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Statement of Solidarity for Racial Justice

“ Few of us seem to realize how insidious, how radical, how universal and evil racism is. Few of us realize that racism is man’s gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking.”   These words were spoken by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel at the National Conference on Religion and Race in Chicago on January 14, 1963, at which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was also a featured speaker. During the Temple B’nai Abraham Congregational Meeting on May 31 st community members voted to empower me as their Rabbi to make a statement on behalf of the synagogue community against this evil, this threat, this hatred. Temple B’nai Abraham is unequivocally against racism and bigotry in all of its forms. Our congregation’s Guiding Values state all humans are created in the Divine image, and therefore we must treat each accordingly.  Tikkun olam , world repair, is another of our values, calling on us to take stands and act for
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Rabbi's Shabbat Message May 15 2020

Dear Friends, How are you and your families today? I hold you all in my thoughts and prayers in these crazy and uncertain times. In recent services and meetings I have shared a story of two ancient rabbis who self-secluded in a cave for twelve years. This story has a lot to teach us about the essence of Judaism as it was evolving nearly 2000 years ago, as well as cautioning us how we might prepare to emerge from our own isolation into a new and different world.   The Talmud tells us that Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai spoke out against the Roman Government, so the Governor decreed he should be put to death. He and his son, Rabbi Elazar, hid in a cave and studied Torah with great fervor for twelve years until the Prophet Elijah (the same guy we open our doors to on Passover) appeared to tell them they could leave.   When the two emerged and saw people sowing and plowing, Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai said: “These people abandon eternal life of Torah study and engage in this worldly actions for their o

April 1 Message

Dear TBA Friends, In these unprecedented times we draw on our values, wisdom, and ritual to guide and strengthen us. Judaism as a spiritual practice awakens us to life’s potential and enables us to seek holiness and meaning in the world in which we live at any moment, even amidst tremendous uncertainty, fear, and chaos. Surviving this pandemic will make us all survivors. We will all really know how interdependent and connected we are with each other, and with this planet. As survivors we will bring our best tools to rebuild a world of greater love and justice. That is my deepest prayer, as I also hold you all in my prayers for safety and health. In our daily rituals and through our sacred teachings we give thanks for life itself, make space for the longings of our hearts, and connect to sunrises and sunsets and the cycles of nature. Shabbat brings us a taste of a different world, one of more peace and wholeness. Our holidays are benchmarks for our families, connecting us to some of the

Passover Message

Dear TBA Friends, We are here for each other! Members of the TBA Board, Deb and I request that you fill out a quick survey regarding Passover and other concerns related to COVID-19. It will help us as a community respond to needs and support each other better. We WILL be offering a Community Seder for all through Zoom. Details to come soon! More Passover resources are below. QUICK SURVEY - Please answer 7 questions regarding the Seder and other needs by Wednesday, April 1. COVID-19 TAKE SURVEY ORDER PASSOVER FOOD THROUGH LEVINE'S IN PEABODY Todd Levine may not be catering our TBA community Seder, but he is cooking.   or cal l (978) 535-6449 ORDER A FREE PASSOVER DINNER AND SEDER PLATE KIT - FOR THOSE IN NEED OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT As the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts nearly all aspects of modern American life, many are now unable to leave their homes. In the face of this crisis, our Jewish traditions play an even more vital role i

March Covid Message

Dear Temple B’nai Abraham Family, All of us a taking in a lot of information that is shifting and changing at a crazy rate about COVID-19. In this time of anxiety and uncertainty, I want you and your families to be safe, and insure that we all do our part to keep others safe. Our tradition teaches that   pikuach nefesh   - saving lives – outweighs everything else. In line with recommendations from public health officials and in consultation with neighboring congregations and Combined Jewish Philanthropies, members of the TBA Board, Deb Schutzman and I have decided to cancel ALL programs for two weeks. This includes Shabbat services, weekday minyan, Religious School, and the Sisterhood Author Brunch scheduled for this Sunday. The office will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 9:00-12:00. Deb and I are also available through email or phone. We are also canceling our Community Passover Seder. Conversations are underway with the larger Jewish community about making sure all have

Walking the Jewish Path- Rosh Hashanah Day 1 2019/ 5780

A few weeks ago, a friend who’s a minister invited me to go fishing with him. Well, I’ve never been interested in fishing, but he was insistent, so I agreed to go. When I arrived at Chebbaco Lake, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he’d invited an Imam to join us.  So we went down to a little dock, threw our gear in a boat and rowed out to the middle of the lake where we fished for awhile.  Before we knew it, we started to get hungry and realized we’d left our lunches on shore. So I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll go get ‘em.’ And I got up and walked across the water to the shore. But I couldn’t find our lunches. So I shouted, “I can’t find the lunches. Where did we leave ‘em?’  The Imam shouted back, “I’ll come take a look.” So he, too, walked across the water and we looked but still couldn’t find them. So we called out to the minister, “We need your help!” Well, he stood up in the boat; and for a minute he looked nervously at the water;  then, he gingerly stepped out of the boa