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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
Email: secretary@csimacon.org

A Word of Torah from the Rabbi

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 »

A Minor Holiday That Really is Important – Earth Day

  • Posted on February 4, 2023
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This coming Monday marks the fifteenth day of Sh’vat, new year of the trees. We learn this from Talmud — this day is one of four different new-year markings. The Torah contains several laws relating to the produce of Eretz Yisrael, and for farmers as well as consumers in Israel, these laws are relevant. For Continue Reading »

View From The Edge

  • Posted on January 4, 2023
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Over the years I’ve been fortunate to visit close friends who live in the Marais, the old Jewish quarter in Paris (roughly akin to the lower East Side of NYC; most of the Jews in Paris now live in the 17th arrondissement). Since I don’t know any French, I find myself approaching everything with Beginner’s Continue Reading »

Shining a Light in the Dark

  • Posted on December 5, 2022
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Over the years, Jews have gone back and forth about the festival of Hanukkah: Are we elevating a minor league holiday because of Christmas envy? It’s way past time to put this worn-out trope to rest. The rabbis of the Talmud instructed us to light candles, the candles for the sake of ‘publicizing the miracle.’ Continue Reading »

What’s in a Name?

  • Posted on November 5, 2022
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As I write these words the holiday season has passed and the Jewish calendar rocks along with the work week and Shabbat for a while. While this month is called Heshvan there’s an old tradition of calling this month MarHeshvan, which literally means “bitter Heshvan” — not a very nice thing to call this month! Continue Reading »

Today

  • Posted on September 5, 2022
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The word I want to share and dig into with you is Today. On the surface, all the word conveys is the unfolding conversation or scene that is occurring in the present — So, I’ll tell you that as I write these words, it’s a cool (72 degrees!) Thursday morning, and I’m gratefully soaking in Continue Reading »

How Do We Meaningfully Connect to Tragedies from Antiquity?

  • Posted on August 5, 2022
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For me, August holds the sadness of Tisha B’Av, the fast day commemorating the destruction of both Temples (the first, by the Babylonians, the second by the Romans), as well as a host of tragedies that befell our people long ago. Spending summers in Jewish summer camps, there were lessons to be learned, lessons to Continue Reading »

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 »