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December 18, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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The Power of Dreams

• Shabbat Miketz 5781 • We find ourselves in the midst of the Joseph section of the book of Genesis. You know the story. Joseph, the second to youngest of 12 brothers, is sold into slavery for his annoying tendency to share his dreams which often depict him ruling over the family. As you might imagine there was some tension between Joseph and his siblings. Throughout the many chapters that cover Joseph’s life, there is one theme that runs throughout the story; dreams. Joseph’s tale begins with two dreams of his own followed by when he interprets the dreams of the cupbearer and baker in prison. This kindness ultimately saves his life where he is called up from captivity to share the[...]

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October 16, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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The Torah: A Blueprint for Creativity

There is a Far-Side cartoon that depicts God creating the world. In it, God is seen wearing an apron and chef’s hat surrounded by all of the necessary ingredients to create the world. Shaking a container labeled “Jerks” onto the Earth a thought bubble appears from God’s head that reads “Just to make things interesting”. The image of God as cosmic chef or maybe even mad-scientist is a common one. A little of this, a little of that and voila! The world! But is that how our tradition views the creation? How exactly did God know how to create the world? To some this may be obvious. God, being an omnipotent deity, simply knew that this was the way the world needed[...]

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October 9, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah is the Best Treasure

“Children, we have now Simches torah It's Simches torah all over the world Torah is the best treasure – At least that's what the rabbi says.” This verse, from a song entitled “Simches Toyre”, is a key to understanding just how joyous our final holiday of the season is.It is not simply an expression of our happiness that we get to begin the Torah from the beginning once again. Nor is it the release from a month of holidays, and eating, and praying, and eating that can cause some kind of ‘Jewish fatigue’ even amongst the most dedicated and committed among us. No. Simchat Torah is our opportunity, as a sacred community, to give honor to the core of our identity as a synagogue[...]

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October 3, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Well-Being in our Sukkah

Commencing just four days after Yom Kippur is the holiday of Sukkot. One of the names of the holiday is zman simchateinu, the time of our communal joy. But what exactly is the joy of sukkot? One of the leading experts in joy or happiness is a professor at Penn named Arthur Seligman. Seligman is noted as amongst the founders of the field of positive psychology, if not the actual progenitor of the field itself. His first book, titled “Authentic Happiness” laid out his theory in which he breaks down happiness into three elements: 1) Positive emotion 2) engagement and 3) meaning. The idea was that happiness is the highest goal of human living. Later though, Seligman’s thinking changed. In his[...]

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September 15, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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HIGH HOLIDAY INFORMATION

We are looking forward to High Holidays 5781, which promise to be different, but no less meaningful, than in years past. Below you will find important information regarding services times, health and safety, and other resources to enhance your holidays, and explain some of the differences you will notice this year. This is a post with LOTS of detailed information. Please read carefully. Everything you need related to the High Holy Days is included. If you have any questions, please do ask! For the complete High Holy Day Service Schedule, click here. PRE-HOLY DAY EVENTS Click here for more information SELIHOT NIGHT LIVE Saturday, September 12 at 8:30 p.m. MACHZOR & ESSENTIALS PICKUP Week of September 13 1. HIGH HOLIDAY SERVICES WILL[...]

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September 9, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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HIGH HOLY DAY SERVICE SCHEDULE

            Rosh HaShanah Evening Services (with Rabbi Sermon) Friday, September 18 at 6:30 pm Location: Online Only (via Zoom, Facebook Streaming) Rosh HaShanah Day 1 Date: Saturday, September 19 Time: 9:30 am - 12:00 pm Location: Online (via Zoom, Facebook Streaming) or In-Person Rosh HaShanah Day 2 (with Rabbi Sermon and brief Shofar Service) Date: Sunday, September 20 Time: 9:30 am - 12:00 pm Location: Online (via Zoom, Facebook Streaming) or In-Person Tashlich and Shofar Service (IN PERSON ONLY) Sunday, September 20 Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Location: In-Person Only (meet at the Gazebo in Bayview Park) Shabbat Evening Services Date: Friday, September 25 Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Location: Online Only (via Zoom, Facebook Streaming) Annual Cemetery Service Date: Sunday, September 27 Time: 10:00 am Location: In-Person Only (at the Beth Mordecai Cemetery located at 690 S. Florida Grove Rd., Perth[...]

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By Beth Mordecai
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Pre-Holy Day Events

SELIHOT NIGHT LIVE Saturday, September 12 at 8:30 p.m. The Conservative/Masorti Movement will come together to learn, sing, and connect as a community. Over 60 rabbis and cantors will present, and a variety of Selihot services will be offered throughout the evening.Rabbi Allen will be one of the rabbis leading a session that evening (11pm), so come and show your support!We will usher in the High Holiday season focusing on: • Teshuva (Repentance: If I Am Only For Myself, Who Is For Me?) • Tefilah (Prayer: And If I Am Only For Myself, What Am I?) • Tzedakah (Righteous Acts: And If Not Now, When?) • Shema Koleinu (Hear our Voice, Accept our Prayer) Registration is required by September 10, so click High Holidays home

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August 28, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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When You Build a New House

This week’s Torah portion is Ki Teitze. It is a series of miscellaneous laws that Moses issues to the people in advance of entering the Promised Land. This set of laws is truly miscellaneous. They range in category from family law, to domestic laws, to returning lost objects and helping one’s neighbor. The parashah contains some agricultural laws about planting mixed fields and plowing with two different types of animals. There are marital laws, citizenship restrictions into the people of Israel, laws of conduct in wars, how to take a vow and the power that resides therein. Really the list goes on and on. It is a strange collection. Nevertheless, we seek out meaning in our Torah even from the what[...]

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August 21, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Zooming into Prayer

Well, the end of summer is upon us. Sad I know. But we have the High Holy Days on the horizon, and the end of August to fill our cups for the road ahead. This has not been an easy five months since the Coronavirus entered our world. The next five months are anyone’s guess. Yet, as the unknown is presented before us I feel grateful to have the grounding of Congregation Beth Mordecai and for the spiritual sustenance that we can provide in pressing ahead despite our doubts and our fears. And in reflecting on what is to come, I often reflect on where I have been. The past few weeks of starting Shabbat with you, planning our High Holiday[...]

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August 14, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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A Word From Rabbi Allen

UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY Recently, I’ve been thinking about my grandfather, Harry Allen. It was his yahrzeit last week, so it makes sense, but in truth he has been on my mind. I’d like to tell you about him. Harry S. Allen was raised in Denver, Colorado, the child of immigrants from Marianpol, Lithuania.  Like many Jews of that time, they owned a store with their home in the apartment above.  Grandpa served in Europe during WWII as a navigator on B-24 bombers flying missions out of Italy.  He flew something like 50 missions and was awarded two purple hearts among other decorations and commendations. He used to remark about his choice to join the Air Force instead of the army, saying that[...]

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