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i'll have a pound of kavana please. 

07/08/2021 09:34:35 AM

Jul8

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

As more and more people return to in-person services, I have heard many remark that the virtual services were just not for them. I certainly can understand, because the ideal way to pray is with a minyan of people all in the same room at the same time. Is it not interesting that I had to define minyan, for in the past it was clear what I meant? It led me to think quite a bit about the word...Read more...

the dreaded phrase

07/01/2021 09:06:19 AM

Jul1

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I am about to utter a seven-word phrase that evokes dread in all Rabbis and Cantors: Two months until the High Holy Days! That may seem like a great deal of time, but it really is not. In my role as Hazzan I prepare the liturgy, although fortunately we have a wonderful Cantorial Soloist, so that lessens the Cantorial part of the burden somewhat. When I think about sermons, there are six to...Read more...

what makes us happy?

06/24/2021 09:13:51 AM

Jun24

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

The thing about taking a long drive is that there is ample opportunity to be alone with your thoughts without interruptions. While I possibly constructed a High Holy Day sermon in my head, this year has been one of thinking about the big picture questions.  Why am I here, and not solely why God sent me to Pittsburgh, but my presence on this planet? Is my presence about acquiring a...Read more...

let's open the door together

06/18/2021 09:28:12 AM

Jun18

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

We are in this transitional period between strict quarantine and herd immunity. Since there are few Americans alive who can tell us what life was like during the 1917 pandemic, no one has personal experience in navigating this unexplored terrain. The CDC says one thing, states may agree or disagree, well-meaning doctors and scientists release social media videos that claim something else, and...Read more...

Shehecheyanu part II

06/10/2021 05:26:56 PM

Jun10

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

We held our first in-person services this past Shabbat, and while I did not have any trepidation about holding a service unmasked with other inoculated people who were also unmasked, I was not sure how people would respond to the opportunity to meet in person. Would fear keep people away? Would the fact that we have not met in person for sixteen months have made religious services superfluous? Is...Read more...

a Shehecheyanu moment

06/03/2021 09:41:23 AM

Jun3

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I attended my first in-person morning minyan since March 13, 2020 today. That’s nearly 15 months, or, 445 days. It was great to greet people personally that I have only greeted through Zoom, and one had just become a grandparent. Alas, the traditional L’chayim was absent. I was asked to lead the davening, which I was honored to do. I began by asking those present to permit me the privilege...Read more...

the emissary of the people

05/27/2021 08:21:17 AM

May27

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Permit me to tell you about an amazing group of colleagues that I am very fond of – Cantors. This week I have been attending a virtual conference, which is difficult under any set of circumstances, but even more difficult when your colleagues live around the world. What should be the starting time for an event? If we regularly hold evening concerts at 7:00PM, does that not exclude Israeli...Read more...

the real tragedy

05/20/2021 08:35:39 AM

May20

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I offer before you selections from four different documents. Your task is to read them and determine which one belongs to Hamas, Hezbollah, Israel or the PLO. The answers are at the end of this blog. After you have made your determinations and checked at the end, please return to the remainder of the blog.

We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of...Read more...

contract renewal

05/13/2021 08:38:13 AM

May13

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

All of us have subscriptions and contracts that have annual renewal dates. Whether it is insurance policies, vehicle registrations, credit cards, or media, much of what we engage in has an annual renewal date, and most likely an increase in the rate charged. We can lament all we want about the continued increase in costs for these items, as their percent increases are generally not...Read more...

we are so much alike

05/06/2021 03:57:30 PM

May6

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I had the privilege of attending an iftar this past Sunday evening hosted by the Turkish Cultural Center. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset each day, with the meal that ends that day’s fast called an iftar. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims pray, performs acts of kindness and give to worthwhile causes. About fifteen of us sat in a tent outdoors. We saw a...Read more...

Thu, September 23 2021 17 Tishrei 5782