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Ten Days of Repentance 

09/20/2023 02:58:45 PM


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


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


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...

By Carrying our Burden, We Also Carry our Love 

08/24/2023 02:14:38 PM


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


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


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


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...

May Our History & Our Heritage Bring us Together - Past, Present, Future.

07/24/2023 11:58:29 AM


Rabbi Steven Lindemann

It was my honor to be invited to join Congressman Donald Norcross for President Isaac Herzog's historic address to a joint session of Congress. Congressman Norcross is a strong supporter of Israel and a true friend to our Jewish community. I am very grateful for the very meaningful experience we shared and for his very graciously hosting me in his office for a discussion following...Read more...

Tisha B'Av and Hope in the Future

07/20/2023 08:29:19 AM


Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Yesterday was Rosh Hodesh as we began the new month of Av. The Talmud teaches: Mi’shenihnas av mema'atin b’simha - when we enter the month of Av, our joy is diminished.  As Av enters, we begin a period known as the Nine Days, a period of mourning on the Jewish calendar that culminate with Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), the saddest day on our Jewish calendar.  Tisha B’Av solemnly marks many of the tragedies and calamities that...Read more...

Love for Israel is such an essential part of our communities.

07/13/2023 09:34:00 AM


Rabbi Micah Peltz

Shalom from Jerusalem!  I write this after just returning from a concert featuring Tzachi HaLevy, the star of Netflix’s Fauda. I can say that not only is he a good actor, his stories and songs were pretty good too! This concert was part of the Rabbinic Torah Seminar I have been participating in at the Hartman Institute these past 10 days. The topic this year is “The Choosing People,” and together with excellent...Read more...

The Walls that we have Built and the Walls that we Must Tear Down 

07/06/2023 12:07:01 PM


Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Today, 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, is a minor fast day (from dawn to dusk) which commemorates the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple.  The 17th of Tammuz also marks the beginning of the three-week quasi mourning period leading up to the most solemn day of the Jewish year, Tisha B’Av (a major fast day—from dusk to dusk).  The three weeks beginning with the 17th of Tammuz and...Read more...

A Time to Slow a Bit, Relax, Refresh, and Try Some New Experiences

06/29/2023 12:35:27 PM


Rabbi Micah Peltz

Shabbat Shalom!  I hope that you and your family are settling into summer routines.  Rachel and I have sent our kids off to Camp Ramah this week, and now are getting a taste of the empty nester life (not bad smiley).  Hopefully the summer is a time to slow a bit, relax, refresh, and...Read more...

Approaching New Beginnings with Confidence and Faith

06/15/2023 10:45:34 AM


Rabbi Micah Peltz

We are in graduation season!  Last week we celebrated wonderful moving up ceremonies for students in our Eric B. Jacobs Early Childhood Education Center.  Our students beautifully sang tefillot (prayers) and songs that demonstrated how much they learned so far at TBS.  Last night, I attended the commencement ceremony for the 8th graders at Kellman Brown Academy, and again felt proud at seeing all they have...Read more...

Building a Community in Which We Ensure that Everyone Feels Valued, Respected, and Loved 

06/08/2023 02:27:18 PM


by Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Last night was a wonderful evening of reflection and celebration of our TBS community at our annual meeting. Mazal Tov to all of our Service Award recipients, to our Staff Years of Service honorees, and to our David J. Levy Award recipient, Michele Golkow.  Todah rabbah to our outgoing board members and officers, and mazal tov to our incoming board members and officers.  Finally, thank you to Marty Chazin, our now Immediate Past...Read more...

Imagining a world free of violence, cleansed of hatred, a world that is safe for our children

06/01/2023 10:47:35 AM


by Rabbi Micah Peltz

This Shabbat we read parashat Naso, which include one of the most well-known and ancient blessings in Judaism. God instructs the kohanim, the priests, to bless the people Israel with these words: 

May God bless you and watch over you.
May God’s face shine upon you, illuminating your life with all that is good.
May God’s face be lifted toward you and grant you shalom. 

Today we give this blessing to children...

The Torah as a Reflective Mirror

05/25/2023 10:37:01 AM


by Rabbi Bryan Wexler

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner tells of the time he brought a preschool school class into the synagogue sanctuary for a tour. He showed them the bimah, the ner tamid, and then finally, the aron kodesh, the holy ark.

“What do you suppose is in there?” he asked them.

“Nothing!” one child answered, “It’s empty.”

“A new car!” another shouted.

“A Torah!” responded another.

