Showing posts from January, 2019

The Prophetesses of Old and Today©

The Prophetesses of Old and Today© BeShalach 5779/2019 Rabbi David Baum
Jewish mother jokes are a big staple of Jewish humor. There is the story of the son who came to his mother and shared that he would become a rabbi. She said, “you could have been a doctor, a lawyer, but a rabbi? What kind of job is that for a nice Jewish boy?!?”
Please know, when I told my mother that I was going to rabbinical school, she never said that to me. My mother is proud of all of her children, and yes, very proud of her son the rabbi. By now, most of you have received the invitation to our congregation's celebration of 10 years of my tenure as Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Kodesh. As I thought about some of the things I have accomplished, I have to go back to something I've shared with you before: I've made my mother proud on many occasions, but being on NPR in December was a high point for her. I told you all this fact, but I never shared why she kvelled so much.
Here's why: My mother, …

The Ingredients for Holy Ground©

The Ingredients for Holy Ground© By Rabbi David Baum Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
I want you to think about a holy ground or holy space – what is the first place that comes to mind?  What makes it holy to you?

Last week, we were in the mountains of Georgia at Camp Ramah Darom's Winter Break Family Camp.  The camp has been our home away from home for many years as individuals and as a couple, but for the last seven winters, we were able to share that feeling with our three children, which is truly a blessing.  We get to experience this place which has done so much for our family, literally creating it, together.  This was a bitter sweet family camp because after seven winters, we will not be returning so it gives me pause to reflect upon an idea that we are introduced to again in this week and last week's parashah, holy space.

So how does a space or ground become holy?  First, I want to share the story of how Ramah Darom started, and I learned about it from an old friend who ca…