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April 2017 KOL Article

Wed, April 5, 2017

Passover has always been one of the most lonely and difficult times to be a rabbi in Virginia.  We keep kosher.  We keep kosher for Passover.  And that entails so much more than we can do here in Virginia.  On Monday, we spent hours in Maryland buying all the foods that are just not available here in Northern Virginia.  One woman looked at our overflowing carts and said, “You must be from out of town!” with a smile.  Yes, we live on a planet...

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The Brick and the Jaguar [Parashat Ki Tissa (Exodus 33:5,6)]

Tue, March 21, 2017

Sometimes, I wonder why God ever forgave the Israelites for building the Golden Calf.   Moses goes up to the mountain to get the Torah and, when he doesn’t come back down quickly enough, the people take their gold and their jewelry and build a golden calf, completely forgetting Adonai, the Source of their freedom and good fortune.   They get swept up by their wealth and go speeding along, dancing in a frenzy of mindless excess. 

And then Moses,...

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Torah Study with the Rabbi for Mishpatim

Mon, February 27, 2017

Shabbat Shalom,

I hope this finds you enjoying the summer-like weather.  What a February this has turned out to be! 

As I sit and study the Torah portion this morning, I am reminded of the fact that in addition to being the source of our values, the Torah also contains many laws and commandments that we are expected to follow.  This week's portion, Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 - 24:18) follows last week's portion, Yitro, where...

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Shabbat: A Sabbatical in Time (Shabbat Yitro, February 17, 2017 Sermon)

Tue, February 21, 2017

Time is precious.  In our fast-paced, calendar-demanding world, time is the one commodity that seems to control us, constrain us, and confine us.  At our Selichot service every year before Rosh Hashanah, we read the meditation whose refrain is “I haven’t the time.”  At the end of the reading, the author runs out of time.  In preparing the 2019 Bar Mitzvah list in December, I programmed my life for another year.  Everything I do revolves around...

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Religion 202: “Is there a Heaven or Hell in Judaism?” (Shabbat Bereishit October 28, 2016)

Fri, December 9, 2016

This week’s Torah portion open’s with the words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth –“et ha-shamayim v’et ha’aretz,” in Hebrew.  Genesis 1 delivers a clear scientific statement of the creation of two physical realms that can be seen with the human eye. We can stand on the ground and we can look at the sky, the clouds, the sun, and the moon the heavens

The Hebrew word...

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Miles of Moments (Yizkor 5777)

Thu, October 13, 2016

We traveled 35,000 miles, circumnavigating the globe and visiting both the northern and southern hemispheres this summer.  We spent almost 64 hours in the air, covering every time zone.  It was an amazing 40th anniversary trip! And we were able to cross off a number of things on my husband Gary's bucket list.  I don't have one.  Gary planned every moment and adventure.  Truth be told, until I got on the airplane, I really didn't know much about where...

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Lie Witness News (Kol Nidre 5777)

Thu, October 13, 2016

Before the first 2016 presidential debate, Jimmy Kimmel's team took to Hollywood Boulevard for another episode of what he calls, "Lie Witness News."  For those of you who don’t know, Kimmel, the late night talk show host, sends a person out onto the streets of Hollywood to ask people if they saw or heard about something, often absurd or ridiculous, that may or may not have really happened. 


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Welcoming You (Rosh Hashanah Morning Service 5777)

Thu, October 13, 2016

On September 13th at 12:20 a.m., our fourth grandchild, Shia Wolf Perlin, came into this world.  He came a little early, to fit into your schedule and mine.  I suppose he knew that if he came on his due date, eight days ago this morning, his bris would have been today in Los Angeles, while I would have been here with you, missing a moment I would never have wanted to miss.

Sweet baby Shia, you are our family's Rosh Hashanah baby.  You prove the...

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