Today is October 22, 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

Faith in the Midst of a Precarious Time

  • Posted on October 3, 2020

Sukkot begins this coming Shabbat evening. Through the ages, we’ve (gently) leaned into the symbolism of faith amidst fragility — a sukkah, by its very nature, is the antithesis of a fortress. This is why the King James rendering of God’s Sukkah in Psalm 27 is a royally awkward translation — His Pavilion(!). Granted, if Continue Reading »

Faith and Uncertainty

  • Posted on September 7, 2020

September is here, and before too long we’ll be wishing each other a sweet new year.  The coming High Holy Days will, undoubtedly, feel unusual. Just as zoom has found its way to so many aspects of our lives — that will be true for Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. Last week, Sharona, Zohar and I took Continue Reading »

From Grief toward Hope

  • Posted on August 4, 2020

As I write these words it is late in the afternoon of Tisha b’Av תשעה באב, the 9th of the month of Av. A quick, worthwhile visit to Wikipedia will yield a description of several large-scale tragic events in Jewish history — events that unfolded on this day. Long story made short: this is our Continue Reading »

Is Everything OK?

  • Posted on June 6, 2020

Shalom, everyone — as in greetings as well as, I hope all is ok with you. It’s June, the weather is warming up (grateful for whatever breezes float by!), and each of us is figuring out or wrestling with (or both) the new routines. Work is different, play is different, sleeping and eating — they’re Continue Reading »

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 »

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