Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

Archive

Getting Unstuck Through the Mouth of a Donkey

In 1981, a pamphlet was published by Narcotics Anonymous, which included the following statement: The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. Now, to be clear, that is obviously not the actual definition of insanity, and it is surely not the definition of those with mental illness. This is not…Read on →

We Could Be Miriam: For the Protection of Immigrant Children

A 12-year-old boy: “I’m hungry here all the time. I’m so hungry that I have woken up in the middle of the night with hunger… I’m too scared to ask the officials here for any more food, even though there is not enough food here for me. I saw a child ask for more food…Read on →

Together, We Will Rise

Earlier this week, at home with our two year old, a great moment finally arrived. I was drinking from our mug that says: A woman’s place is in the resistance, with a picture of Princess Leia on it. And our toddler pointed at it and looked at me inquisitively. And I took a deep breath…Read on →

Looking Back and Moving Forward

What better way to look backward and forward at the same time than to listen to the voices of our temple’s children. How much they have grown over their few short years. How blessed we are to know that they are our collective future! Over the course of my tenure at Union Temple this year,…Read on →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Opening the Door for Elijah

As I was growing up, there were two highlights of Passover Seders for me—the reading of the Four Questions and opening the door for Elijah. My family followed the tradition at the time of assigning the reading of the Four Questions to the youngest son—never the daughter. So even though I was younger than my…Read on →