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I'm spiritual, not religious
September 15, 2017

I’m spiritual, not religious

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Very often I hear folks say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.”  (To be precise “religion” derives from the Latin religare meaning ‘to bind’, and by definition religiosity includes binding beliefs, practices and obligations. The...


Investigate-drash-interpret
August 30, 2017

Investigate-drash-interpret

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze (Deut. 21:10-25:19) is chock full with social rules and edicts that range from compassionate and noble to downright nasty and cruel. On the one hand we...


DIVINE IMAGINATION New Social Hall Art Exhibit
August 28, 2017

DIVINE IMAGINATION New Social Hall Art Exhibit

Susan Freundlich Photography at Chochmat HaLev September and October 2017 www.susanfreundlichphoto.com With a wide open aperture of the heart, Susan Freundlich explores the presence of the Divine all around us −- in the intricate designs...


Be Peaceful
August 25, 2017

Be Peaceful

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— In 1995 I participated in the International Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life, in commemoration of the end of World War II.  The Pilgrimage started with a 10-day convocation in Oswiecim, Poland....


Setting before you blessing and curse
August 18, 2017

Setting before you blessing and curse

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Oh, sweet Shabbes! It can feel so hard to accept the gift of a full day of peace and rest when there is so much unchecked anger, loss, pain and frustration in...


Question authority?
August 11, 2017

Question authority?

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— Our son, Michael, and I went to the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco today. After a few hours of staring at Stanley Mouse and Alton...


The illusion of purity and everyday messy holiness
June 30, 2017

The illusion of purity and everyday messy holiness

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah Portion, Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) begins with what might be considered a Jewish koan, one of those pesky Zen riddles, statements, or paradoxes to be meditated upon in the hopes of...


Queer pioneers
June 16, 2017

Queer pioneers

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— I don’t think I could have chosen a better Torah portion for tonight’s Pride Shabbat than this week’s reading, Shelach L’cha. It describes the episode of Moses sending spies to go scope...


The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius
June 09, 2017

The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Shalom Chaverim— I was walking to the bus stop this morning and noticed a flyer tacked on a telephone pole proclaiming: “The Age of Pisces is Ending, The Age of Aquarius is Beginning!!” Having been...


chochmat halev
June 02, 2017

A blessing for you

A dizzying array of rituals, censuses, sacrifices and job descriptions fill this week’s Torah portion, Nasso (Numbers 4:21-7:89). And smack in the middle of the hurly burly is one whopper of a blessing: May God...


Approaching the Mountain of Wisdom on Shavuot
May 31, 2017

Approaching the Mountain of Wisdom on Shavuot

Shalom Chaverim— I’ve just returned from a few weeks in Israel. As usual, I was struck by all the swirling energy there—the love and the hatred, the idiocy and the intellect, the creativity and the...


Loving your neighbor as yourself
May 04, 2017

Loving your neighbor as yourself

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s parasha, Acharei Mot/Kiddushin, includes the enigmatic scriptural sound byte: V’ahavta l’reyacha k’mocha—And you will love your neighbor as your self.  You will find this tidbit in Leviticus 19:18, which in its...