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Talmud Texts for Tomorrow - De-Othering Esau

11/20/2020 02:20:50 PM

Nov20

Shalom Hevre,

Rabbi Jacob and I are switching off week to week now so that we both have the great privilege of teaching and connecting through these conversations.

Here are tomorrow's sources.  They are a piece of Talmud and a midrash on "De-Othering" Ishmael and Esau.  When such marginzalization lives on and flourishes in our tradition, it creates all kinds of disturbing moral consequences, which is why finding examples of...Read more...

Latest Video D'var Torah - Chayyei Sarah

11/17/2020 05:54:42 PM

Nov17

Shalom Friends,

Here is last week's video d'var Torah.  Sorry it's several days late - I found it a little challenging to get it out before Shabbat, but here's hoping I can get them to you earlier in these winter months especially.

Chodesh Tov - it's Rosh Chodesh Kislev and we had a lovely, if chilly, minyan in person this morning, along with about another 9-10 people streming in.  Hanukkah of course is in a little more than...Read more...

This Week's Video D'var Torah

11/06/2020 04:24:07 PM

Nov6

Shalom Friends,

Getting this just under the wire - this week's video D'var Torah - hope it gets to you in time.  

The basic idea: the Torah ushers in a social revolution that says the "Other" is Us!

Shabbat Shalom,

 

Rabbi Justin David

Read more...

Important Message from Rabbi Justin David and Rabbi Riqi Kosovske

11/06/2020 01:28:53 PM

Nov6

Rabbi Justin David



Dear Friends,

This morning, we learned from the Northampton Police Department that three stickers were placed on a building in downtown Northampton.  All stickers had the tag “NSC 131 Zone,” which is code for the...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Join us Tonight for Erev Election Gathering - Prayer, Reflection, Song

11/02/2020 11:43:14 AM

Nov2

Dear Friends,

Join us tonight for an Erev Election Gathering tonight at 7:00 to remind us of the inherent hope of human solidarity in community.

We'll pray a little (simple Ma'ariv with Sh'ma and Amidah), reflect a little (on a text TBD), and sing a bunch.  The entire gathering should be an hour or so. 

Absolutely all are welcome and look forward to seeing you there!  

B'shalom,

Rabbi Justin...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Erev Election Gathering; D'var Torah; Reflections on Hope and Community

10/30/2020 04:23:11 PM

Oct30

Dear Friends,

A couple of days ago, the New York Times ran over two pages “The Anxious Person’s Guide to the 2020 Election.”  Whatever any of us is feeling in the moment, and however much we are working to get out the vote or making efforts to vote ourselves, I imagine that each of us has had our difficult moments.  

At different times in my life when I have experienced the kind of anxiety that has affected...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Turning to Transformative Thinkers, D'var Torah for Noah, Looking to Tikva Frymer-Kensky

10/23/2020 05:37:26 PM

Oct23

Shabbat Shalom Friends,

Here is my video d'var Torah for this week, Noah: Revolution and Moral Vision, In Honor of Tikva Frymer-Kensky, z"l.  Frymer-Kensky, who died in 2006, was a towering scholar of the Bible and the Ancient Near East, and I draw from her book, In the Wake of the Goddesses.  I also highly recommend her book, Reading the Women of the Bible, which I will draw on again in a couple of weeks.

For more...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Taking Care: Learning, Reflecting, Discussion and Planning for End of Life

10/22/2020 08:37:45 PM

Oct22

Dear Friends,

I am very much looking forward to the deeply meaningful learning and conversations we will have with our 6-week program beginning this Sunday, “Taking Care: Learning, Reflecting, Discussion and Planning for End of Life.”  I am especially grateful to Rabbi Nancy Flam for conceiving and designing this program, which we both hope provides a needed and helpful service to our community.

The first three...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Turning to Transformative Thinkers, D'var Torah for a New Year

10/16/2020 02:51:18 PM

Oct16

Dear Friends,

As we begin Parashat Beresheet, the beginning of Genesis, I am committing to a year of teaching in which I center the voices of thinkers who, in the words of the groundbreaking feminist Judith Plaskow, mine texts and ideas to bring about transformative change.  Most of these thinkers will be Jewish feminists, while some may not necessarily identify themselves as feminists or as Jewish.  But all will share a vision that...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah - In-Person and Online

10/09/2020 01:14:48 PM

Oct9

Dear Friends,

As we savor these last beautiful hours of Sukkot, I wanted to send a reminder about our online and in-person gatherings for Sh'mini Atzeret (tomorrow) and Simchat Torah (tomorrow evening and Sunday), culminating in our unrolling of the sefer Torah in our parking lot on Sunday at 12:30.  

