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Reflections on TST's Israel Experience

11/22/2019 10:33:32 PM

Nov22

Rabbi Danny

As I reflect on a wonderful ten days in Israel, I feel like I was able to check off all of the major and required Israel experiences.

I walked around various markets where stall holders tried to entice me into their stores calling out to me and offering me a “good price”, starting to negotiate with me before I had even expressed any interest in purchasing anything that they were selling.

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Noah's Lesson for Today: Saving Ourselves from the Flood

11/01/2019 10:27:36 PM

Nov1

Rabbi Danny

The story of Noah and the Ark is a Biblical classic. One man tasked with the job of building an ark to save all of the animals of this planet, as God brings down a mighty flood to destroy the earth.

I recently found a retelling of the story moving it to our present day:

God spoke to Noah and said to him: “In one year I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth...Read more...

Facing Our Fears

10/09/2019 09:24:03 PM

Oct9

Yom Kippur 5780

In 1819, 20 American sailors were aboard the whaleship Essex about 3,000 miles off the coast of Chile.[1] Out in one of the most remote parts of the Pacific Ocean they were struck by a sperm whale; taking on seawater, they were beginning to sink. The men evacuated to three small whaleboats, with rudimentary navigational equipment and minimal supplies of food and water. Today the sailors would be facing a terrible situation, back then it was...Read more...

We need to ask for help

09/30/2019 08:48:22 PM

Sep30

Rosh HaShanah 5780

There’s an image doing the rounds on the internet at the moment. It asks:

“Which is hardest for you to say? 1. I love you. 2. I was wrong, I’m sorry. 3. I need help. 4. I appreciate you. Or 5. Worcestershire sauce.” Now I understand why 1 to 4 might be challenging for people to say, but surely Worcestershire sauce rolls ever so naturally off the tongue. Am I wrong?...Read more...

What are you running towards?

09/06/2019 10:04:41 PM

Sep6

Rabbi Danny

In 1981 Bill Broadhurst lined up alongside 1,200 other men and women ready to run the 10,000 meter Pepsi Challenge race. But amongst that field of competitors, Bill Broadhurst was unique, 10 years earlier he had had surgery for a brain aneurysm that had left him paralyzed on his left side.

The starting gun sounded, and all of the runners surged forward. As they ran, Broadhurst threw his stiff left leg forward, pivoting on it as his...Read more...

Thou shalt never, but never, be a bystander

07/05/2019 05:00:02 PM

Jul5

In the month of February a 15-year-old girl was forced to flee her country. She was too young to make this decision on her own, so her mother and step-father made the decision they felt was best for her. Her father died when she was just 8 months old, and while life had always been difficult, the last 6 years had been particularly hard as persecution, discrimination and suffering increased for her family. The decision to leave was not taken...Read more...

Invocation for Yom HaShoah

05/01/2019 05:06:21 PM

May1

Eloheinu shebeshamayim sheboreh hakol vebarech aleinu – Our God in Heaven, the Creator of all, and the One who brings blessing to us.

I am humbled to stand here at this moment in this sacred place to remember. I stand here as the grandchild of a woman who fled from Berlin as a child after experiencing the horrors of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. I stand here as a...Read more...

Closing Benediction for Yom HaShoah

05/01/2019 03:33:53 PM

May1

Eloheinu shebeshamayim sheboreh hakol vebarech aleinu – Our God in Heaven, the Creator of all, and the One who brings blessing to us.

On this day, as we remember that darkest time in human history, we ask that we will be a generation that experiences light and not darkness, that brings peace and not violence, that shares love and not hate. May the words and stories that we have...Read more...

Tree of Life Vigil

10/29/2018 03:23:10 PM

Oct29

It is hard to know what to say. On Saturday morning we were gathered in this Sanctuary celebrating a young boy becoming a man. Our hearts were filled with joy and happiness. And then the service ended, and we heard the shocking and horrific news from Pittsburgh. And my heart was broken. Broken for those eleven lives cruelly taken whilst they were praying. Broken for the community of Tree of Life whose sanctuary was desecrated in the most...Read more...

