Today is February 21, 2024 -

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

What’s Happening in Shul These Days?

  • Posted on February 5, 2024
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Well, this past Shabbat evening featured a tasty dinner! Shlepping down from Americus — Laurel and two wonderful students. We ushered out Shabbat with a havdallah and a thought-provoking film, Golda. Those events unfolded for me as a yeshiva lad in 9th grade. Seen through a post-October 7 lens, those events are so hauntingly relevant Continue Reading »


  • Posted on January 4, 2024
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Greetings from quarantine! It was 12/25 when the 2nd line quickly showed up on my test (Sharona also tested positive shortly thereafter), and one of the well-known lessons … you know, the one about people making plans and God laughing… smacked me upside the head. Great line within Psalm 30, part of the daily prayers: Continue Reading »

Greetings from Los Angeles

  • Posted on December 5, 2023
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Greetings from Los Angeles — we’re heading back home to Macon today (11/28)! I hope everyone enjoyed a warm and uplifting Thanksgiving break. I thought I’d share a thought with you in the few minutes before all the hectic pre-flight craziness kicks in… This idea, strictly speaking, isn’t an Israel-related post. Of course, Israel is Continue Reading »

Sukkot Joy — Yesterday (Oct 1) at Shul…

  • Posted on October 2, 2023
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So, I just have to tell you about yesterday at shul. For the Rubinstein crew, there were two seemingly separate programs: I was leading the davenning, and Sharona was teaching Sunday school. Zohar, as always, was most helpful cranking up zoom. Truth be told, I was doubtful about a minyan coming together on the 2nd Continue Reading »

Who are We?

  • Posted on September 5, 2023
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The new year 5784 will soon begin, and every time we head into this turn, I’m struck by how profoundly different the Jewish New Year celebrations are from the atmosphere surrounding December 31 giving way to January 1. The countdown, followed by an explosion of fireworks, the televised scenes of revelers worldwide could not be Continue Reading »

Bringing the Magic Home

  • Posted on August 4, 2023
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Shalom, As I write these words, July is handing off to August. It’s still pretty hot and humid (I still can’t wrap my mind around school starting up at the start of August!). The big buses picked up the 2nd session campers and headed home. This summer, I had the opportunity to briefly visit up Continue Reading »

Mountaintop View

  • Posted on June 4, 2023
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As I write these words, it’s the last Wednesday in May, just a few days past Shavuot. Today, I drove up to Ramah Darom in the mountains above Clayton, Georgia. Staff week is starting… soon hundreds of campers will be here — I think this is summer # 26 or 27. Flashback to a bus-ride Continue Reading »

Counting Days, Taking Note

  • Posted on May 4, 2023
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Just a few days ago, we passed the half-way point between Passover and Shavuot. There’s a 49-day bridge connecting these important holidays. In ancient Temple times, the Omer rituals expressed the gratitude of the farmer who brought a measure of barley for the Kohen, who would wave this offering before God. All of that symbolism Continue Reading »

Thinking About Freedom

  • Posted on April 4, 2023
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Once again Passover is right around the corner — clean-up, cooking, shopping, guest-lists, fretting over various logistics, you know the drill — it’s a lot. It’s also easy to get lost in all these details and to lose sight of the holiday’s powerful ideas that continue to challenge us. Last Shabbat evening in shul, I Continue Reading »

Leading into Purim…But seriously, folks…

  • Posted on March 3, 2023
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As I write these words, Purim is just a few days ahead. The choir has run through the shpiel, the festive Erev Purim meal is being prepared by our wonderful kitchen crew, the social hall and sanctuary will be decorated — big fun for all. And, in case we needed any fresh reminders, the villain Continue Reading »