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high holy day boot camp redux

08/31/2022 10:01:08 AM

Aug31

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

After my second High Holy Day Boot Camp session concluded, and the livestreaming ended, a participant asked a very thoughtful question: What about some of the beautiful English poems in the Machzor? I’d like to think that my teacher at JTS, Rabbi Neil Gillman, z”l, would have been proud of my answer, for I learned it from him. If you find a prayer that really resonates with you, there is...Read more...

the annual check-up

08/25/2022 09:11:13 AM

Aug25

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I’d like to assume that everyone who has access to good medical care will arrange for an annual physical. Those who need specialists most likely visit them with some degree of frequency. We have the oil changed in our automobiles regularly to keep it running safely and optimally. Many homeowners opt for a policy with an HVAC company, to have the filters changed and the system cleaned and...Read more...

weeds don't die

08/18/2022 09:20:12 AM

Aug18

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Have you ever pulled at a pesky weed that showed up in your garden, only to be frustrated when all you get is a handful of greens, the root remaining deep in the soil? Only by carefully excising the root can you actually remove it. H is the root that we are unable to excise, with speech and violent acts the green top. We try to remove the weed, but the root of H goes deep into American soil....Read more...

it's portable

08/11/2022 09:40:45 AM

Aug11

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

We have just come out of the nadir of the Jewish year, and entered a seven-week period that will culminate with Rosh Hashanah. Each of the seven Haftarot were specially chosen, offering worshippers words of comfort, hope and inspiration to mourn the destruction of both Holy Temples yet find the strength to move forward beyond this national trauma. How is it that Judaism continued to survive...Read more...

we remember them

07/29/2022 12:10:38 PM

Jul29

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

There is a point in time when attacks upon houses of worship became an acceptable expression of H to some Americans, and that date was August 5, 2012. On that date, a gunman entered a gurdwara (a place of worship and assembly for Sikhs) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and murdered six worshippers. I do not propose to ignore bombings of Black churches in the previous millennium, but rather note that...Read more...

for these i cry

07/28/2022 09:07:15 AM

Jul28

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I had the privilege on Tuesday of participating in a Congressional Briefing Honoring Oak Creek, Charleston and Pittsburgh Through Action organized by the Sikh Coalition. For those who do not recall, on August 5, 2012, a gunman entered a gurdwara (a place of worship and assembly for Sikhs) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and massacred six worshippers. Immediately after the massacre at Tree of Life,...Read more...

just call it h

07/21/2022 09:18:14 AM

Jul21

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

The Rabbis of the Talmud had a term for it: Sinat Chinam, causeless H. This was their explanation of the cause for the destruction of both Holy Temples, which we recall on Tisha B’av, and occurs this year on August 7. The Rabbis even went so far as to memorialize a story about one man publicly insulting another at his daughter’s wedding, with one Rabbi witnessing it and saying nothing as a silent assent. The...Read more...

ruffles and flourishes

07/14/2022 07:57:46 AM

Jul14

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I had the privilege, along with my wife Janice, to attend an event on the lawn of the White House this past Monday, at the invitation of the President of the United States. Coming not that soon after having had the privilege of a private conversation with the Vice President and the Second Gentleman, it has been an incredible thirty days. At the White House, we heard from Dr. Roy Guerrero, a...Read more...

oh no, not again!

07/07/2022 09:11:33 AM

Jul7

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

“Oh no, not again!” was my initial response to the mass shooting in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago. Why should it surprise me that there was another mass shooting, this on July 4? There have been 314 mass shootings in the United States this year, which is 314 too many, and mathematically approximating two per day. How many times can the scab continue to be ripped off, the wound never...Read more...

establishment

06/30/2022 09:37:23 AM

Jun30

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

The trajectory of the United States Supreme Court is of great concern to me, and it is not due to any one decision, but a body of evolving decisions. This past Monday, the Court decided in what has become a 6-3 conservative supermajority, that public schools must make more accommodations for religion, as the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment slowly dissolves. This case involved a...Read more...

Tue, January 31 2023 9 Shevat 5783