Today is June 26, 2022 -

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

Your People Shall be My People

  • Posted on June 8, 2022
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The festival of Weeks (Shavuot) is just a few days away. We’ve been counting our way through seven weeks from the second night of Passover, and day #50 — Beginning on Saturday evening — is Shavuot. When we encounter this festival within the Torah, we find a harvest celebration of the first fruits – bikurim Continue Reading »

While We Pivot, What to Remember, What to Forget?

  • Posted on May 13, 2022
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The weathers warming up, some of us have ditched the masks, other people are trying to figure out if/when/where the masks are needed — and it’s confusing. We might have imagined some clear and definitive statement, like an old war ending with a surrender ceremony or a parade. No such luck — opinions about covid Continue Reading »

What does the Ritual Mean to You?

  • Posted on April 6, 2022
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The Torah already has the child asking their parents — — מה העבודה הזאת לכeht si tahwם meal all about? Why do you take the trouble to make everything special? What are we trying to say through the celebration? I believe that our answers evolve in response to the experiences which shape us. This Passover Continue Reading »

Rejoicing in the Midst of Chaos & Misery?!

  • Posted on March 2, 2022
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As I write these words Purim — the great celebration of the tables turned on our foes — is just a couple of weeks ahead. And at the same time, we’re witnessing the Covid numbers dropping precipitously, enabling those who have been vaccinated to emerge from this two- year pandemic paralysis. No, it’s not quite Continue Reading »


  • Posted on February 4, 2022
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As you read these words, I’d like you to consider two current news items about books. 1 – Sales of the anti-Semitic forgery called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — are selling quite briskly, which is another way of saying: lots of people continue to read this poison. 2 – As you must Continue Reading »

Turn of the Wheel

  • Posted on January 5, 2022
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As I share these words I’d like to express my gratitude for family and friends whose love and kindness is our shelter from the storm. In my ears I hear an echo of torah from my Buddhist teachers who speak about the ten thousand joys and sorrows, moments on each of our journeys — here Continue Reading »

Lights in the Window – Assorted Bits of Nostalgia and Whatnot to Ponder during this wonderful Festival

  • Posted on December 4, 2021
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Hanukkah (work the spelling out amongst yourselves, people) will always have a special place in my heart because I was born on the closing day of the festival (back in 1958). Until last year’s (covid) Shabbat of Hanukkah, Hillel Kaplan (who shared the same bar mitzvah haftarah with me) chanted Roni v’Simchi, the haftarah from Continue Reading »

What is Kehillah? What is Communal Prayer?

  • Posted on November 3, 2021
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These seem like basic questions, but covid and zoom have added some complexity to these considerations. This past Shabbat, I found myself on zoom from a hotel room near Dulles International. I was in town to officiate a Sunday night wedding, and some Shabbat plans with a host family fell through as that family tested Continue Reading »

After the Holidays

  • Posted on October 5, 2021
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There’s a Hebrew phrase ‘acharay hachagim אחרי החגים which resonates with Jewish professionals the world over — let’s say there’s a conversation unfolding during the summer and the question is about when a certain project or meeting can be scheduled — the answer might well be: acharay hachagim, after the holidays — because Tishrei is Continue Reading »

Jewels of Elul

  • Posted on September 1, 2021
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The series called Jewels of Elul has been around for quite a while, maybe 20 years. As the title suggests, these daily bits come out each day of Elul, the final month of the Jewish year. The one I’m sharing (below) caught my eye due to its musical connection, and the writer’s insights resonate with Continue Reading »