Today is July 22, 2019 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571
Email: sect@csi.mgacoxmail.com

A Word of Torah from the Rabbi

Your People Shall Be My People

  • Posted on June 9, 2019

The custom of reading the Scroll of Ruth on Shavuot — beginning on Saturday night, June 8th — goes back a great many centuries. A Moabite woman was embraced by kindness and love, and she would become King David’s great grandmother. Faith and perseverance and Hope, sweet redemption. Here at shul we’ll bring in Shavuot Continue Reading »

What Does Passover Come To Teach?

  • Posted on May 11, 2019

As I type these words it‟s Thursday, the last day of Hol HaMoed, the festival’s ‘in-between’ days. Yesterday I taught my kids at Hebrew School; we learned a song (Adir Hu) found near the end of the Haggadah. I gently reminded students that it’s still Passover, with its regulations regarding leaven — and as I Continue Reading »

A Few Thoughts on Anti-Semitism and Passover

  • Posted on April 7, 2019

It’s a hot topic these days, for good reason. There’s the shooting at the shul in Squirrel Hill, of course.There’s the anti Semitic remarks offered in the halls of Congress. There are the reckless and cynical charges portraying the Democratic Party as anti Jewish. Uncomfortable old truths — lawmakers, celebrities, pundits across the political spectrum Continue Reading »

Looking Forward to Purim

  • Posted on March 5, 2019

As I write the words, we’re a month out from Purim — the Shpiel is coming together, the choir is getting ready, a raucous new show is around the corner. I want to take a moment to reflect upon the meaning of the mitzvot associated with Purim. 1) We chant the Megillah; we recount the Continue Reading »

Word From The Rabbi Feb 2019

  • Posted on February 14, 2019

A philosophy professor, a rabbi, and a brewery owner walk into a bar— Old-style joke opener, I know…but seriously folks… Here’s what’s happening. Oh, first I have to give you backstory. Because there’s a backstory. Backstory Charlie Thomas — philosophy professor, bandmate, good friend, frequenter of Jews & Brews as well as Shabbat evening davening Continue Reading »

Road Trip

  • Posted on January 6, 2019

So —as I type into my phone, my family is about to head up to NY for a winter break. These trips are uncommon for us; last NY trip was quite a ways back. So in a way, these trips also serve as markers, opportunities to reflect a bit. We’ll be spending two shabbatot at Continue Reading »

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

  • Posted on December 6, 2018

A picture is worth a thousand words. Let’s soak in this heartwarming Hanukkah moment from this Sunday morning, the eve of Hanukkah —our kids and their parents are in the holiday zone, crafting clay dreidels. There’s a patrolman at our table, hands in the clay, sharing in the moment —there’s an intimate sort of Norman Continue Reading »

This Moment in Time

  • Posted on November 1, 2018

As I write these words, members of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue are burying their dead. A couple days earlier, two African-Americans shopping at a Kroger in Louisville, Kentucky were murdered by a man who was frustrated because he was unable to enter a Black church and kill worshippers inside. This week was also about Continue Reading »

The Gifts of Sukkot

  • Posted on October 7, 2018

When I’m not busy being overwhelmed by the onrush of all these holidays, I remember why I have such a soft spot for Sukkot. First, there’s the (finally!) leaves starting to change, and there’s the unique pleasure of the etrog’s fragrance. There’s sensation of chanting Hallel and shaking the lulav in the small chapel, and Continue Reading »

What Makes for Meaning?

  • Posted on September 2, 2018

I’m reading ‘Being Mortal’ by Atul Gawande; a really beautiful book that asks serious questions and offers penetrating insights into living, aging, and dying. Beyond Gawande’s words — certainly worthy of a drash or two — there’s another layer of context provided by this season: the month of Elul, a hint of coolness in the Continue Reading »

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