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April 16, 2024 - 8 Nisan 5784

04/15/2024 01:15:08 PM

Apr15

First came the warnings of an imminent attack by Iran on Israel. Then the reports of an
armada of missiles, drones and rockets crossing the desert to the west. Then there were
sirens from Dan to Beersheba, followed by the flashes of light as a reported 99% of the
300+ flying weapons were neutralized, destroyed, shot down and rendered harmless; and of
the 1% that reached Israeli soil intact, the largely incidental damage was...Read more...

april 9, 2024- 1 Nisan 5784

04/08/2024 01:27:31 PM

Apr8

On the day of the solar eclipse—with Colleyville fully within the zone of totality—there were signs of returning light even before the celestial event. Like the predictions for the day’s skies, the assorted events was muddled. 

Last week closed out with the [apparently] testy conversation between the US President and the Israeli Prime Minister. Changes in Israeli policy and practice followed...Read more...

April 2 - 23 Adar ii 5784

04/01/2024 02:07:36 PM

Apr1

Waiting for further news on the hernia surgery set for late Sunday for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu—while wishing him a r’fu-ah sh’leimah—that personal necessity was moved to the sidelines by mass demonstrations calling for his ouster from leadership of government that included families of hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza. Masses of Israelis protesting between the symbolic national Menorah and the classically...Read more...

March 26, 2024- 16 Adar II

03/26/2024 02:49:14 PM

Mar26

More than 170 days into the Gaza War, as internal panic in Israel begins to recede, other news trends in the Jewish State begin to emerge. A highly significant one is the required military service that has formed part of the national ethos since independence. Recent headlines have again called attention to the exemptions granted to students at Yeshivot, particularly among the Haredim—the ultra-orthodox minority.Read more...

March 19, 2024-9 Adar ii 5784

03/18/2024 03:33:04 PM

Mar18

Sunday was a night for Colleyville—and “Colleyville”—the impressive, cogent documentary Dani Menkin has developed since the shocking events that shook Congregation Beth Israel on January 15, 2022. A local pre-screening was oversold: one full auditorium and an overflow screening held rapt attention, as did the Q & A featuring the Director, and so meaningfully, the four who lived the experience—Larry, Jeff, Shane...Read more...

march 12, 2024- 2 Adar ii, 5784

03/11/2024 12:29:47 PM

Mar11

Remembering the Holocaust, and more significantly, teaching the Holocaust, remains a significant part of the Jewish present. Beyond the trials that began at Nuremberg after WWII ended, and set new parameters in international law, or the 1961 trial of Adolph Eichmann in Israel that led to the only execution in the State’s 75+ year history, came the early screenings of the mini-series Holocaust (1978) that raised awareness of an...Read more...

March 5, 2024- 25 Adar 5784

03/04/2024 01:55:51 PM

Mar4

Judaism is revealed religion: the Torah is understood as having come directly from God, heard by the assembled at Mount Sinai, Moses through the wilderness years, and prophets until Malachi ca 300 bce. Modern scholarship aside for the moment, the tradition of written law and oral law, each contained in what Moses heard in those 40-day stays on the mountaintop, served to sustain Jewish life, unity and faith into...Read more...

Feb. 27, 2024-18 ADAR 5784

02/26/2024 05:05:17 PM

Feb26

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters the third— or tenth — year (depends upon how one views the 2014 events), with expense of war mounting in human terms as well as the cost of armaments, the face of Europe is being refashioned. After a prolonged delay, in recent days Turkey and Hungary have opened the pathway into NATO for the remaining outsiders bordering directly west of Russia. With Finland and Sweden as members, a...Read more...

Feb. 20, 2024-11 adar 5784

02/19/2024 02:58:47 PM

Feb19

As international tensions mount, and pressure on Israel increases to stop the quest to end the rule of terror that is Hamas in Gaza, Friday’s news of the untimely death of leading Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny came as a personal gut punch. Isolated in a remote Russian prison with many restrictions, a survivor through the past years of attempts to suppress his message and movement, of harsh conditions and baseless...Read more...

Feb. 13, 2024 - 4 Adar 

02/12/2024 01:54:09 PM

Feb12

The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Europe’s leading newspapers, has become a major source for my regular, nearly daily explorations of world news. As American journalism is increasingly eclipsed in these days of electronic publication coupled with decreasing advertising revenues, I find the limited coverage of all but the most shocking events across the seas leaves a big hole in my understanding of the world and its...Read more...

