Rabbi’s Teachings

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Should Jews Celebrate Halloween?


Chevre As we all know, these are challenging times on many levels.  On the one hand, it is difficult for people to stay connected to any community because of covid-19; and yet these are the times that people need a community more than ever.  It presents an especially difficult challenge for spiritual communities:  how can […]

Why Are We Suffering and What Can We Do?


Why Are We Suffering and What Can We Do? If a person sees that suffering befalls him, let him examine his deeds (Bavli Berachot 5a) Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding… Pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self (Kahlil Gibran, “The […]

Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th of July! It’s time to celebrate our amazing nation, and as we do each year, to remember some of the many Jewish contributions to the forming of this great country.  We must always remember that the values of our Founding Fathers were based on classic Jewish values and teachings…. teachings and values that […]

A Prayer For Peace


Holy Brothers and Sisters: It is sad how humans have a habit of repeating history.  Many of us are old enough to have watched the city burn during the Rodney King riots almost 30 years ago.  Some are old enough to remember the horrors of the Holocaust.  Then, like now, the message of hope and […]

Memorial Day is a Jewish Holiday Too


Memorial Day is a Jewish Holiday Too By Rabbi Michael Barclay In the 1890s, Mark Twain wrote an article about how Jews did not serve in the military of the United States. In response to that, 63 Jewish Veterans of the Civil War formed a group which is now the longest-running veterans service organization in […]

Interfaith: Freedom requires faith over fear


On the evening of April 8, Jews around the world will celebrate the holiday of Passover. This eight-day celebration is truly a “metahistorical” holiday; remembering the historical event of the Exodus from Egypt 3,400 years ago as described in the Book of Exodus, and also giving us teachings that are applicable in the 21st century. Most […]

Table for Five – Parsha: Vayechi


By Rabbi Michael Barclay When Jacob blesses his grandchildren Ephraim and Manasseh, he does not ask that God bless the boys, but rather that the ?angel who redeemed? him bless them. This angel is obviously important to Jacob, but what can we learn about an angel that redeems? Redemption, by definition, means that there was […]

Rabbi’s Thanksgiving Message


Chevre Happy Thanksgiving!? ? Although considered a secular holiday, the concept of “thanks-giving” is an integral part of Judaism that is all too often ignored. There are three types of prayers that Jews traditionally say:? prayers of praise; prayers of petition; and prayers of thanks and gratitude. (This does not include any of our forms […]

Table for Five – What Makes Moses So Special?


By Rabbi Michael Barclay What Makes Moses So Special? God knowing Moses “face to face” in our verse refers to Exodus 33:11, where we learn God spoke to Moses “face to face”, as a man speaks to his friend.” But we are also taught in Exodus 33:20 that God says “You cannot see my face, […]