Showing posts from January, 2017

Leaning In to Multiple Identities: From Shifra and Puah, to Matilda Shechter, to the Women of Today

Leaning In to Multiple Identities:From Shifra and Puah, to Matilda Shechter, to the Women of Today Sisterhood Shabbat By Alissa Baum

I’ll never forget an interaction I had with a young woman soon after I finished my course work as a clinical psychologist.This young woman who happened to be in college approached me at Camp Ramah Darom when we were there one summer:“Dr. Baum, my name is Shira, it’s so nice to meet you.I was wondering if you could give me some professional advice as I plan for my future.”As someone who just achieved a milestone in my professional life, I was so eager to hear this question and offer some sage advice.“Dr. Baum, how do I marry a rabbi?”
You all at CSK (Congregation Shaarei Kodesh) know me as Alissa, and I even allow some of you to call me ‘rebetzin’, but beyond the shul walls I actually have several different names.For most of the day, I am Dr. Baum, a clinical psychologist at the Renfrew Center, an eating disorder treatment center.At home, my children don…

A Journey to The Mountain Top © (MLK Jr. Day)

A Journey to The Mountain Top ©
Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh, Parashat Nitzavim-Veyelech, 2013/5773
I want to begin by telling you a story of something that happened to me, and might have happened to you: I was at a conference and a man came up to me, a man I had not recognized, and he started talking to me, but not like a stranger, like someone who knew me.He asked me how my family was doing, how my job was going, how life in Boca Raton was, very specific questions, but I had no idea who this gentlemen was!Finally, after 10 minutes of conversation, I summoned up the courage to ask him:how do I know you?How do you know so much about me but I don’t know you from Adam!First he said, your name tag says your name and what city you are from, and second, we have met before, at Sinai. And the man walked away. Sinai, when the Jewish people received the Torah and in turn their destiny, is the transformative event of our people’s history.That one event not only obligated the generati…

How We Replace Our Magic 8-Ball - Words of Torah for Asarah B'Tevet

How We Replace Our Magic 8-Ball - Words of Torah for Asarah B'Tevet Rabbi David Baum
Did you have a Magic 8 ball growing up?It’s been with us since the 1950’s - that magic ball could answer any question that had a yes or no answer - except when it gave us the response:better not tell you now, or reply hazy, try again later.The inventor of the magic 8 ball was on to something - he tapped into something eternal.

Who in here has a difficult question that they cannot answer?What if I could give you something that would answer all of life’s most difficult questions?The truth is, as Jews, we had something like this.It was our ancestor’s version of the magic eight ball, but it all actually worked!Our magic 8 ball was the breast plate that the High Priest would wear - the Urim and Tumim.Now what happens when they are lost?How do you find answers to the unanswerable?
We just celebrated Hanukkah, a day of the re-dedication of our Temple, and just a week later, we observe another holiday - this …