Feb. 6, 2024 - 27 Sh'vat 5784

02/06/2024 01:56:38 PM

Feb6

Streets in many cities have been filled with protestors throughout the past year. Early in 2023, Israelis started their mass action against the now sidelined proposals to move certain powers of the Israeli Supreme Court to the ruling coalition cabinet. Following the tragic events of October 7, streets in Tel Aviv were quieter, but in recent weeks, Rosh haMemshalah—Prime Minister—Bibi Netanyahu has faced renewed outpourings in...Read more...

Jan. 30, 2024- 20 Sh'vat 5784

01/29/2024 02:37:43 PM

Jan29

The crisis for Israel has transmuted into a crisis for Jews everywhere as both an internal and an external challenge to our existence with greater intensity than any I have ever known. The external crisis is clear; the internal one represents the diverse interests within Jewish society. 

Political necessity in 1948 dictated the new Israeli state, led by David ben Gurion, to start with the ‘status quo’....Read more...

Jan. 23, 2024-13 Sh'Vat 5784

01/23/2024 01:44:12 PM

Jan23

Since 2005, UN Resolution 60/7 has established January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 2024. This year, it coincides with the coming Shabbat, leading the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [https://ushmm.org/] to hold ceremonial events next Monday, January 22, 2024. Although Jewish calendars do not always include the date, and in the first years after Israeli-proposed resolution it was little known, two...Read more...

Jan. 16, 2023, 6 Shevat 5784

01/15/2024 03:39:14 PM

Jan15

Recent reports have focused on isolation as a lasting post-pandemic issue. From ancient times, Jewish communities have sought to combat the kind of lone existence that other communities promoted through monasticism and even celibacy. A focal period of old was obligatory times of mourning, when recitation of the memorial prayer was ritualized in mourners’ Kaddish—one of a limited number of activities requiring a minyan, or...Read more...

JAn. 9, 2024-28 tevet 5784

01/09/2024 01:17:54 PM

Jan9

On the first day of 2024, just short of three months into the war Hamas launched on October 7, 2023, by invading Israel and slaughtering more than 1200, the Supreme Court of Israel overturned the Knesset Law that sought to limit its authority, independence and the stability of the country. 

“The Knesset amended the Basic Law: The Judiciary on July 24 when 64 MKs voted in favor of the amendment. Following the...Read more...

Jan. 2, 2024- 21 tevet 5784

12/26/2023 12:16:18 PM

Dec26

Beginning the year 2024, there is much to be hoped for as members of the Jewish community. Our world and situation are clearly less than ideal, yet each week has moved us farther from the darkness of the recent past. We are, after all, told in the text (Isaiah 42:6):

“I the Eternal have called you in righteousness 

And have taken hold of...Read more...

Dec. 19, 2023-7 Tevet, 5784

12/18/2023 02:16:47 PM

Dec18

Last Friday, the eighth day of Hanukkah, was dark and dismal as no day had been since October 7. That was the eighth day of the Sukkot Festival. In my sadness at the three hostages who fell to friendly fire, the irony was inescapable. They were asking for help, doing so as the Israel Defense Forces suggested. Now they are gone, and the soldiers involved bear the weight of the world. 

How many more will yet become casualties of...Read more...

Dec. 12, 2023- 29 Kislev 5784

12/12/2023 01:27:04 PM

Dec12

The rising antisemitism of 2023 has caught many by surprise. The drumbeat of aggression turned into a steamroll of reports as of October 7, when Hamas burst through Israel’s defenses when Hizbollah opened rocket barrages from Lebanon and the Houthi rebels started sending Iranian missiles at ships in the Persian Gulf, and social media tiktokked a baseline of anti-Jewish sentiment into rising outbreaks of threats,...Read more...

Dec. 5, 2023- 22 Kislev, 5784

12/05/2023 01:24:32 PM

Dec5

Living in Texas these few months has offered me a world of Jewish experiences, a universe of experiences as a Jew. On Monday evening, December 4, I listened intently to the words of CEO and National Director of the ADL, addressing “Modern Antisemitism: An ADL Perspective”, the 26th Annual Gates of Chai Lecture of the Jewish Studies Program at Brite Divinity School, a division of TCU, was one of those experiences. About 20...Read more...

Nov. 28, 2023-15 Kislev, 5784

11/28/2023 01:26:47 PM

Nov28

Through the extended Thanksgiving weekend that just passed, the world has had front-row seats on the trickle of hostages released after seven weeks in captivity. There is much to celebrate in each life thus restoring to its pre-October 7 liberty. However, for those captives, nothing can restore lives disrupted and destroyed by terrorism. 

If 240 is the correct count, some 20% are out of captivity. That leaves 80% still...Read more...

