Religious Life

Recent Sermons

Strengthening America – A Weekly Letter from Rabbi Davis – June 22, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, I had the privilege this past week of joining a group of men and their spouses for a reunion dinner. The men had grown up together on the North Side and have been friends since their AZA days in the early 1950s. The reunion provided an opportunity to reminisce and tell some stories and jokes that still get a laugh. What’s most remarkable...

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When Time Stood Still – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – June 15, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, This Shabbat is a special day on the Jewish calendar. It is 3 Tammuz. According to tradition, this was the day when time stood still. In the Book of Joshua, we read a story about the Israelite’s battle against the Amorites. Joshua called for the sun to stand still and it did. These additional daylight hours gave him time to save his allies...

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The “I” Word – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – June 8, 2018

Shalom Chaverim This past week I attended and participated in a rally at the Capitol. It was one of a series of rallies organized by the Poor Peoples Campaign. This rally focused on the effects of climate change on people experiencing poverty which are often people of color. The specific issue at hand revolved around Line 3, a Canadian oil pipeline whose proposed route passes...

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Protecting Our Planet – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – June 1, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, As summer approaches and as I look forward to spending more time in the garden and in nature, I am brought to reflect on the writings of AD Gordon.*  It also inspires a short talk I will be giving next Monday at a rally at the capital. Best know as a Labor Zionist, AD Gordon was also particularly attuned to the place of...

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Phillip Roth Z”L – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – May 25, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, I have not read a lot of Phillip Roth. Sadly, I rarely have time to read novels. But Roth’s short story, The Conversion of the Jew, is a favorite of mine. This week, Roth died at 85. I honor him with this short reflection. Set in the 1950s and included in Goodbye Columbus which won the National Book Award in 1960, The Conversion...

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Standing at Sinai – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – May 18, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, In the Charleston synagogue, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, we toured the sanctuary. We sat in the family pews of America’s fourth oldest Jewish congregation, admired the stained glass and woodwork and learned about the organ which was the impetus for a split between the reformers and the Sephardic founders. The story of the beautiful ark (pictured) was particularly interesting. Following the Reform custom...

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