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Diversity in the Jewish Community 

02/14/2019 09:53:19 AM

Feb14

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

This week, I filled out a form that required me to indicate my race: which as a Jew, always leaves me uneasy.   If you look at my ancestry.com profile, you’ll see that I am 96% Ashkenazi Jew and 4% Caucasian. Yes, that 4% of my genetic makeup does make me look similar to other people of Eastern European ancestry, making “Caucasian” or “white” perhaps the correct choice. There have also been a chorus of voices and articles in the...Read more...

Invocation - Georgia State Senate

02/06/2019 03:53:05 PM

Feb6

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

Thank you Senator Kirkpatrick. I want to begin this morning by thanking Dr. Kirkpatrick for her leadership and for the gracious invitation to be here with you this morning.   My dear Senators, it seems like it took place ages ago, but how soon we forget that it was only recently that we marked four months since a deranged individual, filled with hate in his heart, marched into a synagogue and killed eleven innocent souls in...Read more...

Niggunim

01/30/2019 01:25:19 PM

Jan30

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

“Dan,” called Amy on Sunday. “I can’t believe your son! He’s unbelievable.”   After an exhilarating evening of Yiddish music on Marietta Square (words that I am confident no one thought would ever be uttered until Etz Chaim finally did it) with our Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Hankus Netsky, Dr. Netsky worked with our Religious School students on Sunday. He taught them niggunim, melodies without words, as well as a few Yiddish...Read more...

Jewish Role in History

01/23/2019 09:23:08 AM

Jan23

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

I’m always wary of Jewish books that promote what I like to call the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” version of history. By this, I mean books that purport to promote a "new and previously unrecognized/significant historical role" that Jews played in a major historical event: as if to say that without Jews, the event would have never happened.   This is of course, surely not the way history is meant to be read nor understood. I...Read more...

Foundation of Law

01/17/2019 02:34:53 PM

Jan17

Rabbi Dan Dorsch

Brexit. An ongoing government shutdown. What caused these crises, and how can we fix them?   The Talmud teaches in Masechet Taanit that Torah scrolls are written with quills made from reeds rather than cedar trees. Why? Because a person should always remember it is better to bend like a reed than be rigid like a cedar. Each time a scribe would pick up his quill, he would no doubt remember the foundation of law comes not from a place of...Read more...

"old Churches" and "YOung Churches"

01/10/2019 02:54:55 PM

Jan10

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

One of my Christian colleagues recently explained to me the difference between young and old churches. Main Line Protestant Churches, he explained, are mostly “old churches,” while Evangelical and Non-Denominational churches are “young churches.”   To understand the difference, kook arayn: come and look at the crowds that make up the two prayer communities that meet next door to our synagogue. The Lutheran church, led by my...Read more...

The Rabbi and Facebook

01/02/2019 02:26:47 PM

Jan2

Rabbi Dan Dorsch

Following the Philadelphia Eagles’ reentry into the playoffs last Sunday, I posted on Facebook: “Those of you who know me, know that I am not a religious man, but say a prayer for Nick Foles.”   Most people, I expected, would understand the irony--coupled by no small degree of snark--behind that statement. I hope it goes without saying that I do in fact consider myself to be a fairly religious man. I daven with regularity, perform...Read more...

Shabbat Candle Sticks

12/27/2018 03:37:19 PM

Dec27

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

While shopping at the Traditions Judaica Shop at the Festival Marketplace in Pompano Beach, Amy’s attention was captivated by the “20% off” Chanukah decorations. My gaze was fixated on a rather strange set of Shabbat candles in the store window. Inscribed in Hebrew and English were the words famously attributed to Ahad HaAm (Asher Ginsburg), known as the father of cultural Zionism: “More than the Jews have...Read more...

Minyan

12/20/2018 02:17:44 PM

Dec20

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

“Daddy, why don’t girls go to minyan?”   Some of you may know that I take Zev to morning services with me every Monday and Thursday morning. Needless to say, he’s become quite observant. With the notable exceptions of Arlene Manning and Delores Lazerson, and our admirable once monthly Rosh Chodesh group, minyan at Etz Chaim--despite our long history of egalitarianism--remains a “boy's thing.”   There are so many answers...Read more...

The Cracked Window

12/13/2018 02:50:05 PM

Dec13

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

I heard a cracking sound in the middle of the night. I didn’t make much of it, until I woke up in the morning to see several large cracks had formed in our faux stained glass front door. How had this happened?

Looking at the door, my heart immediately began to skip a beat. Had someone seen our Chanukkah candles lit in the window and thrown a rock at our home? If so, why hadn’t they thrown a rock at the window where the menorah...Read more...

How Do you Spell Chanukah?

12/06/2018 04:01:24 PM

Dec6

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch

Each year when we come to December there is a singular debate that rages among the Jewish people. It is a debate divides households. It divides communities. It divides Jews from our non-Jewish neighbor. That debate, is of course, how you are supposed to spell the word חנוכה.   Fred Davis pointed out to me last Shabbat when he looked at my source sheet that I spelled חנוכה at least two different ways in English. Yet according to...Read more...

Memories of childhood thanksgivings

12/03/2018 11:52:58 AM

Dec3

Growing up, my mother was the best driver I knew. We were carried from place to place seamlessly. Then, when I began to drive, I realized the horrible, God-awful, truth: that my mother’s driving skills did not exactly “live up” to her superb mothering skills. As children we were oblivious to her machinations; but as a driving adult sitting in the passenger seat I  constantly felt my right foot pushing for the brake that was never...Read more...

Wed, February 20 2019 15 Adar I 5779