A Rabbi and his wife were cleaning up the house.  The Rabbi came across a box he didn’t recognize. His wife told him to leave it alone, it was personal.  One day she was out and his curiosity got the best of him. He opened the box, and inside he found three eggs and $2000.  When his wife came home, he admitted that he opened the box, and he asked her to explain the contents to him. She told him that every time he had a bad sermon, she would put an egg in the box.  He interrupted: “In twenty years, only three bad sermons? That’s not bad.” His wife continued: “And every time I got a dozen eggs I would sell them for one dollar.”

Dear colleagues, guests, family and friends: I humbly stand before you today honored to assume the pulpit as the 10th Rabbi of Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha.  It is also a propitious day in our history, for while the American Civil War raged, fifteen men met in the house of Gustav Grafner at 80 Second Avenue, on June 26, 1864, and formed Tree of Life.  Th...

My iPhone has become my electronic leash. God forbid I leave it home one morning: I must rush back after morning minyan to retrieve it. When someone sends me a text message, his or her expectation is an immediate response. I acquire the following information on a daily basis from it:

  • text messages in which the sender expects an immediate response

  • weather report

  • stock exchange

  • necessary updates from the App Store

  • things to send to the iCloud

  • mincha/maariv at a Shiva minyan in case there are not enough siddurim

  • locations and directions

  • a photograph someone had to send me

  • checking a Hebrew date on my Deluxe Pocket Luach

  • current news from The New York Times, Jerusalem Post and Post-Gazette Slide

  • someone’s telephone number

  • hourly updates while at the AIPAC policy conference

  • the cheapest gas stations in the area

  • sticky note reminders

  • the nearest free Wi-Fi site 

How does one balance the good with the bad so that it do...

We have been busy and productive in the winter months! Our Jerusalem class (2nd-4th graders) are becoming comfortable Hebrew readers. I am always so pleased when I stop in the classroom and see them busy at work, reading Hebrew, engaging in Hebrew games and enthusiastic learners.

We had a very special World Wide Wrap again this year with the Men’s Club. Students in 5th - 7th grade participated with the support of their teacher Stephen Weiss. Our 5th graders participated in the Build a Pair program where they learned about and made their own “mock” t’fillin to wear at the World Wide Wrap. Our older students wrote creative raps and shared them enthusiastically during breakfast.

Tu Bishvat was marked this year with a congregational Tu Bishvat Seder led by Rabbi Myers. We joined together with New Light Congregation and filled the New Light Sanctuary. There were plenty of different foods to try, songs to sing and stories to hear. Our madrichim helped put posters on all the walls and we made s...

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