Tag Archives: High Holidays

When the Party’s Over — Shemini Atzeret 5783

My friend and drumming teacher, Chris Parker, once taught me a lesson about music that has always stayed with me: “Music,” he said, “is sound organized in time.” In other words, sound without time is just noise. Time without sound … Continue reading

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Are You a Hero? — Yom Kippur 5783

By now, you’ve heard quite a bit about my sabbatical; perhaps more than you wanted to know. Apologies if that’s the case.  On Rosh Hashanah, I talked about how I tried to embrace the spirit of Shabbat by refraining from … Continue reading

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Why Are You Here? — Rosh Hashanah 5783

As a people that is well over three thousand years old, Jews have collectively lived through many eras of upheaval. We have endured revolutions and conquests; crusades, inquisitions and expulsions; the rise and fall of empires; civil wars and world … Continue reading

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Back to the Future: Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5782

The year was 1944. As the second World War raged overseas, my grandfather (of blessed memory) was a young army private, based at Camp Croft, South Carolina. To that point, he hadn’t been deployed overseas because he served as a … Continue reading

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From Great to Good: Rosh Hashanah Day 2, 5777

In the 19th Century, British philosopher Thomas Carlyle argued that history is mainly about the accomplishments of great people. Since then, many thinkers have pointed out the flaws in Carlyle’s “Great Men” theory, but, whether intentionally or not, history is … Continue reading

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One Community, One Campus: Rosh Hashanah Day 1, 5777

Of all the enemies our ancestors faced in antiquity, perhaps none were more fearsome than the Assyrians. Around 900 BCE, Assyria began to conquer much of what was at the time the known world. The empire Assyria built stretched from … Continue reading

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The Quantified Life – Yom Kippur 5775

Little Emily waits at the bus stop for her first day of 3rd Grade. She’s excited – to reunite with her friends, share some summer stories, and get to know her new teachers – but there is little unfamiliar about … Continue reading

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A House of Prayer for All People – Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5775

              In the Jewish tradition, each new year provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, and refocus. We consider the events of the year that has passed, celebrate our triumphs, and confront our failures. Looking … Continue reading

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No inspiration without perspiration: The key to meaningful Judaism

Just before the High Holy Days, a panic seizes many Jews. Those who rarely, if ever, step foot in synagogue the rest of the year feel compelled to attend worship on the Days of Awe. They come despite knowing that … Continue reading

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Ben Affleck, Batman and Us: A Spiritual Reflection on the Backlash

When news broke last week that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman for the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, the fan reaction was swift, harsh, and pervasive. Within hours of the announcement — and months before production is slated to begin on … Continue reading

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