Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Patience Really is a Virtue ...

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was first introduced in 1878.  It took 42 years to become law in the United States (today is its 95th anniversary).  

The text says:  "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.  Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Apparently, it was controversial that women be allowed the right to vote.  42 years.  Seriously?

Sometimes, things that are most obviously wrong take a really long time to change.  Thankfully, people didn't give up the fight.  Patience really is a virtue.  : )

Friday, August 21, 2015

Trying (Again) to Come Back ... Old Habits are Hard to Break ...

Well, it looks like I tried again last year to get back to blogging during the month of Elul ... and so it has been just shy of a year since I added anything to my little corner of the internet.  This is very Jewish, to try again, especially as we prepare ourselves for the High Holy Days.  Let's see if I can do better this year. I'm jumping back in to see what happens.  :) I'm on a Shabbat high tonight.ticonIt was wonderful to see so many people celebrating Shabbat with Temple Israel, West Palm Beach this week (I'm guessing that serving ice cream following services didn't hurt ... lol). I'm attaching some of the photos I showed during services from our time this morning at the WPB Food Pantry, as well as a couple of photos taken at Roosevelt Elementary School, where I was able to drop off our school supply donations this afternoon. grin emoticonsmile emoticongrin emoticonsmile emoticonsmile emo



If you have a second, please take a close look at the Food Pantry pictures and you will notice that there are fresh herbs and some fresh fruit from our members' gardens/yards. I want to thank some special people for acting on my sermon from 3 weeks ago where I talked about "food deserts" and reducing waste from our backyard trees and patio plants by donating them to people in need. The organic basil came from my little living room garden (I've been working hard trying to turn my perpetual "Black Thumb" into a "Grey Thumb," and it's finally working) ... Carol Garrett, Jim Garrett, Valerie Eaton, and Charles Eaton also shared from their backyards as well. 

So, if you have backyard edibles that would otherwise go to waste, please consider dropping them off at Temple Israel on Thursday, 9/17, and we will take them with us to our next visit to the WPB Food Pantry on Friday, 9/18 (we stock the Pantry and volunteer there the 3rd Friday of every month). Also, if you ever want to volunteer with us, please contact the fabulous Ellen Flaum, who coordinates TIWPB's efforts with the Pantry. 

Finally, the other photos also make me proud. We intentionally donate the school supplies we collect to a school right here in our neighborhood, where so many families struggle so much ... 97% of the kids at Roosevelt are on free or reduced lunch. 

Some of the kids don't have proper clothes for school and do receive donations from a local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women (a wonderful organization you should check out if you don't know them already), but we are proud to be one of Roosevelt's partners for school supplies. 

Imagine being "that little kid" who doesn't have a backpack, like all the other kids. Or, imagine being "that little kid" who doesn't have notebooks or pencils or markers or folders or crayons. I can't imagine the pain "that little kid" must feel, and am so proud to be able to facilitate the mitzvah of so many generous Temple Israel families.
Thank you for allowing me to be your representative in this important work of taking care of those, in our neighborhood, who need our help. It was a spectacular Shabbat. To all the members of Temple Israel, thank you for allowing me to be your Rabbi. 

Shabbat shalom. 

PS ... It was great to introduce our new Religious School Director, Iris Koller, to our community tonight ... she is going to be a great asset to Temple Israel, so make sure to introduce yourself the next time you see her! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trying to Come Back ...

Rabbis are just people ... we develop new interests, and try new things.  We become disappointed by our lack of effort.  We start projects and we step away from them ... just like anyone else.  I realized recently that I've been away from this blog for a long time, and considered whether or not to start fresh, or to simply begin again.

As the sun set tonight, I decided it was time to begin again as Jews everywhere enter the month of Elul, the month before the Jewish New Year.  I decided that I cannot give up on something that I previously committed myself to and, while blogging isn't necessarily something that makes or breaks my life, it is a platform to share my outlook on this world.  It was sometimes therapeutic.  It was sometimes stress-relieving.  It was sometimes a safe place to share, in an almost anonymous, yet public, space.  

I think it is time to figure out again what my little space in a far away corner of the Internet can be.  Let's find out what happens.  : )

Monday, December 31, 2012

Interesting Resource Regarding Jewish Views on Guns ...

I published my sermon on guns and violence here and wanted to follow up with an article which details different views on how the rabbis of old addressed issues similar to gun violence ... consider what the article says and make your own choice regarding how to respond.

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/119539/what-judaism-says-about-weapons

And, as today is December 31st, may we each have a safe, healthy, and meaningful (secular) new year.   : )