Sign In Forgot Password

see the blessings

03/30/2023 09:27:36 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Two seemingly unrelated incidents of late that are on my mind have a shared thread that I hope to make apparent. I have spoken very little about the political scene in Israel, preferring to give the new government the opportunity to act. Gradually I began to see the error of that decision as statements that reflected poor choices of words made the trajectory of the new government veer onto...Read more...

tradition, transition and change. 

03/23/2023 10:45:26 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Last week I was privileged to attend the Jewish Educators Assembly conference, and I am grateful to my congregation for the opportunity to engage in professional development. The theme of Tradition, Transition and Change reminded me of the seminal work “Tradition and Change” written by Rabbi Mordechai Waxman in 1958. It spoke of the essential foundations of the Conservative movement and...Read more...

to ai or not to ai?

03/16/2023 10:16:09 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I have a teleprompter app on my iPad that I use when I’m recording a speech. It is very easy to use, and I can place the iPad over my computer monitor, look at the green light of my camera, and record. It is a really useful app if you are called upon to record speeches, as frequently happens to me. I opened the app the other day and clicked the tab for “new script”, and a small window...Read more...

unanticipated friends

03/09/2023 08:50:54 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

A few weeks ago we finished up a Purim shpiel rehearsal at Calvary Episcopal Church (If you would like to view “Estar Wars”, click here: I gathered my things and took the elevator down to the lobby. Exiting the elevator, I heard voices, and came upon a post-rehearsal conversation between Rector Jonathon Jensen and Associate Rector Neil Raman, both of...Read more...

the template

03/02/2023 08:52:16 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

The continuous stream of antisemitism is wearying. Attacking individual Jews after morning minyan in Los Angeles, vandalizing synagogues, and a “Day of H” just make you wonder what has become of America. Perhaps someone can explain the math to me of certain Americans who claim that they love America yet H 60% of its citizens?

Imagine the story of a powerful leader in government who wants to eliminate the Jews? We sadly know this to be true more than once, with usually horrific consequences. It is not unprecedented, yet there can be cause for hope and even celebration. I have commented before that the first recorded case of antisemitism occurred in ancient Egypt, when the new Pharaoh said, “Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase; otherwise in the event of war they may join our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground.” [Exodus 1:9-10, JPS edition]. A comparable set of reasons were offered in 479BCE: “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed among the other peoples in all the provinces of your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; and it is not in Your Majesty’s interest to tolerate them.” But it didn’t end with this statement. The speaker went on to bribe the king: “If it please Your Majesty, let an edict be drawn for their destruction, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the stewards for deposit in the royal treasury.” Thereupon the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of the Jews. And the king said, “The money and the people are yours to do with as you see fit.” [Megilat Esther 3:8-11, translation from Sefaria]Read more...

where's the holiness?

02/23/2023 09:00:04 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

For those who regularly follow the weekly Torah portions, two weeks ago we read of God’s revelation at Mt. Sinai, and the gift of God’s law. The portion this week, Terumah, features a verse found at synagogues throughout the world: And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. Does God truly need a place to dwell? Are not the heavens the abode of God?


just stop it now

02/16/2023 09:23:48 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

As I drove up the street this morning, I saw elementary school children headed off to school.  One boy was skipping, another was smiling brightly, and two girls were giggling.  Oh to be that young again, oblivious to the harsh realities of the world at that particular moment.  They probably did not know of the shooting at Michigan State University or, locally, the shooting outside of...Read more...

in remembrance there is life

02/09/2023 09:36:47 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I had the opportunity this week to view the new exhibit curated by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh entitled “Revolving Doors”, with the director of the Center, Lauren Bairnsfather. It is housed in the library on the campus of Chatham University, which happens to be across the street from Tree of Life.  I really had no idea what to expect, and was surprised by its depth and...Read more...

maybe we are?

02/02/2023 09:36:09 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Even a cursory review of human history will include examples of inhumanity, with the incomparable Holocaust as a stark reminder of how base human behavior can be.  The question I have been pondering in light of the horrific beating and subsequent death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is: Are there words and actions that humans perform that make them subhuman, or are these part of humanity?...Read more...

mah nishtanah?

01/26/2023 09:31:15 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I received a text from a dear friend and colleague on Tuesday morning that read: “Boker Tov (good morning). Just wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you and praying fervently for the people in this forsaken country”.  I’m blessed to have many dear colleagues who continue to support me 4 1/2 years later. Alas when mass shootings occur, I’m on their minds and prayers. The...Read more...

Thu, March 30 2023 8 Nisan 5783