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

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 »

Shul as a Comfort and as a Refuge

  • Posted on August 10, 2018

I write these words as we bid farewell to Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation. This special name derives from Today’s Haftarah, which opens with Isaiah preaching: ‘Be comforted, my people!’ says your God.The calamities of the 9th of Av are followed by seven shabbatot, whose prophetic readings are all about consola-tion and healing. This Continue Reading »

Our Words, Our Deeds, Our Name

  • Posted on June 14, 2018

A memory implanted in my mind from my early teen years as a Yeshiva Boy — before we went home for summer break (it was called ‘bein haz’manim ,םינמזה ןי draeh ew ,)smret neewteb ,yllaretilב some stern talk about the way we were expected to comport ourselves during vacation. Hey, I didn’t say we absolutely Continue Reading »


  • Posted on May 3, 2018

Complicated I found an old button (not the kind that closed or opens a shirt, but the kind that has a printed slogan and attaches to your clothing with a pin) from college. On its face it reads ישראל ❤❤ אני — which means ‘I love Israel’; simple phrase, right? Actually, not simple. If we’re Continue Reading »

Reflecting on Maggid

  • Posted on April 7, 2018

If you’re reading the portion of the Haggadah called ‘Maggid’ , מגיד you’re surely talking about slavery and liberation — and while many people treat the biblical slavery narrative as a sacred myth rather than a chapter of history, the discussion of slavery and freedom could not possibly be more relevant. As we speak, people Continue Reading »

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