As we gather around our seder tables this year, we will reflect on our people’s liberation from the degradation of slavery in Egypt.
We recall with gratitude that many of our more immediate ancestors – or we ourselves – were offered refuge from persecution by the United States and Canada, while knowing that some in our community have also experienced the pain of discrimination in North America.
If we are to heed the call of freedom that...Read More
The Torah recounts that during their journey in the wilderness, the Israelites were guided by a pillar (of cloud by day and of fire by night) that represented God’s presence in their midst. When the pillar moved, they moved, and when the pillar stopped, they stopped.
It occurs to me that for a good portion of their 40-year journey, that pillar must have been stopped, guiding our ancestors to stay in place. In those moments, the purpose of the journey was not in physical walking, but in active waiting.
These times...Read More
Bonfires have a gravitational pull about them.
It's not solely that radiant orange warmth on a cool mountain evening or light after the sky surrenders to twilight. It's not even their talent for roasting undeniably delicious marshmallows. I think their magic lies in the dance of the flames, those blues, oranges, and whites burning bright while peacefully submitting to the will of the breeze.
Last summer, I found myself at a moment of peaceful submission, surrounded by community and warmed by fire – when I first heard the song. Jared Stein,...Read More
Cantor Berger received his ordination from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 2007 and served as the first full-time cantor of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a...Read More
I recently had the opportunity to watch the film Just Mercy, based on the powerful autobiography by Black lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. The film is now available for digital release (a bit earlier than originally expected), and it’s well worth the watch.
Starring Michael B. Jordan as Stevenson, the film tells the incredible story of his fight...Read More