Jacob left for Beersheba, and set out for Haran. He came upon a place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. He had a dream:
Behold, a SULAM [ladder/stairway/ziggurat] set on the ground and its top reached to the sky.
Behold, angels (messengers) of God were going up and down on it.
And ADONAI was standing there and said, “I am ADONAI, the God of your father Abraham
I don't want to fight anymore. Judaism has a lot to offer the world, so why does it always have to feel like a fight? A fight for continuity, for identity. A fight against the baggage of Hebrew school or the trauma of a forced bar mitzvah. A fight against anti-semitism, against apathy, against the Holocaust happening again. A fight for members, for attention, for market share. I've come to feel that much of the work I should be doing as a rabbi is actually undoing. How many
Yom Kippur Morning Aspen Jewish Congregation One night while he was running for reelection, the mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania went to a bar and paid for a woman’s drink. She thanked him but asked why a stranger had bought her a beer. “I’m running for mayor,” he told her, “and I want your vote.” “You got it,” she said, taking a swig. “Anyone’s better than the jerk who’s in there now.” It feels like we are simmering in a social stew of resentment, ignorance, and disillusionmen
Yom Kippur • Kol Nidrei Aspen Jewish Congregation Just before Rosh Hashanah, I learned of the loss of Allyn Carol Ravitz z’’l, beloved sister of our longtime member Marilyn Gallant. Marilyn told me a story about Allyn that stayed with me. Allyn was a “flaming” liberal, and she walked the walk. She went to marches and protests for women’s rights, gay rights, workers, minorities, you name it. Her third husband, though, was a lifelong conservative. They were so in love, so happy
Rosh Hashanah Morning Aspen Jewish Congregation “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the purely scientific mind.” E.B. White and his wife Katharine wrote that in 1941, and they were probably right. I should warn you that I’m about to kill a few frogs. In the PEW survey of Jewish Americans from 2013, 42% of Jews said they consider “having a good sense of humor” essential to being Jewish. Scholars
Rosh Hashanah Evening
Aspen Jewish Congregation Toothpicks and glue. My 6th-grade science teacher explained the assignment: Build as strong a bridge as possible using only toothpicks and glue. The bridge that supports the most weight gets an A on the project. I was already enough of an overachieving perfectionist that my eye was on that prize. The teacher divided us into groups of three, and my group did not need any coaxing to get down to business. Our natural appetite for