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Ten Takeaways From My Trip to Israel

02/29/2024 11:55:51 AM

Feb29

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Shalom from Israel!  I have been in Israel since Monday and return to Cherry Hill overnight this evening.  It has been a quick but certainly important trip to Israel, probably the most important and impactful time I have ever spent here.  I am grateful to our Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey for planning this solidarity mission and I am grateful to my TBS family, all of you, for supporting my being on the mission and...Read more...

We are a Kingdom of Priests

02/22/2024 07:10:09 AM

Feb22

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

In this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, the role of the priests (kohanim) in the service of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) takes center stage. Tetzaveh serves as an instruction manual for how to operationalize the Mishkan as God details how to sanctify the priests and offer sacrifices during the seven days of inauguration in the Mishkan.  It also describes in detail the priestly uniform. 

One central...Read more...

Refugee Shabbat

02/08/2024 01:53:42 PM

Feb8

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

This Saturday is not only Shabbat, but also Rosh Hodesh, as we begin the new month of Adar I. That means that in shul on Saturday morning we will sing Hallel (Psalms and songs of praise) together! One of the lines that we will chant is from Psalm 118 (verse 5): “Min ha-maietzar karati Yah, anani va-merhav Yah—from a narrow place I cried out to God, and God answered me from a place of expansiveness.” Our siddur comments: “the...Read more...

What is the takeaway?

02/01/2024 04:14:04 PM

Feb1

Rabbi Micah Peltz

On my wall in my office is a cartoon that shows Moses holding up the 10 Commandments in front of all the people.  One person has his hand raised and asks, “What’s the takeaway on all this?”  Today we are quick to try and boil presentations and teachings down to their essential lessons.  That might be good for getting information, but is that how we really learn?  How we acquire knowledge?  This takes more time...Read more...

Recognizing and Celebrating Both the Potential and the Actual.  

01/25/2024 12:48:36 PM

Jan25

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Happy Tu B’Shevat!  Yes, today is the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, which means it is the holiday of Tu B’Shevat.  Tu B’Shevat is the new year, or birthday, of the trees.  Today we celebrate the gift of nature, the beauty of our natural world, and our responsibility to protect it.  Tu B’Shevat can also be understood through the realm of metaphor.  In this light, Tu B’Shevat is not only a perfect...Read more...

We will all go, our young and our old, our sons and our daughters, our flocks and our herds.

01/18/2024 01:11:20 PM

Jan18

Rabbi Micah Peltz

Our Torah portion this week is called Bo, which means “come.”  God tells Moshe to once again come before Pharoah to demand that the Israelites be set free.  This time, which is right before the 8th plague, Pharoah seems to waver for a moment.  He tells Moshe that the men can go worship...Read more...

Finding a Sense of Holiness Through Action

01/11/2024 11:59:55 AM

Jan11

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Last Shabbat, we began reading the book of Shemot, Exodus.  This second book of the Torah tells the foundational story of our people; the Israelites’ journey from oppression to freedom. How appropriate to continue reading the Book of Exodus this...Read more...

Reaffirming our Commitment to Three Founding Pillars

01/04/2024 09:43:37 AM

Jan4

Rabbi Micah Peltz

While I hope that your new year is off to a great start, I imagine that, like me, you are feeling some ambivalence as we enter 2024.  Israel’s war against Hamas weighs heavily on us, as we continue to do what we can to...Read more...

Be Strong, Be Strong, and May We Strengthen One Another

12/28/2023 12:47:19 PM

Dec28

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

What do we do when we finish a book of the Torah? We rise and call out, “hazak hazak v’nithazek be strong, be strong, and may we strengthen one another.” We will recite this line at shul this Shabbat morning as we conclude the book of Bereshit (Genesis) and prepare to turn to the book of Shemot.  How appropriate that we will say this line specifically on Hazak Shabbat where members Hazak will lead the service. I hope you will join...Read more...

Welcome. We Surround You With Love.

12/20/2023 11:29:12 AM

Dec20

Rabbi Steven Lindemann

The title translates the Hebrew words written on a tent at the entrance to a respite center for IDF soldiers. They come here when...Read more...

This is Hanukkah

12/14/2023 09:58:35 AM

Dec14

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Tonight, as we begin the eighth and final day of Hanukkah our Hanukiyot will be fully illuminated.  Did you know that the last day of Hanukkah has a special name in Hebrew: Zot Hanukkah?  It literally means “this is Hanukkah.” But what is the significance of this name, and in particular, the word, “zot?”

