Religious Life

Recent Sermons

Rescuing the Thai Boys – A Weekly Letter from Rabbi Davis – July 13, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, Like many people this week, I was riveted to the story of the Thai soccer boys saved from drowning in a cave. As I followed the unfolding drama, I couldn’t help but think about a scene in the Book of Jonah. After Jonah was tossed overboard and even after he was swallowed by the fish, he felt like he was drowning. So, he...

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The State of American Democracy on this 4th of July – A Weekly Letter from Rabbi Davis – July 6, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, I was recently reminded by a colleague of an interesting confluence of the American and Jewish calendars. This week, we marked America’s independence on the 4th of July with feasting. Earlier in the week, we marked the Jewish people’s loss of independence with fasting. Last Sunday, we observed the 17th of Tammuz. On this day in the year 70 CE, the Romans breached the walls...

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Fasting for Justice – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – June 29, 2018

Shalom Chaverim, Sunday is a minor fast day known at Shiva Asar B’Tammuz (17th Tammuz). It is “minor” in the sense we fast from morning to evening rather than evening to evening as on Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av. While the rabbis of the Talmud pile many associations on to this date, the Bible’s explanation for the fast is gleaned from two prophets. Zachariah mentions...

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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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