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The Same, But Different

The Same, But Different That was the title of Rabbi Goodman’s Bulletin column last year at this time: “The Same, But Different.” If it was true then, when Rabbi Goodman wrote those words—preparing to lead services at Union Temple for the last time as your Rabbi before assuming the role of Rabbi Emerita—it is, kal…Read on →

Insights from Rabbi Mark Sameth

Check back here for messages of interest from Rabbi Mark Sameth, our Interim Rabbi.

A Gut-Wrenching Week

This has been a gut-wrenching week for us as Americans, as Jews, as human beings. Whether we’re Democrats, Republicans, Independents; whether or not we have had the privilege of raising children ourselves, or have been part of the “village” that raises everyone’s children; it doesn’t matter. Just a shred of rachmones—compassion—is all it took this week for any…Read on →

Eilu v’Eilu

The central focus of this week’s Torah portion is the rebellion of Korach and his followers. Korach was a Levite, as was Moses—both descendants of the tribe of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel). In effect, Korach and Moses were cousins. Nevertheless, within the Torah narrative, God alone had the power and…Read on →

After Fifty Years

Tomorrow afternoon, after officiating in the morning at the Bar Mitzvah of Jack Roth, an outstanding student at our Religious School, I am going to attend my 50th high school reunion. As you know, I am currently in the process of clearing out my office at the temple—a formidable task after 26 years. This past…Read on →

Guard Your Tongue From Evil, And Your Lips From Deceitful Speech

In the past few days, we have been subjected to celebrities behaving badly. I will address the two most recent incidents, but they come at a time when public discourse in general is deteriorating by the day, taking on an increasingly coarse and destructive cast. Nevertheless, I will begin with the davar that I had…Read on →

Superhuman, Or Just Human?

“Faster than a speeding bullet; leaping tall buildings at a single bound; it’s a bird—it’s a plane—no—it’s Superman!” In the 1930’s, two American Jews, Jerry Siegel (the writer) and Joe Schuster (the illustrator), created the Superman comic strip character. The superhero made his first official appearance in Action Comics 1 in June of 1938, 80 years ago…Read on →

Purity and Taint

When I was growing up, my family belonged to an Orthodox shul on East 20th Street in Manhattan, just across from Stuyvesant Town, where we lived. A number of our friends belonged there too. The congregation identified itself as “Modern Orthodox,” and it was called Congregation Zichron Moshe. (Today the shul is owned and operated…Read on →

Our Farewell to Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman

How do you say good-bye to the rabbi who has been your leader, mentor, and friend for 26 years? There’s no perfect way, but you do your best. In Union Temple that means gathering the whole mishpucha — friends and family of Rabbi Goodman, the congregation, and the cantors we sang with throughout the years…Read on →

The Commandment to Love the Stranger

We have a double Torah portion this week, Acharei Mot–Kedoshim. We in the Reform Movement know Kedoshim particularly well, because in addition to this appearance in the calendrical cycle, it is our Torah reading for the afternoon of Yom Kippur. Kedoshim tihyu, ki kadosh ani Adonai Eloheichem… You shall be holy, for I your Eternal God am holy. So it…Read on →