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

I Think I Can I Think I Can…

  • Posted on March 7, 2018

I graduated from JTS in NY back in 1991 and I have to say that my proudest holiday numbers are about Purim — the amount of folks reveling in the Purim vibe is up there with the numbers of davenners com-ing together on Yom Kippur. CSI is the little engine that could. Quite amazing to Continue Reading »

Planting Seeds of Goodness

  • Posted on February 7, 2018

Greetings! While the temperature outside is still bouncing around, there already are budding hints of Spring and its hint of life and hope relentlessly pushing, insisting upon breaking through… A Bunch of Stuff… David Ilan presented an inspiring program about gardening with good bugs — an important reminder that each of makes choices that leave Continue Reading »


  • Posted on January 7, 2018

Kosher — What Does it Mean? You could say this piece is about a common Hebrew word with more than one important meaning. Actually, it’s about more than that — it’s a plea for us to think about the relationship between rituals and Ethics.   Food The word ‘kosher’ is most often associated with food. Continue Reading »

Legends, Battles, and Ideals

  • Posted on December 7, 2017

Legends, Battles, and Ideals Hanukkah will be here soon; there’s yummy food (latkes and sufganiyot), decorating opportunities, and dreidel spinning — and what is it all about? In this corner… Our talmudic sages seemed most interested in the legend of the oil burning eight days. They intentionally left out the Maccabean battles (167BCE and continuing Continue Reading »

Be Here Now

  • Posted on November 6, 2017

As you most probably already know, I took a quick trip to Phoenix to join my family at the funeral of my father in law, Leroy Paller. The officiating Rabbi was quite solicitous as well as professional — and he was quite ready to have me co-officiate along with him. And I quickly realized that Continue Reading »

From Atonement to Joy

  • Posted on October 6, 2017

The Torah charges us to afflict our souls on Yom and to rejoice on our festivals. In order to translate that into meaningful action we need to consider the major shift that occurs 5 days (!)—between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Yom Kippur hones in on self denial, while Sukkot focuses on the lulav and etrog Continue Reading »


  • Posted on September 1, 2017

Totality As I write this words, it’s a couple days after the Big Eclipse. Caught up in all the excitement, I hit the road, headed for the zone of totality. What a cool, nerdy term: zone of totality…the place where It happens, 100%, the mind/blowing holy grail. Yes, I have a tale to tell, a Continue Reading »

Heading Into The Turn

  • Posted on August 14, 2017

This coming Shabbat we begin chanting from Devarim — Deuteronomy, or Words/Things. The title of the book which comes from the Greek translation (Septuagint) highlights the second (deutero) appearance of the Ten Commandments (nomos – Law) within the Torah, while the Hebrew title simply scoops up the first ‘significant’ (as opposed to nondescript) word in Continue Reading »

Aaron Lights the Lamps

  • Posted on July 10, 2017

There are moments when — if you’re paying attention — you realize that the Torah portion of the week is speaking to you personally as well as to the kehilla of Central Georgia. This coming shabbat (June 10) we chant From Beha’alotecha (Numbers, chapter 8:1 through 12:16). As this portion opens, God tells Moses to Continue Reading »

Sacred Excavation

  • Posted on May 24, 2017

Sacrifice Related to Holy Sacra, Sacrificium (Latin), Sacrificus (Old French) Offering of something (especially a life) to a deity as an act of propitiation or homage; performing priestly functions or sacrifices. קרוב — קרבן Near, relation by blood The Hebrew word (korban) connects us with something else. Samson Raphael Hirsch (Germany, 1808-1888) teaches us that these rituals Continue Reading »

jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery("#calendar").fullCalendar({ header: { left: "prev,next today", center: "title", right: "month,agendaWeek,agendaDay" }, editable: false, fixedWeekCount: false, timezone: false, events: { url: "", cache: true } }); jQuery("body").keydown(function(e) { if (e.keyCode == 37) { jQuery('#calendar').fullCalendar('prev'); } else if (e.keyCode == 39) { jQuery('#calendar').fullCalendar('next'); } }); });