Sign In Forgot Password

Racial Confessions | Rabbi's Reflections from Yom Kippur 5781 (2020)

10/20/2020 03:40:44 PM

Oct20

I imagine, if we're honest, we all have memories of the past that bring a sting of shame and remorse as we face aspects of ourselves at different ages. 

Hear powerful Words of Torah from Rabbi Marc from Yom Kippur 5781. 2020 has been a challenging year in so many capacities but we must confront our feelings on race and racism. Perhaps these words can serve as the beginning of your awareness of the need to stand up and name something for what it is. 

"The heartbeat of racism is denial. The heartbeat of antiracism is confession" - Ibram X. Kendi. 

Hear Rabbi Marc's entire sermon here:

 

It's not about education, it's about Teshuva! Yes, there is so much collective Teshuva, repentance, that we need to do. The Jewish community has been far from immune to the disease of racism. Even though our tradition demands that we see every human being as a reflection of the divine image, deserving dignity and respect. 

Justice, justice shall you pursue!

Rabbi's Reflections from Rosh HaShanah 2020 | Welcoming 5781

09/22/2020 05:05:23 PM

Sep22

As we welcome 5781 and look back, it has been a challenging year. Here are Words of Torah and Rabbi's Reflections from Rosh HaShanah 2020. 

Erev Rosh HaShanah - Angels of Friendship

Rosh HaShanah Day #1 - Yes to Life!

Rosh HaShanah Day #2 - The Master Key

What Kind of Pesach is it Going to be this year?

04/02/2020 05:11:11 PM

Apr2

It’s pretty hard to believe that this time next week it will be Passover when it feels like the world as we know it has changed so much as we face our fears, our solitude, our anxiety, our sadness and so much more.  How is this Passover different to all other Passovers?  Well, in just about every way possible. So, how do we deal with all this change and still celebrate this holiday that is important and precious to so many...Read more...

Podcasts of 5780 Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur Sermons!

10/18/2019 05:14:43 PM

Oct18

UpA few people wondered if my sermons were available to listen to, so now my Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur talks are available as podcasts for those who want to hear them.

Episode 97 – Trees, Animals and the Weather

Episode 98 – Beyond Selfie

Episode 96 – Standing Up!

You can listen on soundcloud here or on itunes here

Since Rosh HaShanah, the community has planted over 1800...Read more...

Standing Up - Yom Kippur 5780

10/09/2019 05:18:52 PM

Oct9

Moments before jumping into the narrow, rocky chute, Dave, my laconic guide who has skied these steep mountains in Taos, New Mexico for almost forty years, each run like a pulsing vein in his own body, warned me “if you fall with your head facing downhill, you have just seconds to get yourself turned around and stick your boots, your hands, your poles, whatever you can in the snow to stop your fall, otherwise you will slide all the way down...Read more...

Beyond Selfie - Kol Nidre 5780

10/08/2019 07:47:11 PM

Oct8

Social media. Oy. Hate it, love it, use it, abuse it; for many of us, me included, it can suck away a lot of time and trigger plenty of instant, strong emotions, often of outrage!  I am fairly new to the party and, yet I created a new hashtag recently, without even really understanding what that means – #shofie, a selfie of me blowing the shofar. I posted two or three of these videos on instagram and then some others out there posted...Read more...

An American Teshuvah - 2nd Day Rosh HaShanah 5780

10/01/2019 07:49:45 PM

Oct1

Rabbi Josh Katzan

Once upon a time in a Synagogue on Rosh Hashanah, the congregation, inspired by their Rabbi and Cantor, were collectively deep in contemplative prayer. During Musaf, it was as if the Gates of Prayer were swung open, and everyone had a private audience with the Creator. Much like any given Shabbat at Bonei Shalom, the intensity of the davening was so profound, not even the Cantor would dare sing a word, as the whole of the congregation were at...Read more...

Trees, Animals, and the Weather - Rosh HaShanah 5780

10/01/2019 03:34:08 PM

Oct1

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts...Read more...

A Eulogy for Carl Herbet - Kalman ben Yosef v'Dora z"l

08/22/2019 03:39:28 PM

Aug22

Carl Herbet – Kalman ben Yosef v’Dora May 1st, 1921 – August 18th, 2019

“Aizeh hu gibor? Who is strong?” asked Rabbi ben Zoma in Pirkei Avot, “hacoveysh et yiztro, the one who controls his passions.” Carl Herbet was physically strong,...Read more...

