Author Archive | Temple Beth Sholom

Parashat Shelach-Lecha

How well do you handle the unknown?  Do you embrace change with optimistic thrill or do you approach change with frustration and avoidance? The Jewish people have gone through a plethora of change throughout our history.  From Abraham leaving Ur, to the Hebrews being slaves in Egypt, to the dispersion of the Jewish people among […]

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Parashat Naso

Last month I watched the film, The Stoning of Soraya M, which shook me to my core.  I had trouble sleeping and was overcome by a great deal of anger for days after viewing this film.  The Stoning of Soraya M tells the true story of one of the victims of stonings in modern Iran.  […]

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Parashat Achrei Mot

A couple of months before Daniel and I got married, I met periodically with a Chabad rebbetzin to explore the laws of niddah (separation) and prepare myself for immersion in the mikvah.  As a graduate student and a generally open-minded person, I made a point of studying Jewish thought and traditions from a variety of […]

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Vayikra – Engaging in Prayer

How might the animal sacrifices of the ancient Temple give meaning to your worship today? Parashat Vayikra, which begins the book of Leviticus, describes different kinds of sacrifices to be offered in the sanctuary of the Temple.  They are the olah, or “burnt offering,” the minchah, or “meal offering,” the zevach Shelamim, or “sacrifice of […]

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Parashat Vayetzei

Do you believe in dreams or angels?  Have you ever walked the aisles of the New Age section of the bookstore, embarrassment of being seen in front of the tarot cards or Sylvia Brown novels? Admittedly, I spent lots of time as a teenager in the more “eccentric” parts of Barnes & Noble, contemplating dream […]

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Choosing Partners: Lech L’cha

How do we choose a life partner or friend?  What qualities do we look for in someone with whom we want to create some form of committed relationship? Throughout the first chapters of Genesis, God searches for various partners of creation to move the world forward in a loving and positive manner.  After dozens of […]

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Parashat Emor Leviticus 24:17-23

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth—what does Judaism really have to say about crime and punishment? Parashat Emor ends with the story of a half-Israelite man who pronounces God’s name in blasphemy while engaged in a fight with another Israelite. And Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Take the blasphemer outside the […]

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A Salute to Susie Amster!

By Rabbi Shelton J. Donnell When I first came to Temple Beth Sholom to begin my tenure as rabbi in July of 1991, little did I know that my first big challenge was waiting for me just a few short months away.  After the initial honeymoon period and the heady and hectic experience of my […]

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