Rabbi’s Teachings

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Rabbi Barclay’s Jewish Journal Article on Faith vs. Fear

Torah portion: Darkness will become light Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1-3:22 by Rabbi Michael Barclay   “Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in the darkness, He would not have been a light for me.” — Midrash Tehillim This week’s portion is the beginning of the Book of Deuteronomy, which is read […]

Jewish Journal Article on Rabbi Barclay and Weddings

Years ago, long before I was ordained, I asked my friend Rabbi Larry Goldmark where he saw God. His response: “I see God when I marry a couple. The bride sees the groom; the groom sees the bride; but I see God standing in between them.” At the time, I thought it was a standard […]

Yom Kippur a coming home for the Jewish soul Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

It happens every year. People come to services for Rosh Hashanah and remember how meaningful Judaism can be in their lives. They fast and pray fervently on Yom Kippur and come up to the rabbi to talk about their great revelation: They are Jews and are going to start coming to services, classes and programming. They […]

Interfaith: The Biblical holiday of July Fourth

http://www.vcstar.com/lifestyle/faith-and-values/interfaith-the-biblical-holiday-of-july-fourth_03303428 I’m coming out of the closet to admit I’m a political junkie. From the time I received my first degree at UC Berkeley in political science over 30 years ago until now, I have taken an active interest in elections the way some people do for football games and have been involved in both […]

Building a Community on Individual Efforts

CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com “Do not regard anyone with contempt, and do not reject anything, for there is no man who does not have his hour and nothing which does not have its place.” — Ben Azzai, Pirkei Avot 4:3 The two Torah portions of Vayakhel and Pekudei comprise the closing […]

Torah portion: Wake up!

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com Guard and listen to all these words that I command you, in order that it be well with you and your children after you forever (Deuteronomy 12:28). This week’s portion, Re’eh, contains a break in Moses’ speeches about Jewish history and destiny. Here he reminds our people […]

The Big Choice

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com I’ve always held the belief that if three or more diverse cultures have the same teaching, that teaching may be worthwhile and worth exploring. Nearly every tradition in the world teaches that all personal choices are, at their deepest level, based on choosing between faith and fear; […]

Torah portion: Becoming a distinguished people

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com “You shall be holy, for I am holy” — Leviticus 11:45 I always find that Parashat Shemini inspires young people to ask questions. “Why did Aaron’s sons have to die?” “Why can’t I have a drink and get a little tipsy if it will help me enjoy […]

Chanukah: Filling our lives with an ancient light

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com When we are children, Chanukah often seems the most important holiday — after all, we get gifts and chocolate coins. As adults, we learn that Chanukah commemorates a military victory as well as the miracle of the everlasting oil, and that it signifies our commitment to filling […]

Each day is a choice: Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

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CLICK HERE to read the article at JewishJournal.com Only a couple of weeks ago, we were all feeling the holiness of Yom Kippur. By the end of the day of fasting, beautiful music, insightful teachings and prayers that deepened our self-awareness, we were remembering the real priorities in life. We had committed — to ourselves […]