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We are deeply moved by the outpouring of support for our synagogue from our community and people across the country and around the world in the wake of the horrific anti-Semitic attack of October 27, 2018. We will continue to mourn our lost congregants, even as we honor their memories by healing, growing, and strengthening the congregation they loved. We deeply appreciate the many offers of assistance and support of the victims' families and to help rebuild the Tree of Life synagogue. Your support proves that love is truly stronger than hate.
The Tree of Life fund for Victims and Families is closed. You may still to the impacted synagogues or other community agencies.

Eleven Months

09/18/2019 09:45:05 AM

Sep18

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Today is the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Elul, eleven months after the 18th of Heshvan, which corresponds to October 27. Today concludes the recitation of Mourner’s Kaddish, although there will indeed be differences of opinion in this matter.  For the sake of communal clarity and support, I have suggested today’s date. There are no formal ceremonies. Informal ones have been devised by many creative people, for the starkness of...Read more...

The Lessons I've Learned

09/13/2019 11:36:08 AM

Sep13

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

There are certain dates within our lives that we remember most vividly, be they joyous or sad. 9/11 is one of those days. My congregation in Long Island was approximately a one-hour drive from Manhattan, and many NYC Firefighters lived in my...Read more...

Hope Springs Eternal

09/05/2019 05:45:09 PM

Sep5

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

It is very easy to lose hope.  The news seems filled with massacre after massacre in the United States, as we become numb. Even “prayers and thoughts” have disappeared from the public vocabulary. Part of my morning prayer rituals is the recitation of Psalm 121, which begins with: “I lift up my eyes to the heavens; from whence will my help come? My help comes from God, Maker of heaven and earth.” I...Read more...

A Different Kind of Alarm Clock

08/30/2019 05:47:25 PM

Aug30

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

This Saturday evening begins the Hebrew month of Elul. It is the concluding month of the lunar calendar, followed by Tishrei, upon which we commence the celebration of Rosh Hashanah.  There are two interesting additions to the liturgy for the month of Elul: we begin the recitation of Psalm 27, and we sound the Shofar at morning services Sunday through Friday (not on Shabbat). Why the sounding of the Shofar?...Read more...

A Tree Grows in Uganda

08/22/2019 05:48:35 PM

Aug22

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

We were privileged on Monday evening to host a whirlwind 24-hour visit by two young men from Kampala, Uganda: Wanini Esav and Yonatan Katz Lukato. Permit me to share a bit of the background story. At some point shortly after October 27, Yonatan found my son Aaron on Facebook, and then Yonatan shared with me a remarkable request. There existed at that time eight Jewish communities in Uganda, all of them in the...Read more...

In The Sandbox

08/15/2019 05:49:48 PM

Aug15

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

There were two significant anniversaries commemorated this week that deserve mention. On August 12, 2017, a white supremacist rally turned deadly as one participant rammed his car through innocent citizens, killing Heather Heyer. That day also marked the beginning of my weekly blog, as our Executive Director at that time, Joel Goldstein, suggested that it would be important that I share a message with the...Read more...

A Day in the Life

08/01/2019 05:50:35 PM

Aug1

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Sensory input is connected to our memories, as a certain taste, smell, touch, sight or sound can immediately activate a memory, be it long dormant or perhaps recent. How often do we read or hear of someone trying to recreate a favorite recipe inherited from a deceased family member, with the remark that “it just doesn’t taste like the way grandma used to make it”?  Hopefully most of the recollections are pleasant ones. Alas,...Read more...

Causeless Love

07/26/2019 05:52:08 PM

Jul26

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

We have entered a period of time within the Jewish calendar called “the three weeks”.  It begins a downward trajectory from the 17th day of Tammuz, when the outer wall of Jerusalem was breached by the Romans in the year 70 culminating in the destruction of the 2nd Holy Temple on the 9th of Av just three weeks later.  Coincidentally, the 1st Holy Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians also on the 9th of Av.  One of the more...Read more...

Gratitude

07/11/2019 05:53:04 PM

Jul11

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

“You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find you get what you need.” (The Rolling Stones)

There is power in these lyrics on so many levels.  I chuckle when I think of the unusual arrangement of having The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing back-up to The Rolling Stones, which seems so incredible, yet brilliant. Of course they would not have accompanied The Stones on “Sympathy for the Devil”!

It...Read more...

What's it all About?

06/06/2019 05:52:55 PM

Jun6

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

We are on the cusp of Shavuot, the festival that commemorates God’s Revelation at Mt. Sinai that led to our receiving the gift of the Torah.  Between reading the description of this event in the Torah and viewing Cecil B. DeMille’s magnum opus, The Ten Commandments, we should be impressed.  But Shavuot is not about dynamic special effects; rather it is about receiving the...Read more...

Fri, December 13 2019 15 Kislev 5780