Religious Life

Recent Sermons

Embodying the Maccabees – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – November 30, 2018

Shalom Chaverim It has been a busy week of life cycles with brises, a baby naming, b’nai mitzvah and unfortunately, funerals. As we look ahead to Chanukah and as I officiated at these s’machot, I got to thinking about brit milah.* In some parts of the American Jewish community, circumcision has become an optional mitzvah where it used to be a given. In Europe, there...

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Giving Thanks For Our Freedom – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Alexander Davis – November 21, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, On this Thanksgiving and despite what we witnessed in Pittsburgh, I am thankful for America which has been a welcome home for Jews since our earliest of days. We see that in an exchange of letters between Moses Seixas and President George Washington. Moses Seixas (Mar. 28, 1744- Nov. 29, 1809) was a first generation Jewish-American. His parents had fled religious persecution and...

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The Light of Hope – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – December 7, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, Our news cycle has moved on, but I continue to think of the tragic wildfires that recently engulfed California. Even as I recall images of people fleeing the flames, even as I think of those who perished, one image sticks in my mind. It is charred hills of the Jewish summer camp, Hess Kramer. While no one was hurt, most of the camp’s...

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Crowned with Brotherhood? – A Weekly Letter from Rabbi Alexander Davis – November 16, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, We are commanded in the Torah, “do not hate your brother in your heart” (Lev. 19:17). Why does the Torah refer to hatred “in your heart?” It could have simply said, “Do not hate your brother.” Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, in his Book of Jewish Values explains, “categorically prohibiting dislike would not end it, but would just drive the enmity underground- into the heart.”...

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Despite Pittsburgh – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Alexander Davis – November 9, 2018

Shalom Chaverim Shortly after the attack on Tree of Life, I convened a beit din for a conversion candidate. This is one of the final steps in the conversion process. The candidate comes before a panel of rabbis and is asked questions to probe their desire and sincerity. In this case, the first question was obvious: “Given the news about Pittsburgh and the rise of...

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Words of Hate. Words of Hope.

Words of Hate. Words of Hope Chayei Sarah 25 Cheshvan 5779 | November 3, 2018 Rabbi Alexander Davis “Come in. Why do you remain outside?” Lavan said. “I have made ready the house and a place for the camels.” So, Eliezer entered the house, and the camels were unloaded. Lavan gave the camels straw and feed and brought water to bathe his feet. But when...

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