Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

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Rosh Hashanah Morning 5780: To Build a Mishkan: A Blueprint for Sacred Community and Union Temple’s Next Chapter

James was the front office guy at Temple Israel in Boston—the first congregation that I served as a rabbi. He was the first person you’d see when you walked in the door and he was just about the kindest person you could ever meet. For example, he had worked there for about a week when…Read on →

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5780: Extremely Unrandom Acts of Kindness: A Chesed Baseline for the New Year

I sat once in a classroom with my teacher and mentor—Rabbi Larry Hoffman, a well respected scholar and one of the greatest intellectual minds of modern Jewish thought.  On this day, Rabbi Hoffman had asked us a simple question: What is the most important attribute a person can have?   The first thing I thought of…Read on →

Drilling Down on our High Holy Day Prep with the Help of Parshat Ki Teitzei (and a Little Competitive Ribbon Dancing)

This morning, I was involved in a messaging chain as my family tried to set up plans for our kiddo with a couple of our friends. The texts proceed: What time, oh that’s during nap, maybe she’ll nap in the car, that is a complete fantasy, she never naps in the car…and so forth. This…Read on →

Shabbat Shoftim Torah Study

Deut 20:19 כִּֽי־תָצ֣וּר אֶל־עִיר֩ יָמִ֨ים רַבִּ֜ים לְֽהִלָּחֵ֧ם עָלֶ֣יהָ לְתָפְשָׂ֗הּ לֹֽא־תַשְׁחִ֤ית אֶת־עֵצָהּ֙ לִנְדֹּ֤חַ עָלָיו֙ גַּרְזֶ֔ן כִּ֚י מִמֶּ֣נּוּ תֹאכֵ֔ל וְאֹת֖וֹ לֹ֣א תִכְרֹ֑ת כִּ֤י הָֽאָדָם֙ עֵ֣ץ הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה לָבֹ֥א מִפָּנֶ֖יךָ בַּמָּצֽוֹר׃ When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees, wielding the…Read on →