“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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“Then They Came for the Jews”

I have been horrified and heartbroken to hear hate speech spoken, and worse, accepted without repercussion, in so many circles of American life.  From the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic “scholarship” and responses at my husband’s alma mater, Vassar College, as well as other campuses, to candidates and their followers who scapegoat...

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#rsgrows: A Building Expansion Fueled by Purpose

It has been so exciting to see the expansion go up here at Rodeph Shalom.  And now here we are, almost complete, with the May 17 Dedication happening this month!  In last weekend’s Sunday seminar, our expansion chairperson Michael Hauptman taught that the master planning for the space began in...

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On Public Shaming, a Compassion Deficit and Monica Lewinsky

by Rabbi Jill Maderer This week’s Torah portion, Shmini, describes what can serve as a korban–a sacrifice.  And when the wrong thing is used as a korban, tragedy results. Recently, Monica Lewinsky has made the news, because she has begun to speak publicly about the media storm that consumed her identity....

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Can Jewish Texts Expand Our Thinking?

“Can Jewish Texts Expand Our Thinking,” the latest article from “Rabbis Uncensored,” the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis’ blog, includes a response by Rabbi Jill Maderer.  Do you find yourself in conversation with others who already share your opinion?  In what kinds of interactions do you find your thinking expands?  Comments welcome!

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Crowd Sourcing Sermons

Imagine that you are a member of the Rodeph Shalom clergy team, and you could tap into the collective wisdom of our congregation to help you write your sermons this summer. That is exactly what we are going to do this summer with CROWDSOURCING SUMMER SERMON SERIES. What is Crowdsourcing?...

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Counting the Omer: To Go Up the Mountain and Really Be There

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY%3Fenablejsapi%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent%26rel%3D0%26showinfo%3D0 This Tuesday evening-Wednesday, June 3-4, the counting of the Omer concludes and Shavuot arrives with our Shavuot Night of Study (7pm).  For all of you who have been counting the Omer with us, or tuning in for some of the experience, this is a wonderful time to reflect.  What...

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Counting the Omer: Our Kids Leading

Ever seen a young boy stand up to lead, and then a second child stand with him, starting a small movement? At today’s service for this year’s last day of Berkman Mercaz Limud, when Rabbi Freedman was about to announce the year’s total in collected tzedakah (righteous giving), one boy stood...

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Wrestling with God: A Profound Moment

by Dan Seltzer, presented at August 19 Shabbat Service With a sense of relief that comes with confessing, but also in the Socratic spirit of “the only thing I know is that I don’t know anything,” tonight I am going to talk about whether I believe God exists. If this topic...

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