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In the Beginning…

So begins the entire Torah. This week we are reading the very first Torah portion in the very first book, Bereshit, and we read of creation. There is creation of the cosmos, order and light from chaos and darkness, as well as creation of humanity. Torah is neither science, nor history, but it is the

Our Joy and Celebration Continues

While Chag Sukkot lasts a full seven days, the Hebrew calendar rewards us with the additional celebrations immediately afterward of Simchat Torah and Sh’mini Atzeret. Most of us are familiar with our evening celebration of Simchat Torah, which includes carrying all our Torah scrolls around the sanctuary (hakafah, or hakafot, pl.) seven times while upbeat

Zeman Simchateinu: The Time of Our Rejoicing

With the Ten Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur behind us, the Hebrew calendar quickly transitions to the Festival of Sukkot, a time of joyous celebration. Our ancestors gathered to celebrate the harvest and remember the times of wilderness wanderings, which required living in temporary dwellings. Today our sukkot (pl. of sukkah) remind us of our

Shabbat Shuvah

The Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is know as Shabbat Shuvah, “the Sabbath of Return.” It takes its name from the haftarah which comes from the Prophet Hosea. שׁ֚וּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֖ד יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ כִּ֥י כָשַׁ֖לְתָּ בַּעֲוֺנֶֽךָ׃ Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have fallen because of your sin (Hos.14:2). The idea

A Very Different High Holy Day Experience

It could be said at the beginning of each and every High Holy Day season, “This year the High Holy Days will be a very different experience,” because each and every year, we are different. Hopefully, we have been able to act on and grow spiritually from the cheshbon hanefesh, the self-accounting, of the year

A Time for Compassion

Looking at Temple Am Echad’s website, fb page, bulletin, weekly emails and other materials, it is clear that our volunteer ethic is extraordinary. At our Volunteer Shabbats, as we call out areas of Temple participation and ask those who serve the community in these areas to stand, barely anyone is left in their seats!! So

Sharing What We Have

Hunger plagues all aspects of our society. Despite being one of thewealthiest nations in the world, 1 in 9 Americans (more than 40 million individuals) – including over 11 million children – live in households that are food insecure. There are many mitzvot in Torah that teach we are to share with those in need.

There is Holiness in Acts of Kindness

Many of us think the word mitzvah means “a good deed,” and in common parlance that is certainly true. Yet, the literal translation of the word mitzvah is “commandment,” specifically a “divine commandment.” A mitzvah is something God demands of us to do. Every “you shall…” implies “you can.” We can, by following God’s commandments,

Each and Every Vote Matters

Every Voice, Every Vote is The Reform Movement’s non-partisan 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign, designed to encourage everyone to vote and to break down obstacles that shut some out of the voting booth. The effort is being spear-headed through the Religious Action Center. Temple Am Echad is engaged in this important work thanks to the organizing

Disability Rights Are a Jewish Issue

This summer the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination based on disabilities, marked its 30th anniversary of being signed into law. Yet, according to the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center, people with disabilities still lag behind national averages in education completed, employment rates, income, technology access, home ownership, and voter participation. We