A Word of Torah - Parashat Hayyei Sarah

My Jewish upbringing was entirely cultural, not religious. Yiddish aphorisms did more to shape my identity than any biblical story. For a long time I missed the irony that, though raised an atheist, I was taught to believe that certain things were basheyrt - meant to be. Certainly the Torah wants us to understand the marriage of Rebecca and Isaac as basheyrt.

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Bruce Alpert
Further Thoughts On Pittsburgh

On Yom Kippur, I asked each of us to consider what we would do if the cost of becoming a Jew in American were to become more expensive.  I considered that cost in terms of money, inconvenience, and social isolation. I did not raise the issue of safety because I believe that America’s culture of pluralism and religious tolerance is such that the systematic demonizing of Jews is unlikely to occur here - at least in the next decade or so.  But I did not consider the impact a random act of anti-semitic violence might have on our perception of our safety here. Now we must consider that too.

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Bruce Alpert
Some Thoughts On Pittsburgh

Terri and I both know that life is fragile and precious. It is the reason we pray: not as a way of protecting us from harm, but as a means of giving thanks for the gift of this day, this moment.

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Bruce Alpert
The Shofar - Adar - Sivan 5778

Filling in the calendar for this edition of The Shofar, I couldn’t help but notice that it opened with a Bar Mitzvah and closed with a Bat Mitzvah. These are very special services not only for the families of these new teenagers but for our entire congregation.  And, they are special for me in a number of important ways.

 

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ShofarRabbi Bruce Alpert