Loyalty: To Bigotry No Sanction, Washington’s Slave Quarters, and the Holy Ground of Our Nation’s Struggle

Rabbi Maderer delivered this D’var Torah on Shabbat, 8/23                   Two days ago, the Reform Movement’s rabbinic arm released the following statement: “The Central Conference of American Rabbis is dismayed by President Donald J. Trump’s politically charged and divisive statement referring to Jews...

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Staying at the Table: The Women’s March and Anti-Semitism

This week’s Torah portion, Bo, includes a text from the Passover seder.  Through my family’s seder table ruckus, I always hear the special emphasis my family reads in this part. “And you shall explain it to your child on that day: ‘It is because of what the Eternal did for...

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Neighbor is a Moral Concept* (Kol Nidrei 2017)

Or zarua latzadik / Light is sown for the righteous**, words we just sang as the introduction to Kol Nidrei. This Yom Kippur, we search for the light of righteousness that it may illumine our path, and the path for generations to come. Since our last Yom Kippur together, our...

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Whoever is in Pain, Lead Him to the Physician*

The 7-year old boy’s heart begins to beat faster as he listens to the story of Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  The boy actually begins to sob with pity for Isaac.  After the service, the rabbi approaches the boy.  “Why were you crying? The rabbi asks, “You know...

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What is Old, Make New; What is New, Make Holy*

     I am so pleased to share with our RS congregants: “Lunch with Rabbi Maderer– Engaging with our New Senior Rabbi.” The Rodeph Shalom community and I have shared a brit, a relationship, for a long time. Already for almost 16 years, we have studied Torah, celebrated Shabbat and holidays,...

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“Praise God, even if God takes your life”

Thank you to RS Board member David Mandell, ScD, for offering these words on the post-election world, gratitude, and a congregational learning opportunity. “Praise God, even if God takes your life” I am heartbroken by the results of the presidential election. I alternate between deep mourning and rage. Yesterday morning...

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Our Concealed Shortcomings: On Bias and Race

delivered by Rabbi Jill Maderer, Yom Kippur, Congregation Rodeph Shalom      A story I love, from Rabbi Nachman of Brazslav.  A young woman visits her family and shares that she has become a master in the art of menorah making. She asks her parents to invite all of the...

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