Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

Archive

Kol Nidre and the Union Temple Connection

Kol Nidrei. . . The chanting of Kol Nidrei is the moment of greatest power and emotion for most Jews during the entire High Holy Day period. But the origins of this formula are not at all clear. The most popular theory is that it was linked to the Jewish conversos in Spain (often called…Read on →

Labor Day for Jews

A Day Off. . . I hope you all had a pleasant Labor Day. We spent it with our good friends, eating hot dogs and watching the US Open. A great way to spend the day. But Labor Day is also serious business. It reminds us of the centrality of work in our consciousness, and…Read on →

A Stain Upon the Land

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for blood that is shed upon it, except by the blood of him who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I Myself abide, for I…Read on →

Nelson Mandela’s Work

Last Thursday the world lost Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa. Through his own unimaginable personal sacrifice and almost superhuman determination and political acumen, he brought about peace and reconciliation to a deeply troubled land. In so doing, he inspired us all with hope in the potential of human beings to overcome the racism…Read on →

Women at the Kotel

Chodesh Tov! This is our greeting to each other today on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new month. Today begins the month of Kislev, during which, of course, we will celebrate Chanukah (25 Kislev) – our festival of light and freedom. The number 25 for this particular Rosh Chodesh Kislev is most auspicious…Read on →

A Bond Born of Bondage

  Our Torah portion, Ki Tavo, contains the text that serves as the beginning of “Maggid” (Narration) section of our Passover Haggadah. It instructs us as to how to relate to our children, and to all future generations, our sacred history as a people. You shall then recite as follows before the Eternal your God:…Read on →

Blind Justice

We are no strangers to political scandals in our country, particularly those involving the bribery of public officials. Anyone who makes decisions based upon some promise of personal gain, either privately or professionally, compromises the public trust. Our sidra reminds us that bribery is one of the most serious offenses a public official could commit,…Read on →

Stones of Destruction; Prayers of Comfort

This is The Night of Tishah B’av… the 9th day of Av, a day of mourning, as Jews all over the world remember the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, first in 586 BCE at the hands of the Babylonians, and then the Romans, in 70 CE. Services are characterized by sitting on the floor in…Read on →

L’zecher Anna Frank

Nothing could be sweeter than Shabbat in Jerusalem, and this day was no exception. Earlier this morning (and last night as well) Steve and I attended services at Kehilat Har El, the first Reform synagogue in Israel, founded in 1958. The congregation is masterfully led by my good friend Rabbi Ada Zavidov. Har El’s congregants…Read on →