Sh’mini Atzeret, beginning tonight, (Friday at 6:00 PM), will be all online.

Tomorrow morning...Read more...

Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah - In Person and Online

10/07/2020 10:43:18 AM

Oct7

Dear Friends,

As we look toward the end of the holidays, I hope you will consider joining with the community either for our in person Hoshanna Rabba and Simchat Torah gatherings, or our celebrations of Sh’mini Atzeret (including Yizkor) and Erev Simchat Torah online.

Hosanna Rabba (in person): Friday, October 9, 9:00 - Join us for this in-person service celebrating the final day of Sukkot, with Hallel and a...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Thoughts on Yom Kippur Services Online

09/27/2020 08:02:24 AM

Sep27

Dear Friends, While Felicia and I certainly felt the absence of everyone’s physical presence on Rosh Hashanah, having the camera trained on us was a constant reminder that you were with us remotely, and once we began, we felt as if you were there with us.   As we look ahead to Yom Kippur, there are a number of features that will remain the same, as they seemed to work well for Rosh Hashanah.  At the same time, given that there are some...Read more...

CBI Sanctuary Visits between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

09/21/2020 08:30:00 AM

Sep21

Dear Friends,

 

We are offering opportunities for community members to visit the CBI Sanctuary between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for private moments of reflection and personal prayers in front of the open Ark. 

 

You can sign up for a 15-minute timeslot here.


 

A few guidelines:

Please arrive on time. 
 

Before you leave your...Read more...

From Rabbi David - Erev Rosh Hashanah Services W/Rosh Hashanah Seder Tonight!

09/18/2020 09:47:31 AM

Sep18

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder that tonight, after our Erev Rosh Hashanah services at 6:30, we will have a festive and joyous Rosh Hashanah Seder at 7:30. Below is part of the original letter with advice for what foods to assemble and some background material.  Look forward to seeing you there!!

Check out this "teaser video" we made earlier in the week featuring yours truly and, I must say, a decent Tekia on the...Read more...

From Rabbi David - What to Expect of our Online Rosh Hashanah Services

09/17/2020 07:40:47 PM

Sep17

Dear Friends,

Given that this year’s High Holidays will not be like any other we have experienced, I wanted to write an overview of our online services as well as the thinking behind them.  My hope is that this letter will help you in a few ways: to guide you to the sections of the service that speak to you given our limited capacity for attention on screens; to help make the online experience more meaningful by altering...Read more...

Abundance Farm Challah, Rosh Hashanah FAQs, and Sweet gifts from CBI

09/15/2020 02:12:01 PM

Sep15

Dear Friends,

It has been heartwarming to see so many of you at CBI over the last couple of days as we distributed High Holy Day packages. We are opening one last distribution window this Friday, September 18 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. There is no need to register in advance. Come to the CBI parking lot and we will provide you with everything you need to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. CBI board members and volunteers (pre-screened and...Read more...

Communal Tashlikh Experience - Sunday, September 20

09/14/2020 09:14:16 PM

Sep14

Dear Friends,

I love tashlikh. Even though it will be different this year, we have developed a tashlikh experience that will be both safe and meaningful.

For this year we are offering a hybrid communal and Do-It-Yourself experience that we hope will be meaningful and give us all some connection to each other.  You should feel free to take part in this community Tashlikh experience on the afternoon...Read more...

Invitation from Rabbi David: Lend Your Voice to our High Holiday Services

09/09/2020 12:34:02 PM

Sep9

Dear Friends,

I am very excited and hopeful to send this first of three or so letters before Rosh Hashanah as an invitation to consider how we make this season meaningful in this unprecedented time.  

Here is a Google form that I hope you will look at and, if you would like, fill out to contribute your voice and perspective to our prayer services.

Central to our High Holiday services are prayers for healing and...Read more...

ISRAEL AND ANNEXATION

06/15/2020 06:31:48 PM

Jun15

Rabbi Justin David

I urge you to take part in two conversations organized by our Israel Committee that highlight the moral and humanitarian danger of the Netanyahu government's proposal to annex parts of the West Bank.  

T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, has written a short statement clarifying their reasons for opposing annexation. ...Read more...

A TIKKUN OF JUSTICE AND HUMAN DIGNITY

05/31/2020 01:30:39 PM

May31

Rabbi Justin David

Dear Friends,

Even as the past few days of Shavuot provided a retreat in which to experience the joys of Torah and shared wisdom, my mind and heart have been preoccupied with the public expressions of pain and anger in response to the murder of George Floyd.  

In the coming days, I hope that I will be able to marshal some wisdom from our tradition that deepens our understanding of this moment and suggests a way for...Read more...

Tue, December 1 2020 15 Kislev 5781