Showing posts from July, 2016

Reflections from my time at Camp Ramah - Summer 2016

It is wonderful to be back home in Boca Raton after two weeks away at Camp Ramah Darom in Clayton, Georgia.  It was great spending time with our CSK campers during second session (we had  16 campers from our congregation go to Ramah Darom this summer), but I also had the chance to teach campers and staff from all over the U.S. (and Israel).  

I experience something new every time I serve as Rabbi in Residence at Ramah every summer, but every time I leave camp, I am in awe with how much God’s presence has filled me up.  Usually, when we think of having a ‘God’ experience, we think of standing on a mountain, looking at a beautiful waterfall, or a serene lake.  These are ‘awesome’ experiences, but what truly ‘fills me up’ at camp are my interactions with students and teachers, both kids and adults, at these beautiful places.  I penned the following thoughts during one of my last days at camp: 
“I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students” (R…

Living Room Minyan - Spiritual Question for July 8, 2016 - Navigating the Sovereign Self

Join us on Friday evenings at 6:15 pm for a relaxed and upbeat Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv service.  During our intimate service in the round, we will pray together, learn together, and explore a spiritual question posed by Rabbi David Baum.  There's no need to dress up!  Come as you are to connect to community and to God in our  'Living Room' at Congregation Shaarei Kodesh.

Korach, Datan and Abiram, say the following to Moses and Aaron: “You have gone too far! For all the community are holy, all of them, and the Lord is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourselves above the Lord’s congregation?”
It seems like they are sticking up for all of us doesn't it! Why are you hoarding all of the power?!? But let's look closer at the sentences that precede this statement:
“Now Korach, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, TOOK, (along with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peletch, descendants of Reuben – Numbers 16:1
Rashi, quating midrash Tanhuma, states…

Words before Shabbat on the passing of Elie Wiesel

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel This week, the Jewish people lost one of our greatest and most influential voices, and one of our most beautiful souls, Elie Wiesel.  Before you continue reading my words, I ask that you read Wiesel's obituary that was published this week in the Forward (click here).
When Wiesel won the Nobel prize for peace, the citation said, "Wiesel is a messenger to mankind.  His message is one of peace, atonement and human dignity. His belief that the forces fighting evil in the world can be victorious is a hard-won belief."  Wiesel was the Jewish people's gift to the world. Wiesel once said in an interview, "If I survived, it must be for some reason.  I must do something with my life. It is too serious to play games with …