Getting Out and Getting In

As many of you know, our congregation takes security needs very seriously. We have had a pretty well-thought out plan that we revisited each year. We have applied for a grant from the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) for several years running. Our two schools also regularly schedule drills. We were ahead of the curve by many measures.

Preparing for Change – Parshat Tzav 5779

We’re often told just to adapt and roll with the changes, but transitions take more than that. I’m fascinated by the ways in which we prepare for major events in our lives. This week’s portion, Parshat Tzav, contains one such example. Reading this section of Torah reminds us that it’s ok to treat big transitions with all the pomp and preparation they need. That’s how we acknowledge the change.

A Failure of Imagination: Reflecting on Christchurch

Rabbi Kosak reflects on the terrible massacre of two Muslim communities in New Zealand, explores the origins of hatred and how we can overcome it, and invites people to attend a gathering and vigil at the Muslim Educational Trust, today at 2 pm. Details at the bottom of this Oasis Songs.

From “To Do” to “Done” – Parshat Vayikra 5779

I just returned from D.C. for the culmination of my advocacy fellowship, and this week's parshah really spoke to my apprehensiveness about this adventure. In essence, we learn that we are responsible not only for the things we do wrong, but for the things we should have done, but neglected. Our Torah reminds us that when we have the ability to make a change in ourselves or the world, we must take that action.

The Question of Antisemitisms: Crowdsourcing an Answer

One would have needed to turn actively away from the news to avoid the fracas over newly elected representative, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Congresswoman Omar has found herself in a maelstrom of critique over a number of her comments, which are evocative of traditional anti-semitic stereotypes that have long been used to justify oppression and hatred of Jews.

Beginnings and Endings – Parshat Pekudei 5779

Beginning and endings. Sometimes they mirror each other and all seven days are hectic; other times the week begins in a roar and ends with peacefulness. As we end the Book of Exodus, the Israelite nation is strong, vibrant, and prepared. There will be chaos ahead, but under the guidance of God and leadership from the community, they will go from strength to strength.

What Mystical Theology Teaches Us About Politics and Relationships

Israel will hold new elections on April 9th, and it promises to be one of the most interesting and potentially important referendums there in quite some time. Some new variables are the reason for this. The Israeli attorney general, after a year long investigation by the police, is moving forward with corruption charges against Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.