Today is September 17, 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

A Word of Torah from the Rabbi

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 »

Between Yom Hashoah and Israeli Independence Day

  • Posted on May 21, 2017

The Amen Stone BY YEHUDA AMICHAI TRANSLATED BY CHANA BLOCH   On my desk there is a stone with the word “Amen” on it, a triangular fragment of stone from a Jewish graveyard destroyed many generations ago. The other fragments, hundreds upon hundreds, were scattered helter-skelter, and a great yearning, a longing without end, fills Continue Reading »

New Moon Psalm 104

  • Posted on May 17, 2017

Let me praise Adonai  – for You, Adonai my God, are surely great; clothed in glory and majesty, wrapped in a cloak of light, You stretch out the heavens like a sheet of cloth, set the rafters of the heights in the waters above, appoint clouds as Your chariot, and ride on the wings of Continue Reading »

Resident Alien – Helping the Stranger Settle In….

  • Posted on May 14, 2017

Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her. Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, “I am a foreigner and stranger Continue Reading »

Story of Isaac

  • Posted on May 10, 2017

Story of Isaac Lyrics by Leonard Cohen The door it opened slowly My father he came in I was nine years old And he stood so tall above me His blue eyes they were shining And his voice was very cold He said, “I’ve had a vision And you know I’m strong and holy I Continue Reading »

Yehuda Amichai & The 10 Commandments

  • Posted on May 7, 2017

My father was God and didn’t know it. He gave me the Ten Commandments not in thunder and not in anger, not in fire and not in a cloud, but gently and with love. He added caresses and tender words, “Would you” and “please.” And chanted “remember” and “keep” with the same tune, and pleaded Continue Reading »

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