Religious Life

Recent Sermons

Securing Our Past/Future – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Davis – April 5, 2019

Shalom Chaverim, The memorial and monuments we saw on Beth El’s recent civil rights trip were incredibly powerful. From the quiet water fountain outside the Southern Poverty Law Center to the heavy, dangling pillars of the lynching memorial, they left a lasting impression. Words can hardly convey the feeling. I was expecting to be moved by the design, the setting, the symbolism, etc. of these...

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Eliminating Hate – A Weekly Letter From Rabbi Alexander Davis – March 29, 2019

Shalom Chaverim I get to meet some interesting people. This week, I met with a man who has made it his mission to eliminate hatred from the world. A retired dentist, he is sickened when he looks out at the world and see events like the attack in Pittsburg and in New Zealand. And he sees it as his duty to respond. He has grand...

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Keep the Light Shining

Keep the Light Shining Tzav 16 Adar II 5779 | March 23, 2019 Rabbi Alexander Davis This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine Jesus is the Light, I’m gonna let Him shine… Let...

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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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