It's Time to Say We're Sorry

10/08/2018 03:21:49 PM

Oct8

Yom Kippur 5779

I’m sorry, may I ask you a question? I’m sorry, this isn’t what I ordered. I’m sorry, could I please have a glass of water? I’m sorry, you seem to be standing on my foot. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry There are two things that the British do more than any other people in the world: talk about the weather, and apologize. Of all of my charming quirks, this annoys my wife Micol more than anything else. She can’t understand...Read more...

It's Time To Get Angry

09/18/2018 03:03:19 PM

Sep18

Yom Kippur 5778

“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!…You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do” 1 These words from Howard Beale in the movie Network ring true for me at the moment. In the days following Hurricane Harvey there were a number of pictures that made the rounds on the...Read more...

Empathy is the Cure to Society's Ills

09/10/2018 03:20:22 PM

Sep10

Rosh Hashanah 5779

I have seen a sign. And I am sorry to tell you it wasn’t a good one. No, don’t worry it wasn’t that kind of sign, it was an actual physical sign, the type you put out on your front lawn. And in six simple words it symbolizes everything that is wrong with our society and the root cause of so many problems in our world today. Yet, it’s a sign that you will see in neighborhoods across the country. And I apologize in advance if it’s a...Read more...

Are We Losing Israel?

06/27/2018 03:19:36 PM

Jun27

Last week I returned home from our Kabbalat Shabbat services and discovered that the two checks, which I thought were in my pocket, were not there. I panicked and immediately searched through the pockets of pants I had worn on the previous days, looked in the places I had remembered leaving them and even searched the car to find them. At about 10pm that night I returned to the synagogue to see if I had left them in my office, but they were...Read more...

A Synagogue Where We Take Off Our Shoes

06/01/2018 03:20:12 PM

Jun1

One Sunday morning a children’s program leader noticed a little girl standing outside the room, looking in with great eagerness at the fun the other children were having. The leader went outside and invited the little girl inside. “They’ll all laugh at me.” “Why do you think that honey?” “Because I don’t have any shoes.” Heartbroken at this little girl’s poverty, and knowing that she really wanted to join in, the leader...Read more...

Lessons of the Marathon

04/13/2018 03:04:49 PM

Apr13

Imagine a race of over 500 miles. It is hard to fathom. And yet in 1983 in Australia they announced an ultra-marathon of 543.7 miles between the cities of Sydney and Melbourne. 150 world-class runners arrived to take part in this historic event, excited to test their mettle against the world’s best. On the day of the race, 61-year-old Cliff Young approached the registration table wearing overalls and galoshes over his work boots. People...Read more...

Judging Ourselves

09/29/2017 02:55:22 PM

Sep29

Kol Nidrei 5778

A Rabbi and a taxi driver both died and went to Heaven. At the Pearly gates they were met by an angel who led them in. 'Come with me', said the angel to the taxi driver. The taxi driver did as he was told and followed the angel to a mansion. It had everything you could imagine from a bowling alley to an Olympic size pool. 'Wow, thank you', said the taxi driver. Next, the angel led the Rabbi to a rugged old shack with a bunk bed and a little...Read more...

Be Humans Who Are Super

09/20/2017 02:47:33 PM

Sep20

Rosh Hashanah 5778

1 Rabbi Danny Burkeman Be Humans Who Are Super Rosh Hashanah 5778 Faster than a speeding bullet. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Is it a bird, is it a plane. No … it’s a nice Jewish boy from Krypton. This past year Gal Gadot gave us a Jewish Wonder Woman, but before she assumed the role, we could claim Superman as one of our own. And this is not one of those times where we claim a celebrity is Jewish because her...Read more...

Tue, January 21 2020 24 Tevet 5780