Nov. 21, 2023 - 8 kislev 5784

11/20/2023 02:29:41 PM

Nov20

The long-proposed narrative of the Puritan/ Pilgrim origins of Thanksgiving in the early years of European settlement in North America has generally fallen into disrepute. Much has been omitted or suppressed about those early, tenuous efforts to eke out a living in the colder and more varied conditions of coastal New England. When the Gershwin brothers, George and Ira wrote Anything Goes, they opined:Read more...

Nov. 15, 2023 - 2 Kislev, 5784

11/14/2023 02:00:00 PM

Nov14

The grinding awfulness of a very real war in densely populated Gaza continues to fascinate the world. An on-going battle for minds and hearts brings people to the streets: marching, demonstrating, harassing and at times wreaking havoc on public spaces. Behind closed doors, conversations to free hostages, to supply entrapped Gaza residents and to move Israel to stop the advance ‘now’ go on to be reported. Too...Read more...

Nov. 7, 2023 - 23 Cheshvan

11/06/2023 02:12:44 PM

Nov6

In these war-torn days, we note that 30 days have elapsed since the incursion of Hamas into Israel which has escalated into open warfare in Gaza, attacks by artillery from Hezbollah in Lebanon, rockets fired by Iranian-sponsored fighters in Yemen, and increasingly strident calls internationally for a cease-fire. 

The now thousands of deaths that are directly attributable to massacre and response-in-kind leave me...Read more...

oct. 31, 2023-16 Cheshvan

10/30/2023 01:15:52 PM

Oct30

The coastal plain of the Mediterranean from the Eastern shores of modern Israel--where it is known as ha-shefelah-- to the south and west at Gibraltar is home to both ancient and contemporary centers of population. Great cities like Alexandria—home of a storied library in antiquity—rose and fell, launched vessels of trade, and were homes to varied populations. Jewish communities rose in most, and this often led them to periods...Read more...

October 24,2023-9 Cheshvan

10/24/2023 01:28:07 PM

Oct24

On a recent webinar, Rabbi Judy Schindler offered a ‘parable of four colleagues’ based on the important trope from the Seder Pesach that is likely familiar. It was moving testimony to the current dilemma that many are facing during these troubled and discomforting weeks following the October 7 incursion of Hamas into Israel, even as IDF(Israel Defense Forces) are arrayed at the border and a veritable deluge of weapons are fired...Read more...

OCT. 17, 2023-2 cheshvan

10/16/2023 03:56:03 PM

Oct16

Just say ‘no’ worked much better in fighting drug use than in making peace among nations. Honest negotiations start before the shape or size of the tabla are decided, claims and counter claims are revealed, or conditions are set. The Seven Years War, the Hundred Years War, the American Revolution or defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo each found resolution in a more or less successful agreement among various parties with standing in...Read more...

Oct. 10, 2023-25 Tishrei, 5784

10/09/2023 01:50:48 PM

Oct9

A Longing To Return To The Land Of Israel

by Yehuda HaLevi

Yehuda HaLevi

My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west.
How can I find savor in...Read more...

Oct. 3, 2023-18 Tishrei, 5784

10/03/2023 01:51:39 PM

Oct3

Weathering the storm on Sukkot

Last Friday, as we prepared to celebrate Shabbat Sukkot in a still very warm Tarrant County, the country’s east coast was literally swimming in a deluge. We won’t read about Noah for two weeks, but the universality of flood experiences has been included in more than a few of the records of ancient civilization. And perhaps that is one of the central points of moving our lives outside our curated...Read more...

Sept. 27, 2023-12, Tishrei 5784

09/26/2023 06:14:17 PM

Sep26

Building the Sukkah—booth or tabernacle—is for some the first mitzvah to fulfill after Yom Kippur. While heavy construction probably doesn’t meet OSHA standards after a 25-hour fast, the sacred deed just after the Gates of Repentance are thought to have closed (well, according to some sources) uses a principle as we try to turn religious behavior into a way of life. The teaching mitzvah gorer l’mitzvah—one mitzvah leads to...Read more...

Sept. 19, 2023-4 Tishrei, 5784

09/18/2023 02:50:41 PM

Sep18

Since Friday evening, when we welcomed 5784 as a community, we began the 10 days…of Awe and Repentance (T’shuvah). These are y’mei chol—ordinary days, to go to work, school, shop, clean—those daily events that are the bread and butter of our lives. Yet, I would argue, these are anything but ordinary days—indeed these are anything but ordinary times.

The spiritual task of mindfulness is one element of...Read more...

Fri, April 19 2024 11 Nisan 5784