Krakow - Saturday & Sunday Morning

11/14/2018 04:42:51 PM

Nov14

Saturday Night in Krakow – November 10th, 2018

Here they have Cheder and Chevre and Hamsa; bars, cafes and restaurants; the locals pronounce that ch like cheese, cheddar, rather than Hebrew or Yiddish for a room, a gathering space, a school.

I wandered across the square for services in the ancient synagogue of the Rema (Remu here), as Shabbat was beginning.

Every restaurant is...Read more...

Auschwitz-Birkenau - Block 19 C Lager

11/08/2018 04:45:21 PM

Nov8

Block 19, C Lager, Auschwitz II – Birkenau – November 8th 2018

Read more...

On the Train from Warsaw to Krakow

11/07/2018 04:47:11 PM

Nov7

2018On a train. A Jew watching the Polish forests flying past the window

In silent knowing; as if their deep roots and dying leaves have never stopped

Holding memory and telling stories.

Hard to push away images of Jews in cattle cars seeing the same landscapes

On a forced journey to their deaths

Or the Poles watching indifferently perhaps, seeing through their tram windows

A people brutalized,...Read more...

Rabbis' Civil Rights Tour in Alabama

10/19/2018 04:49:52 PM

Oct19

Montgomery to Birmingham, Alabama

Last week I found myself eating lunch next to two black police officers at an Indian restaurant in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, a scene that would have been impossible just fifty years earlier in this state when the local police force included no people of color and was part of the horrible, systemic violence perpetrated against blacks.  [The first black policeman in Birmingham was Leroy Stover...Read more...

Won't You Be My Neighbor? Kol Nidre 5779

09/19/2018 04:54:35 PM

Sep19

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood!

A beautiful day for a neighbor

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood

A neighborly day for a beauty

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you

So, Let’s make the most of...Read more...

Memory & Legacy - Yom Kippur 5779

09/18/2018 04:56:33 PM

Sep18

Let us tell tales

All the rest can wait

All the rest must wait

Let us tell tales

That is our primary obligation

Commentaries will have to come later

Lest they replace or becloud what they mean to reveal

Let us tell tales

So as to remember how vulnerable man is when faced with overwhelming evil

Let us tell tales

So as not to allow the executioner to have the last...Read more...

Truth & Justice - Rosh HaShanah Day 1 5779

09/13/2018 04:59:55 PM

Sep13

 

The story is told that the raven and the nightingale once had a competition to decide which of them had the sweetest voice.  All the animals gathered to listen and the pig was appointed judge. The nightingale sang so sweetly, the raven cried out hoarsely, and the pig, whose decision was final, ruled that the raven was the winner.  As agreed, the raven pecked out the nightingale’s eyes and flew away triumphant. A...Read more...

Threatened by Teshuva - Rosh HaShanah Day 2

09/12/2018 05:01:09 PM

Sep12

Hannah Kapnik Ashar

 

A man goes to a psychologist, “I need your help. My brother is crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.” “Describe his symptoms” the doctor says. “Maybe I can help.” “Well, he bocks a lot, he pecks at the rug and the furniture, and he makes nests in the corners.” The doctor thinks for a moment then says, “It sounds like a simple neurosis to me. Bring in your brother-in-law. I think I can cure...Read more...

A Eulogy for Doris Small

09/04/2018 05:02:57 PM

Sep4

Doris Small – Devorah bat Moshe v’Hinde Miriam z”l
July 20th 1923 – September 3rd 2018

There has always been something about this time of year that I associate with Doris.  It seems that her falls, her time in hospital, rehab and nursing homes have so often been around Rosh HaShanah, and when I would visit and often blow the shofar for her, as I did on Sunday the day before she left...Read more...

A Eulogy for Irene Rosenschein

05/18/2018 05:04:15 PM

May18

Irene Ilona Rosenschein – Yitta bat Yisrael v’Bluma Hendel
Delivered at Bonai Shalom on May 18th 2018, Sivan 4, 5778

Who here does not feel richer and a little more complete through knowing Irene Ilona Rosenschein, who has left the most extraordinary legacy to every...Read more...

Reflecting on Israel at 70

04/19/2018 05:06:11 PM

Apr19

I met my old friend Rebecca in the remarkable and exquisite setting of The American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, a surprising haven of tranquility in a divided city.  After our meeting, I walked through the streets of this part of the city, so different and unknown to me compared to West Jerusalem, whose streets are as familiar to me as an old friend.  Not so many tourists here, just the Arab/Palestinian population living their...Read more...

