Posts Tagged ‘rabbi’s journal’

rabbi’s journal

April 27, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1397: The Passover Seder – The Illusion of Order and the Reality of Chaos

The setup of our Seder last night. The calm before the storm (lol) - Scott Gursky Dear Hevreh, Our tables are set with an expected order. Forks on the left with the salad fork on the outside; dishes stacked to reflect the order in which we will eat; and the wine and water glasses neatly arranged for ease of use and aesthetic value. An immaculately set table is abeautiful sight to behold but it's orderly beauty is set in contradistinction the wonderful chaos and life of a meal. Spilled drinks, table banging, loud children noises, interrupted conversations, and bellowing laughter make meals -- especially large Seder meals -- an incredibly messy, but beautiful, experience to have.[...]

Category : Holidays home Passover Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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rabbi’s journal

April 22, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1392: Springtime for Passover?

Dear Hevreh, Well, Passover is here. Whether you're having a Seder with 30 of your "closest" friends and family, being a guest somewhere new, having a quiet Seder for just the two of you, or choosing to not celebrate, the holiday has arrived. We mark it with food, with conversation (and debate, of course), but most of all we mark it as a milestone of the year. No matter how Jewish we feel or what kind of Jewish we do, we are aware of Passover's arrival. But why is that? Perhaps because it is at the onset of Spring. With weather warming, flowers budding, wardrobes changing, and snowbirds returning, the Spring forces us through its sheer will to take notice[...]

Category : Passover Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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rabbi’s journal

April 21, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1391: Reflection as a Police Chaplain – The Power of God

Dear Hevreh, I never held a pistol before, let alone carried one in a gun holster snug tightly against my hip. Yet there I was, a rabbi and a police chaplain, armed in a training simulator at the Middlesex County Police training center to get a taste of what police officers experience on a daily basis. The wall length screen in front of me projected scenarios that police face, from traffic stops of armed bikers and arrest warrant fugitives to domestic violence calls. It was sobering, surreal even, to encounter these individuals on the screen who, through the wonders of technology, seemed so real. As our Captain said, even though you know it's not real your heart rate will increase as[...]

Category : Ari-archive
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rabbi’s journal

April 15, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1385: Alertness is the Hidden Discipline of Familiarity

Reflecting on an On Being podcast featuring David Whyte... "Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity" - in "Everything is Waiting for You" by David Whyte Dear Hevreh, Imagine that noise has disappeared. You sit or stand without the reverberations of the world around you. Are you scared, elated, or confused by the weight of silence? We must imagine a world full of silence because our lives are not silent; they are a messy mixture of noise and actions. And even when there are opportunities to be still, we cannot. We mindlessly click on our phones when nothing else is going on, reflexively hoping to fill that silence some useful action. Yet what if we can find a way[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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rabbi’s journal

April 10, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1380: Everybody is a Living Document, A Unique Torah

Reflecting on Friday's Disaster of Spiritual Care Training & Previewing Today's Workshops forInterfaith families Dear Hevreh, "Everybody is a living document." This is one of the key teachings from my training on Disaster Spiritual Care with the American Red Cross on Friday. In essence, this teaching emphasizes how everyone's unique story is a something important to listen to, how it is a "document" worthy of being "read." This is especially the case when working with someone who has just experienced trauma from a hurricane or a terrorist attack. While there is the story of the tragedy that we hear in the news, there are the stories we don't hear from survivors who collectively add their[...]

Category : Interfaith Families Perth Amboy Chaplain Corps Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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rabbi’s journal

April 7, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1377: Cultural Shpilkes

Dear Hevreh, A couple of weeks ago I was speaking with Robert Klein and Henry Safran, two alumni of Beth Mordecai. They were sharing a story about going back to Robert's family home during the Yom Kippur break to talk, schmooze, and relax. Then, as they were thinking about it more they said, "actually, I don't think this happened during the break [of Yom Kippur]. I think it happened during the service." This little tidbit of Perth Amboy's Jewish history should not sound surprising. One of the hallmarks of our culture is that while we love our tradition, there is only so much of it we can take. Take for instance this one-page-two-minute version of the haggadah shared by some members of[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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rabbi’s journal

March 10, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1349: Rabbis and Congregants Building Community Together

Previewing this Sunday's Mordy's Brunch Hour with Rabbi Gerald Zelizer... Dear Hevreh, Yesterday, we restarted the popular, weekly Ask the Rabbi program at Menlo Park Mall on Wednesdays at 12 pm. One of the reasons for returning to these weekly sessions is because it gives a chance for informal conversation among us, to open up about deeper conversations on faith, family, and the future of Judaism. But what's more these conversations, and the ones that follow over the phone, over coffee, and over kiddush, among rabbis and congregants form the bond that makes our community strong. Through talking we build a partnership to make Beth Mordecai the greatest Jewish home any soul could ever yearn for. This is why I am so[...]

Category : home Mordy's Brunch Hour Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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rabbi’s journal

January 28, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1305: Shabbatapalooza — An Awesome Experience

The folliowing is the first of three journal entries previewing this weekend's Shabbatapalooza activities... Dear Hevreh, The other day during a break in the action of a local hockey game, I mentioned to our esteemed Executive Director Elliot Rubin that no matter what we do at the shul to "jazz" up services, nothing can beat the awe, the drama, the magnitude of a major sporting event. I mean, have you ever heard the deafening sound of a horn blown at a hockey game? It can't even compare. Since then I've been thinking about the ways in which our senses are overwhelmed, enraptured, and awed by our experiences. And then I came across this video from the very interesting, modern philosopher Jason Silva.[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Shabbatapalooza
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rabbi’s journal

January 21, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1300 — The Joy of Skipping from Shul to Shul, from Home to Home

Reflection on last week's Friday night service and this week's upcoming storm... "דומה דודי לצבי" (שיר השירים ב:ט), מה צבי זה מדלג מהר להר מבקעה לבקעה מאילן לאילן ומסוכה לסוכה מגדר לגדר, כך הקב"ה מקפץ מבית הכנסת זה לבית הכנסת זה מבית מדרש זה לבית מדרש זה. כל כך למה? כדי לברך ישראל. - שיר השירים רבה פרשה ב "My beloved is like a gazelle" (Song of Songs 2:9), Just as a gazelle skips from mountain to mountain, valley to valley, tree to tree, and dwelling to dwelling, fence to fence, so too the Holy One Blessed Be He skips from this synagogue to that synagogue, from this house of study to that house of study. Why? In order to bless Israel. - Song[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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rabbi’s journal

December 27, 2015
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1275: The Mass Appeal of Jewish Wisdom

(12/27/15), Dear Hevreh Some of the most exciting moments for me as a rabbi occur when I encounter Jewish wisdom in unsuspecting places. For instance, I was reading an article in Esquire about Jimmy Fallon when I came across this nugget in describing how Jimmy Fallon is simply trying to be his best self: In Tales of the Hasidim, [Martin] Buber tells of Rabbi Zusya, who stood before the throne on Judgment Day worried that God would ask, Why weren't you oses? Why weren't you Solomon? Why weren't you at least Maimonides? But is Creator simply asked, Why weren't you Zusya? (Esquire, Dec/Jan 2015/16, 120). What I find so remarkable about this passage isn't the teaching itself. It's a nice little nugget, certainly not[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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