Today is March 23, 2023 -

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

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 »

Summertime Come and Gone, My Oh My!

  • Posted on August 4, 2021
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School is starting up, and the dog days of summer are here. The High Holy days (too early this season!) follow on the heels of Labor Day Weekend. And amidst all the normal, unexceptional benchmarks, there’s the elusive and disruptive (and dangerous) reality of covid. As I write these words (August 2), there are in-person Continue Reading »

Before we were so rudely interrupted…

  • Posted on June 4, 2021
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Hello hello hello! Happy June & July! As the Grateful Dead sing: “Summer’s here,and the time is right for dancing in the street!” OK, I have to back up a minute —the falling covid mortality numbers and the rising vaccination rates (Hallelujah!) are certainly a cause for celebration. It’s also true that there’s so much Continue Reading »

Growing into Change Together

  • Posted on May 5, 2021
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Some recent glances at headlines bluntly remind me that, as a species, human beings have a painfully long road ahead … Immediately following a headline talking about an imminent Disney World opening was a headline describing a catastrophe of biblical proportions crushing India. And right on the heels of the guilty verdict for George Floyd’s Continue Reading »