Shabbat to Shabbat: There is a Story

Written by // Rabbi Bradley G. Levenberg Categories D'var Torah

There is a story: A rabbi was once asked to describe the difference between Pardes (Paradise, or TheWorld To Come) and Gehinom (purgatory). The rabbi replied: “Gehinom is a place in which there are thousands of human beings, their arms bound by splints and heavy ropes so that they cannot bend their elbows. They are seated before a large table upon which has been set large quantities of delicious food: a variety of meats; exotic fruits and vegetables; cheeses of all kinds; and a variety of warm, fresh baked breads. However, the inhabitants of Gehinom are all starving and emaciated. Though they can touch all this food, they cannot bend their elbows so as to eat it.”


Shabbat to Shabbat: America's Prophet

Written by // Beth Schafer

America’s Prophet

Did you know that the Puritans viewed their emigration from England as a virtual re-enactment of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt? Or that Thanksgiving ― first celebrated in 1621, a year after the Mayflower landed ― was initially conceived as a day parallel to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur; it was to be a day of fasting, introspection and prayer? Did you know that many Ivy League schools even adopted some Hebrew word or phrase as part of their official emblem or sea?  Beneath the banner containing the Latin "Lux et Veritas,” (Light and Truth) the Yale seal shows an open book with the Hebrew "Urim V'Tumim," which was a part of the breastplate of the High Priest in the days of the Temple? 


Temple Sinai's Summer Israel Trip 2017

Categories Trips

Temple Sinai is in Israel!  Follow along with the trip on our blog and check out our photos on Facebook here 

Final Day by Rabbi Ron Segal

No surprise, the final day of our Sinai Israel journey came far too soon.  However, the farewells did not come without first experiencing another meaningful day together, beginning first with our visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial and museum campus dedicated to remembrance of the Shoah.  Shlomo (our amazing guide and educator) led us through a powerful, educational and emotionally impactful experience of the museum, which we followed with a brief but touching ceremony. Reciting Mourner’s Kaddish outside the Children’s Memorial in an intimate circle of new friends and Sinai family was sincerely moving; the language of Jewish tradition provided a way to give voice to heartfelt desires to honor the lives of the millions of our people who perished.


Happy Summer

Written by // Rabbi Samantha Shabman Categories D'var Torah

Happy Summer!

It seems like summer is truly starting. Schools are letting out, camps are beginning, schedules are winding down a bit. And with the  added heat and humidity, comes the opportunity for excitement and growth. It provides us with time to visit with family and friends, to catch up on good books, to try new things, explore new places. I love how summer gives us the time we need for even the smallest of  blessings - the gift of exploring a new park in our neighborhood or trying a new ice cream flavor.

As summer starts, I am eager to leave for Israel this Shabbat. I feel so blessed to be going to my favorite place, with Temple Sinai. Be sure to follow our blog posts as our  group travels across the world to learn, pray, eat, explore and celebrate.


Shabbat to Shabbat: We Are Thankful

Written by // Rabbi Bradley G. Levenberg Categories D'var Torah

As a thought to help frame this Shabbat, a Shabbat that for many of us marks the end of a school year, I wanted to share my closing benediction from our most recent Temple Sinai Annual Meeting. A charming and warm session, I was privileged to deliver these words at the meetings close:

We have come once again to that sacred time on the Jewish calendar where it is appropriate to take stock of the many blessings in our lives and to offer our thanksgiving to God. During this period known as the counting of the Omer, one contemporary practice has been to offer one blessing, to reflect upon one element of our lives each day that is worthy of acknowledgement. To pause from the business of May and to reflect what is truly worthy of note.

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