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J Blog

Reflections on The Murders in Uvalde, Texas

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Dear Friends, These are religious / spiritual reflections on the terrible events in Uvalde, Texas. I offer them as a framework for how to think about this horrific loss of life. Others, better suited than me, can offer opinions related to policy and politics. Below is a theological response and my way of expressing the overwhelming sadness that I feel. If you are crying, I am crying with you. If you are angry, I am angry right along your ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Blog: What Really Matters

Friday, May 13, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
This week, we will focus on the Haftorah (the weekly reading form the Prophets). I dedicate this Dvar Torah to my father who always “showed up” and had a knack for knowing what was really important. The connection between the Torah reading and the Haftorah is evident in that both deal with the service performed by the Kohanim in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple). However, an interesting difference between the two has been pointed out by ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Blog: Stay Curious

Friday, April 29, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
I got a message (as part of a WhatsApp group) this week from a Rabbinic colleague asking for leads for a High Holiday Soloist! Yes, you heard right…the Rabbis are already planning for the High Holidays! This is how Rabbis live…always living six months ahead of time. In that spirit, I am happy to share this Torah thought that relates to Yom Kippur…but that also provides a really nice message for any time of the year. This ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Ukraine Medical Supply Drive

Thursday, April 28, 2022
Posted by: Evelyn Rubenstein JCC
The J will be participating in a community organized medical supply drive for the Ukraine Invasion. Between May 1-31, you can drop off requested supplies in our main lobby. All supplies benefit Medical Bridges, an NGO dedicated to helping communities have access to quality healthcare. Please see below for a list of requested supplies. All supplies can be dropped off in our donation box located in the lobby of the Main J. Ukraine Medical ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Book Review: Paths of The Righteous

Thursday, April 28, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Paths Of The Righteous Stories of Heroism, Humanity and Hope Ari Mittleman / Gefen Publishing House 2022 Reviewed by Rabbi Barry Gelman This book could not have arrived at a better time for me. In a world wracked by war and polarization, a book about good people doing good things provides great comfort. Narratives of individual people extending themselves on behalf of others remind us that there is still righteousness in the world. It also ...
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Category: CJLL

Passover Message: Carrying The World in Our Heart

Friday, April 15, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
The work of My hands drowning at sea, and you wish to sing songs? (Tal. Bavli Meg. 10b) I find myself anticipating Pesach with mixed emotions this year. One the one hand, after two very unusual Pesach celebrations, for many, our Pesach tables will, once again, look the way we remember them. We will be surrounded by loved ones, enjoying the company of people we have missed at this highlight of the Jewish year. There will be great joy! Over ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Message: Redemption

Friday, April 8, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
This Shabbat - the Shabaat before Pesach is called “Shabbat Hagadol” - the Great Shabbat. There are numerous explanations as to why the Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol. According to some, it was because God inhibited the Egyptians from harming the Jews after they were told that the Jews were going to slaughter a lamb as a sacrifice, the lamb being revered by Egyptians as deity. Others teach that the Shabbat got ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Book Review: Bridging Traditions

Thursday, April 7, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews Rabbi Haim Jachter / Maggid Book / OU Press 2022 Reviewed by Rabbi Barry Gelman Rabbi Haim Jachter is uniquely qualified to write Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews. Rabbi Jachter, who is Ahskenazi, and who studied and trained in Ashkenazi yeshivot, has led a Sephardic congregation for over twenty years. By ...
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Category: CJLL

Shabbat Blog: Interconnectedness

Friday, April 1, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
וְהַצָּר֜וּעַ אֲשֶׁר־בּ֣וֹ הַנֶּ֗גַע בְּגָדָ֞יו יִהְי֤וּ פְרֻמִים֙ ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Blog: To Die in The Exercise of Your Passion

Friday, March 25, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
On Wednesday, August 7th, 1974, a 24-year-old Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out onto a steel wire strung across the 130-foot gap between the tops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York — close to 1,350 feet above the ground. After a 45-minute performance he was asked, "Weren't you afraid that you were going to die?" While conceding, he replied, "If I die, what a beautiful death, to die in the exercise of your ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

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