“I know! I know”...

Building and Growing our Kehilah Kedosha, our Sacred Community

05/18/2023 02:50:12 PM


by Rabbi Micah Peltz

This Shabbat we begin the book of BaMidbar, Numbers.  It opens with a pair of censuses, as b’nai Yisrael prepare to set out from Mount Sinai, where they are still encamped.  Each tribe is counted and given its position.  But the tribe of Levi, whose charge is to tend to the mishkan, tabernacle, is given additional tasks.  Joseph’s son Levi had three sons:  Gershon, Kohat, and Merari.  Each became the head of...Read more...

A Sense of Hope

05/11/2023 11:28:31 AM


by Rabbi Bryan Wexler

This week’s double Torah portion, Behar-Behukotai, offers a sense of hope as God promises the Israelites that one day: 

וְנָתַתִּ֤י שָׁלוֹם֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ וּשְׁכַבְתֶּ֖ם וְאֵ֣ין מַחֲרִ֑יד- I will grant peace in the land (of...Read more...

Ki miTBS tayzei Torah -- a Torah comes out from TBS 

05/04/2023 12:24:44 PM


Rabbi Peltz

Each week in this column we talk Torah, but rarely to we talk about Torahs.  What I mean is talking about the actual Torah scrolls that we read from at TBS.  In our Torah vault live 18 Torahs.  A few of them are no longer kosher, and we use some of those for teaching.  Most of them, however, we use throughout the year.  We have Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust, and scroll that we wrote as a congregation about...Read more...

Am Yisrael Hai

04/27/2023 11:04:26 AM


Rabbi Bryan Wexler

I had been living in Israel for nine months studying to become a rabbi.  What a blessing to experience the day-to-day life and culture of our homeland, a country that can be understood as nothing less than a miracle.  Day after day, I walked the streets of Jerusalem and traveled around the country, but this day was different.  As the sun began to set, Becca and I gathered with hundreds of people in a room that overlooked the...Read more...

The 'New' High Holy Days of Israel

04/20/2023 10:56:54 AM


Rabbi Micah Peltz

We are in the midst of what have been called the new High Holy Days of Israel.  This last Tuesday we marked Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and next Tuesday and Wednesday are Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day.  These days cause us to reflect on two of the most significant events in Jewish history.  During the Holocaust one third of the world’s Jewish population was wiped...Read more...

Counting the Omer

04/14/2023 10:46:41 AM


Rabbi Bryan Wexler

I hope everyone had a meaningful Passover holiday and enjoyed some delicious hametz last night! With Passover now in the rearview mirror, we begin to turn out attention to the approaching holiday of Shavuot. Yet, oddly enough, despite specifying the date of every other major...Read more...

The Importance of Storytelling at Passover

03/30/2023 11:23:49 AM


by Rabbi Wexler

The holiday of Passover has always been special to me.  Not because my Hebrew name is Pesah Barukh, but rather because of the special childhood memories that I have of celebrating the holiday with my family.  It is these memories and feelings of gratitude and love for family and tradition that I hope to recreate now, each year, for my children.  Passover is the ultimate family holiday; a very special time of...Read more...


03/23/2023 10:17:03 AM


by Rabbi Peltz

Today is Rosh Hodesh Nisan, the first day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which means Passover is just two weeks away! It’s exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. There is a lot to do to prepare for Passover, on top of all of our other day-to-day responsibilities. Still, without that preparation, Passover wouldn’t be Passover. This preparation of course involves cleaning and cooking, but it also includes preparing for our seders....Read more...


03/17/2023 02:33:17 PM


by Rabbi Wexler

This morning at Kellman Brown Academy, the first grade students celebrated their Hag HaSiddur (a ceremony in which they received their first prayerbook).  I watched with pride and tears of joy as my twins, Meyer and Gavi, along with their classmates, spoke in Hebrew, sang songs, danced, and led numerous tefillot (prayers).  One of the songs they sang focused on verse we recite during...Read more...

Ki Tissa

03/09/2023 02:37:12 PM


by Rabbi Peltz

Now that Purim is behind us, we turn our attention to Passover! Our liturgy helps us do this, as this Shabbat is Shabbat Parah. It is named for the parah adumah, or the red heifer, that we’ll read about in our special maftir Torah reading. Shabbat Parah always falls on the first Shabbat after Purim, and it represents the beginning of our preparation for Passover. The Talmud teaches that 30 days before Passover (right now we are only 25 days...Read more...

Sun, September 24 2023 9 Tishrei 5784