Religious Life

Recent Sermons

Learning From Ants – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – May 10, 2019

Shalom Chaverim In these days between Passover and Shavuot, between Egypt and Sinai, it is traditional to study musar. These are Jewish teachings that help refine our character making us worthy of receiving Torah. An intriguing teaching of this nature offers us a message about the critical issue of our day. We read in the Talmud, “Rabbi Yochanan taught, had the Torah not been given,...

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Collecting Our History – Bonnie Heller – May 3, 2019

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Blessed May You Be When You Enter – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – May 3, 2019

Shalom Chaverim, I am delighted to tell you about the new addition to the 26th Street entrance- an art installation that beautifully and creatively covers up an eyesore*.   When we renovated the building in 2012, we excavated along 26th street down to the foundation. According to city code, we were not permitted to touch or brick over the now exposed foundation. But we could...

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Selma Stones – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – April 25, 2019

Shalom Chaverim, Visiting Selma on Beth El’s recent civil rights trip, we walked across the Edmond Pettus Bridge. This was the site of the infamous “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march on March 7, 1965. The bridge is arched so marchers leaving Selma and heading toward Montgomery could not see the other side. It was not until they crested the bridge that they saw police blocking...

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Freedom Seder – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – April 19, 2019

Shalom Chaverim Since returning from the Beth El civil rights trip to south, I’ve been sharing insights from the trip. Allow me to share one final, short thought in preparation for Pesach. In 1965, a newly published Haggadah was dedicated to the memory of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwirmer. They were three civil rights activists from the north who were murdered in Mississippi...

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Thank You, Lois! – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – April 12, 2019

Shalom Chaverim, I want to tell you about one of Beth El’s unsung heroes, Lois Siegel. But let me first give some background by sharing a teaching from the Torah. Our parasha this week and last week speak to the issue of isolation in the face of illness. Those who suffered from a disease called tzara’at were quarantined and forced to call out, “Impure, impure”...

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