What We Take With Us

November 8, 2017

Rabbi George’s talk, “What we take from our homes when we flee for our lives”, was delivered as part of the interfaith healing service at The Center for Spiritual Living a week after the fire: The wind woke Laura up. She smelled smoke, walked out our front door into the court and saw the fire […]

Mourning the Fire

October 27, 2017

Over the past week, I came to the realization that the dominant framework for what we are all experiencing after the fires is loss, grief and mourning, as if someone or something died. When we lose a loved one, shock and bewilderment come first. Next, comes brain fog – “Why can’t I think straight!” –, […]

AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE

August 16, 2017

The conflagration of hate and bigotry in Virginia is appalling but not surprising; Trump’s cozy relationship with members of the alt-right (think Steve Bannon) and his inflammatory language has emboldened the haters and bullies in our country. Half-hearted in his condemnation of the perpetrators, the President ultimately defended the “very fine people” who marched alongside […]

Rabbi Michael Was Larger Than Life

August 14, 2017

These remarks were originally delivered at a conference of Reform Rabbis (PAR) in Palm Springs, the year of his death in 2006. Michael Robinson was bigger than life in many ways. He was a tall man, well over 6 feet. I’m 5’ 10” and when we hugged, my head rested on his chest. He was […]

An Ode to the Jewish American Experience in Honor of Independence Day

July 3, 2017

Jews have been a part of the American experience from the beginning.  We’ve shared in her trials and tribulations.  We arrived with the first settlers in New Amsterdam, and later we participated in the great migration west.  We’ve plowed her fields, fought in her wars, and in general, participated in almost every aspect of her […]

Pesach and Hope

April 11, 2017

When you think about all the challenges we face it is easy to be cynical or just give up. Politics, the Environment, the Middle East; the list of serious issues is overwhelming, making it a great spiritual challenge to stay hopeful in a world with so many seemingly intractable problems. Thank God for Pesach because […]

The Arc of History Bends Toward Justice

December 14, 2016

Now that the shock of the election has passed, we are in a state of limbo watching, wondering, worrying what President-elect Trump and his administration will be like. In the congregation emotions are running high; more than anything, people are afraid and their fears mirror where they feel vulnerable. A mom calls frightened for her […]

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

November 15, 2016

The following remarks were delivered at the interfaith Thanksgiving service at Shomrei Torah on November 13. What a challenging week it has been since the election on Tuesday. We have had two large gatherings here since the elections and the overwhelming feeling of the congregation has been one of mourning. The last time I remember […]

Election Got You Stressed? Just Breathe

November 4, 2016

As I write this, we are five days from the election. Oy! This political season has been the worst in memory. Everywhere I go people tell me how anxious and upset they are about the campaign, and the truth is, I feel the same way. We all want it to be over. But let’s face […]

Holding the Ladder

August 31, 2016

A story… The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Hassidic movement, took a long time to pray over Shabbat.  He would begin Shabbat morning services with his followers, and a couple hours later, they would be done yet he would still be engrossed in prayer.  They would sit in quiet reverence and wait; twenty […]