The Torah introduces the laws of Yom Kippur with these words:

“And God said to Moses: Speak to your...Read more...

Hanukkah in Israel: A Message from Rabbi Lindemann

12/08/2023 01:53:53 PM

Dec8

Rabbi Steven Lindemann

My friend Uri sent me this picture yesterday, as his family prepared to light the first candle of Hanukkah.

I replied: “How about if we light candles together on the last night?!”  

I’m leaving for...Read more...

May our Collective Lights Push Back the Darkness

12/07/2023 01:29:47 PM

Dec7

Rabbi Micah Peltz

Tonight begins the holiday of Hanukkah.  Last Sunday, at our Sisterhood’s Torah Fund Brunch, Rabbi Joel Seltzer referenced a halakhah of Hanukkah that caught my attention. He pointed out that normally we put our hanukkiyot , our Hanukkah...Read more...

Give me my women, (my men,) and my children…for we choose life.

11/30/2023 11:50:09 AM

Nov30

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

The Torah portion this week is Vayishlach, yet all week, I have been thinking about a verse that we read in last week’s parasha, Vayeitzei, in which Jacob (Israel) says: תְּנָ֞ה אֶת־נָשַׁ֣י וְאֶת־יְלָדַ֗י “Give me my women and my children,” (Gen. 30:26). Chilling words as we have watched the news with bated breath all week as now dozens of Israeli women and children hostages have been released by Hamas...Read more...

Together we implored: hear us, world.

11/16/2023 12:34:17 PM

Nov16

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Tuesday was a powerful day. On Tuesday, Rabbi Peltz, Rabbi Lindemann, Cantor Cohen, Alex Weinberg, and many of our community joined our 450+ person South Jersey delegation to The March for Israel in Washington DC, the largest rally of Jewish people in modern history.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with more than 290,000 people, together we marched for our brothers and sisters in Israel. We marched for the safe return of the...Read more...

Am Ehad Im Lev Ehad, One Nation With One Heart

11/09/2023 02:05:03 PM

Nov9

Rabbi Micah Peltz

It was a whirlwind 60 hours in Israel. Thanks to everyone for joining me by following updates and for all of the wonderful messages of support. I also want to thank the The Masorti Movement In Israel-התנועה המסורתית בישראל for putting together this very important and moving trip. There is so much to share, so I hope you will join us in Shul this Shabbat morning where I will reflect on my experiences. Additionally, this...Read more...

WE STAND BY YOU.  WE WILL ALWAYS STAND WITH YOU.

11/02/2023 02:51:35 PM

Nov2

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

First, I want to again say thank you.  This past Sunday evening was beyond special as I was honored at TBS’ Evening of Tribute. It was truly humbling to be honored with Bonnie Friedman and Milt and Emily Gottschalk, three pillars of our TBS community who are beyond worthy of every accolade and honor.  I was also deeply touched (in case you couldn’t tell by the happy tears…) by the outpouring of love, kindness, and support from...Read more...

By showing up for our community, we can better show up for our people and for Israel.   

10/26/2023 01:51:49 PM

Oct26

Rabbi Micah Peltz

Our Torah portion this week is Lekh Lekha¸ and it describes God’s call to Abraham and Sarah to found the Jewish people.  According to our tradition, Abraham was an outsider.  He didn’t conform to the norms of his time, and he was a fierce fighter for his beliefs.  Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch notes in his commentary that Abraham’s example is meant to instill within us the courage to be a minority, and the conviction to...Read more...

Ein Milim.  It’s hard to find words.  But is not hard to find the love and support of this community.

10/19/2023 02:23:37 PM

Oct19

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Our first couple of Torah portions in the book of Genesis teach us about the importance and the power of words.  God creates the world with words teaching us that we our words too can build up or tear down.  Then there is Noah.  When God tells Noah that the world will be destroyed via flood, Noah is silent. Commentators over the ages have been puzzled by Noah’s silence. But his silence is precisely the point. Nearly the...Read more...

Though we can’t control what happens in the world, we can control our response to it. 

10/13/2023 10:32:37 AM

Oct13

Rabbi Micah Peltz

It’s hard to believe what can happen from one Shabbat to the next.  Last Friday we were preparing for a joyous end to the holiday season, and this Friday that joy seems quite far away.  Our hearts and prayers continue to be with our brothers and sisters Israel.  The atrocities that Hamas committed on Israeli men, women and children (children!) are beyond appalling.  What is also appalling is the false moral equivalencies...Read more...

