Rabbi’s Messages

Articles, letters, and other notes from our Rabbi.

I Like to Cook

Posted on Nov 1, 2016 in Rabbi's Messages

I purchased some nice bright orange sugar pie pumpkins. I slice them in half and scoop out their seeds to reserve for roasting later on. As the pumpkin bakes in the oven, I knead flour into cold chunks of butter with my fingertips until I have dough. The pie crust chills in the fridge. Within a couple of hours, I puree the roasted pumpkin with cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, eggs, and brown sugar and fill my flaky crust with it. As it bakes in the oven, the spices fill the kitchen and house. Later, it becomes my perfect pumpkin pie. Even though I’m quite busy being a congregational rabbi...

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Time flies or does it? Reflections on time and my sabbatical

Posted on Oct 6, 2016 in Rabbi's Messages

Erev RH 2016 A man was taking it easy, lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God. “God”, he said, “how long is a million years?” God answered, “In my frame of reference, it’s about a minute.” The man asked, “God, how much is a million dollars?” God answered, “To Me, it’s a penny.” The man then asked, “God, can I have a penny?” God said, “In a minute.” What is time?  What is it worth?  Gathered here, we are marking another year has...

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Opening our minds and hearts

Posted on Oct 6, 2016 in Rabbi's Messages

RH morning 2016 Rabbi Nancy Rita Myers A man visits a therapist because he has a fear of monsters living under his bed.  He has been seeing this doctor for months.  Every time he comes in, the doctor asks “Have you made any progress?”  The man says, “No.”  He then decides to go and see another doctor.  Weeks pass.   The man comes back to his original doctor who asks, “Have you made any progress?” The man replies with a grin, “Yes, I am feeling all better now.”  “What happened?” asks the doctor.  With a shrug of his shoulders, the man responds, “I went to another...

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The wonders of the High Holy Day Season

Posted on Sep 1, 2016 in Rabbi's Messages

A Chasidic teaching states “Just as the hand, held before the eye, can hide the tallest mountain, so the routine of everyday life can keep us from seeing the vast radiance and the secret wonders that fill the world.” It’s so easy when we are busy to miss the radiance and wonder in the world around us.   Most of us are just trying to get by, finish the next chore, face the next challenge, and then we collapse in exhaustion at the end of another day.  However, if we can manage to slow down; maybe we can think, feel, pray, and live.  By shifting our focus away, even momentarily, from...

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Thank You

Posted on Aug 4, 2016 in Rabbi's Messages

I’m back. I want to thank all of you for supporting me and our synagogue during my sabbatical. It was my hope for the synagogue to be okay in my absence. I’ve been happy to hear that all has been well and this is because of so many of you. First all, thank you to our lay leaders. I’ve always marveled at the bright, kind, and hard-working board members who give of their time in building and maintaining our congregational community. I understand that many stepped up to ensure that our programs, services, and events flowed smoothly. Thank you especially to our outgoing president Aaron Kern...

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A Bar Mitzvah looms

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 in Rabbi's Messages

I would like to say that it’s hard to believe that my son’s Bar Mitzvah is right around the corner but I do believe it.  Heck, I’ve been nagging him daily to practice for months.  As I watch him planted in front of the computer with some kind of action video game, I interrupt with, “Shane!  Did you review your Torah verses? Shane! You say you want to surpass your sister but if that is really what you want, then you must study. Shane!  What do you mean you left your folder at the Temple!”  Sigh!  It’s hard to be a parent, I’ve come to conclude. My son is his own person and...

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Kim Zabinski

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 in Rabbi's Messages

It’s been my honor to work with Kim Zabinski for the last 12 years at Temple Beth David.  I have always appreciated her gentle personality.  I’ve never seen Kim once lose her temper even at times when we would all understand.  There is a quiet dignity in the way she interacts with others.  I’ve seen her great compassion towards our members and staff.  I’ve also appreciated her ethics and kindness over the years.  I don’t know anyone nicer than Kim Zabinski. Kim has been working at Temple Beth David for 19 ½ years.  That’s a long time. She served as the Temple secretary and...

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Have you ever wanted to lead a service, give a sermon, or tell a story?

Posted on Oct 1, 2015 in Rabbi's Messages

Many of you are already aware that I’ll be going on sabbatical February 1, 2016 – July 30, 2016.  Rabbis generally are entitled to a sabbatical after 7 years.  Sabbaticals are intended for rabbis “to seek spiritual and physical reinvigoration through a program of study and travel.”  Many rabbis use their sabbatical to “recharge their batteries” in order to stem burnout.  Others have studied in Israel or worked on projects.  I have been eligible for a number of years but have waited till this time to take a sabbatical because our congregation has been stable for quite some...

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Reform movement on Iran deal ~ September 2015

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 in Rabbi's Messages

I know the Iran deal is deeply controversial in our country and within our community as well.  I wanted to share with you a thoughtful statement from the Reform movement.  I like it because I too am very concerned about divisions within the Jewish community, the relationship between the governments of the United States and Israel, and deciphering what is ultimately in the interests of the security of the US, Israel, and world.   So I pass this message on to you. Rabbi Nancy Myers   Reform Jewish Movement Response To Iran Deal: Address Important Concerns, Focus On The Day After Whether...

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Camp Newman is an excellent Jewish summer camp experience

Posted on Jul 31, 2015 in Rabbi's Messages

So, I survived my two weeks working at Camp Newman in Northern California.  I have to say first and foremost that I was impressed with the Jewish learning and teen bonding that occurs up there. From the first moment a new camper is welcomed into his/her bunk, there is the singing of “Haveinu Shalom Aleichem, we are so glad to see you!”  Seeing the smile on a newcomer’s face is heartening. Then every day in the morning, there’s an outdoor assembly with morning prayers, songs, and some silliness.  Meals in the dining hall have motzi and the birkat hamazon.  There are services,...

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