Thoughts on the High Holidays 5782

The High Holidays have come and gone but the individual hard work we did together continues throughout the year. In the weeks and months that follow, we will all try to act on the promises we made to ourselves. If you find your commitment waning or your strength slipping. We hope you'll take a minute to spend some time on this page to remember and be inspired by the thoughts of Rabbi Mitch. Wishing you kavod (strength) and shalom (peace).  

All Thoughts on the High Holidays - 5782

What is Sacrifice? – Kol Nidre

It’s been a long time since animal sacrifice was the accepted mode of worship for the Jewish people. On the other hand, a key component of the act of making a sacrifice remains the same. The synagogue is still asking for our money. It may strike some of us, myself…

In Search of the Palace – Rosh Hashanah Day 1

Seek out God when He is to be found! -declares the prophet. (Yeshayahu 55:6) – “these are the ten days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur,” rejoin the rabbis. (Rosh HaShanah 18a) There is a parable, originally told by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov:  Once upon a time, there was a…

The Potential of Pot-Luck Judaism – Rosh HaShanah Day 2

I love Congregation Beth Israel. My favorite feature is the door labeled “Potluck Kitchen.” This morning, I want to talk about why I like it and why I think it can inspire our vision and be our North Star. CBI is proudly “independent” as opposed to merely “unaffiliated.” Part of…

We’re All in the Same Boat – Yom Kippur afternoon

Perhaps you share my frustration with the tension we've seen quite a bit lately between perceptions of individual freedom and social responsibility. Our tradition offers an analogy for how to think about this tension. Having noticed that, often enough, the mistakes of the few lead to consequences borne by the…

God Could Be a Little Girl – Neilah

The story is told that once upon a time, Rabbi Dov Bear of Mezritch (d. 1772) was walking down the street and he encountered a very sad little girl, sobbing and crying her eyes out. The Rabbi, alarmed and concerned, stopped and said to the little girl, “Why, what could…

Recreating Ourselves – Erev Rosh HaShannah

The idea that Rosh Hashanah is a time to focus on recreating ourselves is popular and may sound modern, but it’s not. The idea that our season of judgment and introspection grants us the opportunity to reinvent who we are can be found in our ancient sources. The Jerusalem Talmud…