will Plant for my children 

10/25/2018 04:43:29 PM

Oct25

"Just as my ancestors planted for me, so I will plant for my children." -Babylonian Talmud Taanit 23a

 

Our sages teach us about a man named Honi who saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”

The man replied, “Seventy years.”

Honi then asked the man, “Do you really thin you will live another seventy years to eat from the fruit of this...Read more...

Mar HesHvan Sameach!

10/10/2018 05:21:31 PM

Oct10

Cantor Lauren Phillips Fogelman

The gates are closed, the month of Tishrei is over, and we have officially made it through another High Holy Day season. This week we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Heshvan, the beginning of the Hebrew month of Heshvan. Heshvan is affectionately nicknamed “Mar Heshvan,” which means “Sad Heshvan” in Hebrew. Heshvan is considered to be a sad month because it is the only month on the Hebrew calendar without a single Jewish holiday. Our next...Read more...

just add water: seeking forgiveness During Taschlich

09/04/2018 11:04:54 AM

Sep4

Cantor Lauren Phillips Fogelman

When we perform Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah afternoon, we literally cast the sins of the past year into a body of water. We represent our wrongdoings with pieces of bread. As we toss them into the dampness, we reflect upon the things we wish we had done better, promising to make improvements over the course of the coming year.

Tashlich is one of my favorite Jewish rituals because...Read more...

connecting song with prayer

08/30/2018 03:39:05 PM

Aug30

Cantor Phillips Fogelman

The Chasidic master Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov, recounts a story of a boy who brought his flute to synagogue on Yom Kippur. The boy didn’t know the prayers, but was moved by the music and the spirituality of the service. At first, he sat in quiet frustration, unsure of how to express his connection with the liturgy. Towards the end of Neilah, the final...Read more...

Wed, November 21 2018 13 Kislev 5779