A Eulogy for Beverly Goodman

01/21/2018 09:24:35 AM

Jan21

Beverly Helen Goodman (Silverberg) – Chaya Breindel bat Shimshon v’Shaindel

August 19th 1937 – February 19th 2018

“Olam chesed yibaneh – The world is built on hesed, on loving kindness” says The Book of Psalms (89:3). Hesed is the biblical Hebrew for which the English word lovingkindness was invented by bible translator Miles...Read more...

In the Image of the Divine - Rosh HaShanah Day 1 5778

09/24/2017 09:26:17 AM

Sep24

 

What a world!  What a beautiful, broken, tragic, painful, confusing world. What are we doing here?  What words can I possibly offer to make sense of anything? I want to talk about all of it; hurricanes, floods, earth quakes, fires, our changing climate, 65 million refugees and displaced people around the world, anti-Semitism, Israel, racism, privilege, dreamers, the Rohingya in Myanmar, gun violence, North Korea and...Read more...

On Loan - Rosh HaShanah Day 2 5778

09/23/2017 09:27:44 AM

Sep23

Hannah Kapnik Ashar

 

It’s late on Shabbat afternoon and Rebbi Meir is teaching in the beit midrash, the house of learning. Meanwhile back at home, his two sons pass away.Their mother, Beruria, lays them down on their bed and spreads a sheet over them.

As Shabbat is ending, Rebbi Meir comes home from the beit midrash. He says to Beruria, “where are my two sons?” “they went to the beit midrash.” “I expected them at the beit...Read more...

11 Months of Kaddish for My Dad

07/21/2017 09:32:23 AM

Jul21

It is late at night on the eve of the first yahrzeit, death anniversary, of my dad, Alan Soloway, Aharon ben Avraham HaCohen u’Sarah, and I feel very reflective of the emotional and spiritual arc of this intense year. Tonight I was celebrating the joint Bat Mitzvah of Bella and Noa, twin daughters of very close friends in London at a very wonderful party, populated by well over 50 joyful teens and pre-teens and a lovely group of old...Read more...

A Statement from the Conservative Movement

01/31/2017 09:34:09 AM

Jan31

Friends,

This is a very important statement from the Conservative Movement that I feel obligated to share with the community at this time as most of my colleagues have already done.

Many blessings

Rabbi Marc

Read more...

My New Podcast - A Dash of Drash

01/26/2017 09:32:02 AM

Jan26

 

I am enjoying sending out a weekly podcast, based around themes in the Torah and in conversation with others.

It is called A Dash of Drash – check it out here on itunes or here on Soundcloud. 

We also have them linked here on our website.

I hope you will listen in some time!

Read more...

Religious Behaviorism or Spiritual Materialism

01/04/2017 09:34:08 AM

Jan4

 

Being in Jerusalem or London or New York, I get really used to the daily rhythm of joining, and sometimes, leading a morning minyan to start my day.  This is truer than ever before, now that I am in my year of mourning for my father.  There is something so comforting about starting each day with the same, familiar ritual of donning tefilllin and joining the chorus of chanting the ancient words of our siddur. ...Read more...

Worse Than Kapos

01/01/2017 09:42:43 AM

Jan1

 

Often my Fridays include a visit with a wonderful woman in her nineties called Irene. Irene Rosenschein was raised in a shtetel in the Carpathian Mountains, then part of Hungary, now Ukraine. Most of her large family did not survive the brutality of the Holocaust, but she and three of her sisters all did and were all alive until just a few years ago.  Known as “die vier Shwester”, the four sisters, they were all in...Read more...

More Stories of the Land

11/30/2016 09:44:06 AM

Nov30

 

Every day this sacred and complex land brings rich, new experiences and adventures and constant reminders of how many different stories there are to tell, each with its own perspective.  An infinity of narratives that contradict each other and yet they are all true.  My week has included learning Torah from Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis; participating in services that are liberal and fully egalitarian,...Read more...

Walls, Rivers, Bridges, And Thanksgiving

11/24/2016 09:46:02 AM

Nov24

Friends,

 

On Monday I spent most of the day in Nablus, the Palestinian city also known as Shechem and a proposed sister city for Boulder. Having been involved in the opposition to this project, I wanted to see and experience for myself the culture of this place that is so close to the Israel that I know and love and yet an entirely different world in so many ways.  I was very warmly welcomed by everyone I met and...Read more...

Sun, October 25 2020 7 Cheshvan 5781