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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

“Modim Anachnu Lach…”

Rabbi Hillel is well known for his description of Judaism. When approached by an individual who demanded that he would accept Judaism only if a rabbi could teach him the entire Torah while he, the prospective convert, stood on one foot, Rabbi Hillel said: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.

A Message from Rabbi Sandra Bellush

This Thursday marks Tisha B’Av, the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av. Traditionally it is considered a day of mourning, commemorating major tragic events in Jewish history, including the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. In the Mishnah

Words “Spoken,” Not Always Words “Heard”

“…אֵ֣לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל” “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel… “These are the opening words of this week’s Torah portion, Devrarim. The “words,” of course, refer to the entire Book of Deuteronomy, and Moses is offering them to all the Israelites after their forty years in the wilderness. After a

Using Where We’ve Been to Get to Where We Need to Be

There is tremendous value in knowing where we are and where we’ve been. This week, as we conclude reading the Book of Numbers with the double Torah portion Matot-Mas’ei, the Israelites are concluding their wilderness wanderings. We see that Moses has recorded the starting points of their various marches (Num. 33:1-49). Moses, at God’s instruction,

The Talmud Warns Against “Overreacting”

Even when we know we are in the right and that the cause we are fighting for is a good one, too much zeal may lead us to an overreaction. This week’s Torah portion portrays the zealot Pinchas, who decides to take justice into his own hands. An inappropriate and public liaison between an Israelite