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High Holiday Highlights: Part 4

10/11/2017 08:09:31 AM


October 10, 2017
By Cantor David Frommer & Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

The festivities of Sukkot are often seen as a much-needed tonic after the gravity of Yom Kippur. Many of the Yom Kippur rituals like fasting and wearing white are representative of death, and are meant to imbue us with a sense of urgency in our process of cheshbon hanefesh, spiritual accounting, and t’shuva, returning to a better path for the new year....Read more...

High Holiday Highlights: Part 3

10/04/2017 07:55:27 AM


October 3, 2017
by Cantor David Frommer & Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

What a journey! Almost three weeks ago, we began our High Holiday season with an unforgettable S’lichot experience, and this past weekend we concluded Yom Kippur with a packed sanctuary for our Ne’ilah service.  In the final hours of Yom Kippur, you can imagine that our energy was starting to wane, but seeing over 1000 of you in the congregation...Read more...

High Holiday Highlights: Part 2

09/27/2017 07:49:47 AM


September 26, 2017
by Cantor David Frommer & Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

Shanah Tovah! First off, thanks to all our friends, families, guests and congregants who joined us over the past week to celebrate the beginning of our holiday season. In conversations we have every week with prospective and current members alike, we always return to the same theme: the reason we love our synagogue is its people. When we gather together...Read more...

High Holiday Highlights

09/19/2017 03:42:53 PM


September 19, 2017
by Cantor David Frommer & Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

Phew! The last few weeks have felt like Fast Times at Sherith Israel High, and the holidays haven’t even started yet! From classes to rehearsals to meetings, our clergy, staff and laity have been hard at work preparing for these sacred days. Here are a few of the highlights—and some exciting changes:

On Saturday night, we kicked off the...

Have you ever had a hard decision to make? 

09/12/2017 03:41:14 PM


September 12, 2017
by Nancy Sheftel-Gomes

For many years, during the Amidah, I turned to the quotes in the meditations in the old blue prayer book we used and read the words from this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim-Vayelech, two short chapters almost at the end of the Torah. ‘These mitzvot are not hard…..choose life.’

Commandments, covenants, choices,consequences and chances sums up the threads of Torah that are...Read more...

Hurricane Harvey Help

09/05/2017 09:27:09 AM


September 5, 2017
by Cantor David Frommer

In November of 2012, I was nearing the end of my overseas deployment to Kuwait, and eagerly looking forward to returning after a year away from home. I was already making plans for a gathering of my friends from Magevet, our Jewish a cappella group at Yale, and the first task was securing a rental property for our get-together. “Hello, is this Martha? I’m interested in renting your...Read more...

Ki Teitzei

08/29/2017 05:45:11 PM


August 29, 2017
by Nancy Sheftel-Gomes

In Hamlet Act I scene 3 (set in the 14th century) Polonius gives advice to his son Laertes who is leaving for France. He speaks to him about his character: how he should choose friends, choose what he wears, choose the words he uses. He tells his son how he should handle money and what he should be afraid of. 

In the 13th century in the city of Acre, in Eretz Yisrael, Nahmanides...Read more...

Sheet Cake and Shabbat

08/22/2017 12:46:21 AM


Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

I can’t bear to turn on the news.  What disaster awaits?  Enough already!  Sometimes it feels like we can’t handle any more of the concerns for our safety and the well being of our deepest held democratic values, gravely endangered. In a brilliant Saturday Night Live skit, Tina Fey, the actress, took our need to run away from reality to new heights of satire.  If you haven’t yet...Read more...

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

08/15/2017 04:43:12 PM


August 14, 2017
by Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

“I have set before you blessing and curse,” we read in the first line of this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh. (Why couldn't God just have created blessing and stopped there?) The next two verses instruct us that it is human behavior that will determine whether we experience blessing or curse. As violence and bigotry seem to be consuming our society, it is time to learn...Read more...

Is this the Chukat of the Torah which the Lord has commanded?

08/15/2017 04:42:10 PM


June 27, 2017
by Nancy Sheftel-Gomes

The name of this week's Torah portion, Chukat, is often used to refer to the category of Mitzvot that are hard for us to understand. These are Mitzvot that have a greater purpose and that we follow out of love of the wisdom of God and the heavenly mandates. The phrase repeats in the parshat, “This is the chukat of the Torah which the Lord has commanded.”

The mystery surrounds the...

Fri, October 20 2017 30 Tishrei 5778