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D’var Torah: Tzav

I write these words from Irvine, CA, at the 129th annual CCAR Conference. When hundreds of Reform Rabbis gather together, prayer, study and learning are top priorities. Yet it’s the impromptu conversations with colleagues and old friends between sessions and at meals which often provide the camaraderie and renewal that are among the highlights of

D’var Torah: Vayikra

Worship through prayer is often referred to as “an offering of the heart.” Without the proper kavannah (intention), our prayers are meaningless. By studying this week’s Torah portion Vayikra, the first in the Book of Leviticus, we learn that the ancient sacrifices our ancestors brought to the priests also needed to have the appropriate kavannah. Whether a burnt offering, a meal offering, a

D’var Torah: Vayak’heil-P’kudei

Bezalel and Oholiab are the artisans whom God endows with the skill to design and create the beautiful works required for the Mishkan, the Israelite’s portable sanctuary in the wilderness. In this week’s double Torah portion Vayak’heil-P’kudei, we learn that everyone in the community who excelled in the skills needed to create the Mishkan came forward to participate in its creation. Not

A Purim Message from Rabbi Sandra Bellush

Purim sameach!!!! Happy Purim!!!! There are four mitzvot (commandments) associated with the holiday: Mikra Megillah – Reading of the Megillah (The Book of Esther) Seudat Purim – A festive Purim meal Mishloach Manot – Sending gifts (which often take the form of Purim bags and baskets) Matanot L’evyonim –  Gifts to the poor Although the third and fourth mizvot on the

On Adar and Shabbat Zachor

We read in the Talmud, “When the month of Adar enters, joy increases” Ta’anit 29a). Last week we observed Rosh Chodesh Adar, the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar. The joy of Adar relates, of course, to the holiday of Purim, which we will celebrate with a shpiel and Megillah reading next week on

D’var Torah: Terumah

Gifts are often given for one of many reasons: from feeling obligated to give to being motivated to give by love. Terumah, meaning “gifts” is the name of this week’s Torah portion. God instructs Moses to ask that the Israelites bring gifts to build the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that the Israelites build while wandering in the wilderness. God’s instructions are qualified with

D’var Torah: Parashat Mishpatim

The greatness of Judaism, according to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “is not  simply in its noble vision of a free, just and compassionate society, but in the way it brings this vision down to earth,” which is accomplished through detailed legislation. That God is in the details, is a lesson from this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim. A parallel

A Tu B’Shevat Message from Rabbi Sandra Bellush

Tu B’Shevat is on January 31st this year. This “New Year of the Trees” is  observed on the fifteenth (tu) of the Hebrew month of Shevat. Scholars believe that Tu B’Shevat was originally an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., and the exile which followed, this holiday was a way for Jews to symbolically bind

Shabbat & BBQ in the Sand

Join us for a Shabbat service on the beach followed by an Oneg, barbeque dinner including food, beverages and dessert. Chairs provided, parking included. Casual beach attire, bring a sweatshirt in case it is cool that evening.