Today is November 28, 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

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 »

Taking a Measure

  • Posted on April 4, 2021
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Jewishly speaking, we’re in the thick of doing the numbers. As I write these words, we’re heading into the finale of Passover. The Haggadah provided us with the wonderful who Knows One Song — the numbers are powerful shorthand for core ideas that we pass along. A six-digit figure that morphs along at blazing speed Continue Reading »

Taking Ancient Wisdom into a Challenging New Year

  • Posted on January 7, 2021
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Shalom & Happy New Year! The past year has been such a blur in many ways, and each of us has felt tested as we make adjustments and lean into a changed world amidst a pandemic. In every aspect of our lives — work, entertainment, prayer, dining out – we’ve made adjustments. And, no, we Continue Reading »

Resolution & Dedication

  • Posted on December 4, 2020
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December 2020 — unlike any other that we can recall. Regarding the vaccine(quite possibly more than one), we all know that ‘help is on the way.’ In the meantime, we hope and pray for a peaceful and orderly governmental transition, and — perhaps, more daunting— the ability and desire to heal deep wounds felt by Continue Reading »

Faith in the Midst of a Precarious Time

  • Posted on October 3, 2020
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Sukkot begins this coming Shabbat evening. Through the ages, we’ve (gently) leaned into the symbolism of faith amidst fragility — a sukkah, by its very nature, is the antithesis of a fortress. This is why the King James rendering of God’s Sukkah in Psalm 27 is a royally awkward translation — His Pavilion(!). Granted, if Continue Reading »