Religious Life

Recent Sermons

White Nationalism – A Weekly Letter from Rabbi Alexander Davis – March 22, 2019

Shalom Chaverim On the last morning of Beth El’s recent civil rights tour, we went to Birmingham’s civil rights museum. The displays covered the history of segregation and the civil rights movement as well as international civil right champions and violators. One display stopped me in my tracks- a Klu Klux Klan robe. All week long I had seen videos of the KKK. But seeing...

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On Marriage – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – March 15, 2019

Shalom Chaverim One of the topics that has arisen amidst the ongoing scandal of the Catholic church is the requirement of celibacy for priests. It is not my place to weigh in on the value or relevance of this practice for Christians. But it does prompt me to consider the place of marriage and intimacy in Jewish tradition. It is well-known that celibacy is foreign...

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Dual Loyalty – A Weekly Letter from Rabbi Davis – March 8, 2019

Shalom Chaverim Once again, Jews are being charged with dual loyalty. Over the years, other groups in the US have faced similar charges: German and Japanese Americans during WWII, JFK running for president accused of being loyal to the church. For Jews, this antisemitic canard goes back millennia. The first example appears in the Book of Esther. After Mordechai refuses to bow down, Haman tells...

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Israel: A Dream Still Unfolding – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – March 1, 2019

Shalom Chaverim The very last stop on the last day of our recent Beth El Family Israel tour was the Herzl Museum in Jerusalem. This experiential museum tells the story of Herzl’s life, explains the history of Zionism and celebrates the reality of the State of Israel. In the final room of the museum, it asks if Herzl was successful in achieving his dream. Just...

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Forgiveness – A Divine Gift

Forgiveness – A Divine Gift Ki Tisa 18 Adar I 5779 | February 23, 2019 Rabbi Alexander Davis It’s time for another edition of name that political apology. Who said the following: “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now. This behavior is not in keeping...

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Antisemitism Here and Now – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – February 15, 2019

Shalom Chaverim, Even before Representative Omar’s latest tweet, I’ve been thinking about anti-Semitism. Not because of Pittsburgh- though that remains in the back of my mind. Nor because of the recent, under-reported vandalism of an Ohio synagogue. But rather because we are a month away from Purim and I’ve been studying the Book of Esther. Pharaoh didn’t like foreigners, but the Bible never attributes anti-Semitic...

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