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does tisha b'av still matter?

07/28/2020 08:18:34 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

There are some people who consider the observance of Tisha B’av (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) outdated and no longer relevant. Tisha B’av commemorates the destruction of both the first and second Holy Temples, which occurred on the same date. Alas, there are other calamities that also fell on Tisha B’av, but there are so many in number that frankly, you might become depressed. With all happening...Read more...

Where have all the flowers gone?

07/23/2020 11:00:58 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

There are some who have elevated the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the role of prophet, especially the prophets that we read and learn about in the Bible. When they saw injustice, they publicly chastised the people, reminding them of their responsibilities from God to create a just society. Dr. King was borne of that mold. Referencing the prophets of old, he chastised us and reminded us of our...Read more...

a Positive unintended consequence

07/16/2020 08:34:49 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I have come to learn that sometimes good things can occur at a later time after something bad. I like to call them positive unintended consequences. For example, in the days, weeks and months after 10.27, doors that had not yet opened (granted, I was only in Pittsburgh for fifteen months) sprung open. It takes time to build relationships, but the compassion displayed and generosity of spirit provided...Read more...

Meet our new President: Carol SIkov Gross

07/15/2020 11:48:17 AM


Carol Sikov Gross

As the new president of Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha, I want to introduce myself to those who may not know me or know of my generations-long connections to TOLOLS.

As a lifelong member of Tree of Life, a lot of my family history took place here, whether it was...Read more...

dare to be inspired

07/09/2020 09:43:29 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

One book. The reading of one book inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the lyrics and music that became “Hamilton”. Lost in the acclaim of the musical is that the idea germinated after he read a book, “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow. If ever there might be an advertisement to encourage reading, this is it.

Reading and a love of reading does not suddenly show up. It...Read more...

i can see the promised land

06/25/2020 03:49:02 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

For those who have been regularly following the weekly Torah reading in the synagogue, we just read of an incredibly tragic moment: God’s decision that the Israelites will wander through the Wilderness for forty years. Let us back up for a moment and not only review the episode, but the traditional point of view as well. Twelve men are sent into the Promised Land to reconnoiter and bring back a report of what...Read more...

getting along

06/18/2020 06:52:55 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

The simplistic question, “Can’t everybody just get along” has been asked rhetorically, and clearly answered with a resounding “no”. While I have been gratified to see images of so many white people engaged in protests and rallies, they are the choir that does not need to be preached to. Isn’t that always the case? Our human history is replete with wars and the need for one civilization or society to...Read more...

Message from the president

06/14/2020 06:00:00 AM


Carol Sikov Gross

This is my first blog as President, and I am excited to share some updates with you.

There has been a lot going on with Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha building:

The clean-up and archiving of items and materials in the building is continuing. Opportunities for you to help will be announced soon.

Socially aware

06/11/2020 10:00:18 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I continue to learn much from my dear friend Eric Manning, who is the Pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. When I asked him during our conversation broadcast through social media on Wednesday evening, June 10, “what worries you the most”, his response reverberated through my core. His greatest fear is when his son goes out at night, praying that he arrives home safely. At first blush we might...Read more...

we simply must

06/04/2020 10:22:32 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

My family came to these shores escaping anti-Semitism, looking for a better life for them and their families. His family came to these shores as property, having been ripped away from their family. My family looked over their shoulders to lovingly say goodbye to family and friends, unaware that when all was said and done, six million would be dead. His family screamed and cried as cruel men stole them, shoved them...Read more...

Thu, October 1 2020 13 Tishrei 5781