201709 - September/October 2017

on Tuesday, 05 September 2017.

201709 - September/October 2017

A message from Rabbi Debra Stahlberg Dressler

It’s always a little backwards for Rabbis. Somewhere between January and June, we begin feel like weare having a “break.” Then Summer rolls around. When everyone else is saying, “Enjoy your break,” our thoughts and efforts turn back to the fall. Yes, we take time, and sometimes even remember to relax. But as each week of summer comes and goes, we feel that inevitable march toward the High Holy Days and the beginning of the school year.

201704 - Apr/May/Jun 2017

on Wednesday, 05 April 2017.

201704 - Apr/May/Jun 2017

A Message from Rabbi Debra Dressler

Over recent weeks, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities have all been targeted with violence, vandalism, hate speech, and other forms of bigotry. Even the bomb scares at numerous JCCs that are revealed to be hoaxes create stress, cost resources, and violate the sense of security we strive to provide our families despite the hard realities in the world around us. In London, we have not been immune. Two bomb hoaxes at our JCC, and vandalism at the Chaldean church, have brought the disturbing headlines to our own community.

 

201609 - Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 2016

on Tuesday, 27 September 2016.

201609 - Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 2016

In his book Arpelei Tohar (roughly, “mists of purity”), Abraham Isaac Kook* wrote:

“There are times when there is a need to violate the words of the Torah since there is no one in the

generation who can show the way [to do it permissibly]...”

201607 - July/August, 2016

on Thursday, 07 July 2016.

201607 - July/August, 2016

Representing the Jewish position on social issues within interfaith dialogue is often an interesting perspective. For example, the Jewish position on divorce is markedly different from Christianity, especially Catholicism; Judaism has always provided a mechanism for a marriage to end while still recognizing the heartbreak involved. Similarly, Judaism defines abortion in fundamentally different terms than Christianity or Islam. Even according to ancient Jewish law, a fetus has always had a different legal status than its mother, so terminating a pregnancy fell within many acceptable halachic mechanisms.

201605 - May/June, 2016

on Thursday, 28 April 2016.

201605 - May/June, 2016

With the final blast of the Shofar on N’ilah at Yom Kippur, the congregation breathes a collective sigh of relief. The High Holy Days are complete. If we are fortunate, we leave inspired to face a year with strength and resolve. If I am fortunate, I have spoken a word, or led a prayer, or cued the choir in a melody that has lifted your heart.

201603 - March/April, 2016

on Sunday, 28 February 2016.

201603 - March/April, 2016

One of the most rewarding parts about being a rabbi, especially in a congregation, is being invited into the lives of our members. Let me share with you a recent example. In late February, we planned a special program for our youngest religious school students, called “Shema Pajama Party.” It was inspired by an idea brought to us by members who shared a similar program with their grandchild in another city. It invited parents to a session involving an adult learning session, and then projects that they could complete with their child(ren). In preparation for this program, I asked parents to send in a photo of their child to use in the projects.