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Shalom From Jerusalem

02/02/2018 02:11:46 PM


Rabbi Joshua Lesser

This week we read from Parshat Yitro, the part of the Exodus where the Israelites arrive at Mount Sinai and prepare to receive Torah. Along with the Exodus itself, this is a moment where the rabbis stress the importance of everyone's presence and of recognizing the equality throughout the people. For me, these are the unspoken commandments to which we also strive.

As most of you know, McKenzie and I have been representingRead more...

Erev Rosh Hashanah D'var 2017

12/06/2017 11:14:49 AM


Casey Hall

Given by Casey Hall

A month ago, we started Elul—our 29 days of reflection prior to these Yamim Nora’im,  Days of Awe—on the heels of that amazing cosmic event—the Great Eclipse of 2017. I had been preparing for months. I reserved a cabin in North Georgia along the path of totality, talked with my daughter Elena’s teachers about missing school, and even scoped out the night life in the small town...Read more...

Yom Kippur Morning D'var Torah 2017

12/06/2017 11:14:41 AM


Hannah Podhorzer

Given by Hannah Podhorzer

My junior year of high school, I was assigned a book that ended up defining my life for that year. “President Nixon: Alone in the White House” became what my friends and I called, the Bible. Let me be clear, I did *not* want to read this book. It was long and heavy and filled with vocabulary I had never seen before. But read it, I did. I learned about Vietnam, China, and economics. The...Read more...

High Holiday Kol Nidre D'var 5778/2017

11/15/2017 11:08:54 AM


By Rabbi Joshua Lesser

If a year can be reduced to a single question (no, not “WTF?”), last year, 5777, would be the year of “What can I do?” Throughout the year, it echoed like a liturgical refrain. After each threat or successful action by this administration to undo some protection: What can I do? After each natural disaster: What can I do? With the growing global refugee crisis: What can I do? In the...Read more...

High Holiday Rosh Hashanah Day D'var  5778 / 2017

11/15/2017 11:04:38 AM


Rabbi Joshua Lesser

By Rabbi Joshua Lesser

Spiritual practices can give us handles, places to grasp when life is hard or unpredictable. My High Holy Day practice has been a thorough cheshbon hanefesh: taking stock of our year, examining our lives, noticing growth and unhealthy patterns, identifying which relationships need patching and which traits need shoring up. To serve me well, I must sort through my strengths, wrestle with my character and reveal...Read more...

Halleluyah, Always

09/19/2017 02:30:23 PM



 I have been overwhelmed by the love and care that has poured out to my sister, Alex and me over the loss of our father. I have been rather literally collecting myself as I have felt fragmented by his dying and his death. I appreciate your patience and kindness.

Halleluyah, Anyway! I had been struggling this year to come up with a phrase to frame these High Holy Days. Finally, when nudged enough, I said,...Read more...

Sat, February 24 2018 9 Adar 5778