Today is May 31, 2020 -

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

A Word of Torah from the Rabbi

Beyond Bricks and Mortar

  • Posted on May 10, 2020

In the book of Exodus, God sets up a classic question for the Israelites shortly before they leave Mitzrayim, the place of their confinement: “And when your child asks you tomorrow, mazot — what does all this mean?” As that question made its way across many centuries from the Torah into the seder, it became a great Continue Reading »

Our Children are our Builders

  • Posted on February 6, 2020

Hello, y’all I want to pull together a few bits of Torah from the parasha, Bo בא, as well as a piece of beautiful (sadly, overlooked) prayer, and finally, a personal thought — 1 Listen to the opening of the portion: God said to Moshe, ‘go to Pharaoh; I’ve hardened his heart and the hearts Continue Reading »

Light in the Darkness

  • Posted on January 1, 2020

1 Our sages in the talmud strangely inquired: Mai Hanukkah מאי חנוכה —which means, What does this celebration mean? And they avoided giving the Maccabees any limelight. True, they purged the Temple of the foe (the Greeks יונים, mention in the song Mi Yemallel and in the prayer Al HaNisim), but the Rabbis emphasize the Continue Reading »

Each Little Cluck Adds Up

  • Posted on December 1, 2019

*buildup* OK, here’s a Jewish joke you might already have heard — and maybe the punchline won’t send you into hysterical orbit — but it really does capture the current moment… *The Joke* What’s the proper bracha for internet shopping? *Hint* Grace After Meals *punchline* ברכת אמזון Birkat Amazon (Rimshot optional) So what does the Continue Reading »

New Month of Cheshvan

  • Posted on November 17, 2019

We just entered a new month Cheshvan, חשון( on the Jewish calendar — a month with NO holidays, just Shabbat and the rest of the week). Around the world: an audible exhale from rabbis and cantors who have completed the marathon of Tishrei, the month stuffed with special days, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur Continue Reading »

“Sleepers, Awake!”

  • Posted on September 10, 2019

Last Monday was Labor Day, one last gift of Summer, an extra day, a last hurrah. Hints of Fall here and there — the bright red lycoris blooming in a few spots downtown at this time along with a touch of cool breeze. The new month of Elul was born this past Shabbat — the Continue Reading »

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 »

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