TBS Stands with Israel

10/09/2023 01:09:41 PM

Oct9

Rabbi Micah Peltz

Join us at Temple Beth Sholom on Tuesday, October 10 (Doors open at 6:30pm, program begins promptly at 7) for an Israel Solidarity Gathering with the South Jersey Jewish Community hosted by The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. For more information, click here.

Dear TBS Family,
 
On Kol Nidre, Rabbi Lindemann spoke about the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. He posed a question: does the future follow the...Read more...

May we Dedicate Ourselves to Living Wholeheartedly in the Coming Year

10/05/2023 02:11:35 PM

Oct5

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Moadim L’Simaha!  I hope you are having a wonderful Sukkot. As we near the end of the holiday, I also hope you have been able to spend some time in a sukkah, especially our beautiful TBS sukkah;...Read more...

Our Mishpaha is Our Strength

09/27/2023 07:10:26 PM

Sep27

Rabbi Micah Peltz

What an incredibly meaningful, inspiring, and uplifting Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  It is so wonderful to have the whole TBS mishpaha (family) together in our sanctuary, our tent, and our classrooms, as well as on the live stream.  I hope that, over the course of the holidays you found meaning in the words of our prayers, the commentary in our mahzorim and offered from the bima, Cantor Cohen’s beautiful melodies, and Makhelat...Read more...

Ten Days of Repentance 

09/20/2023 02:58:45 PM

Sep20

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

It was wonderful to see many of you on Rosh Hashanah (and to welcome others via our live streamed services). What a wonderful way to enter the new year of 5784; together as a TBS community!  I hope you had a meaningful and enjoyable holiday.

This week, we are in the middle of Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance.  The ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are a special time for reflection and...Read more...

Atem Nitzavim HaYom Kulkhem – “You stand this day, all of you…” 

09/07/2023 10:22:56 AM

Sep7

Rabbi Micah Peltz

Wow!  My family and I are still feeling the love from an incredible weekend celebrating our son's Bar Mitzvah.  We are so proud of the wonderful job he did, and so grateful to our family, friends, and community for adding to our joy by being with us for Shabbat.  Our experience this past weekend has made the first verse of our Torah reading for this Shabbat, Nitzavim, even more powerful.  It begins Atem Nitzavim HaYom...Read more...

Ask Yourself: "What in Me Needs Fixing?"

08/31/2023 09:35:44 AM

Aug31

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

We are now firmly in the Hebrew month of Elul, and Rosh Hashanah is just a little over two weeks away. Elul is a time for reflection and introspection. It is a month for study and for preparing our hearts, bodies, and minds for the High Holy Days.  It is a time for heshbon ha-nefesh, soul accounting. It is a time in which we challenge ourselves each day to discover and to grow. 

A story is told of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of...Read more...

By Carrying our Burden, We Also Carry our Love 

08/24/2023 02:14:38 PM

Aug24

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Teitzei, contains more commandments than any other portion in the Torah. One common theme among them is the centrality of treating all people with dignity and respect. But it is not only human beings who must be treated in this way.  Animals too are deserving of kindness and respect.

One example of this is the teaching from Deuteronomy 22:4: “If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox...Read more...

Tzedakah as an Expression of our Values

08/17/2023 11:59:39 AM

Aug17

Rabbi Micah Peltz

Parashat Shoftim contains the well-known words Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – “Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue.”  The Hebrew word used here for ”justice,” Tzedek, can also mean “righteousness” or “fairness.”  This is why it is also the root of the word Tzedakah.  When we give tzedakah to support people in need or a cause or an organization that we believe in, it is more than act of charity. It is an expression of...Read more...

A Good Time to Make a Choice for Goodness and Blessing 

08/10/2023 11:12:56 AM

Aug10

Rabbi Bryan Wexler

The Book of Deuteronomy is more auditory than visual. The Hebrew name of the book, Devarim, can be translated as “words” or “sayings.” Moses delivers poetry and memoir; encouragement and criticism.  Not originally a confident public speaker, now Moses offers a masterful verbal performance as nearly the entire book is comprised of a speech he gives to b’nai Yisrael. He uses every tool he can to get the people to listen, now and...Read more...

The Roadmap to Goodness and Fulfillment

08/03/2023 09:43:14 AM

Aug3

Rabbi Micah Peltz

What does God want from me? This is a question that I often find myself asking when confronted with difficult situations. When there is no clear "right" answer, how do we still act like a mentsch? Our Torah reading this week, Ekev, asks this same question. "And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you?" Thankfully, it also gives us an answer: "Only this: revere the Lord your God, to walk only in His paths, to love Him, and to...Read more...

Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784