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Chizuk Amuno Congregation


Posted on September 21, 2014

Vocabulary Lesson for the High Holidays

The High Holidays are a difficult time for many reasons. Not the least of which is the language used. I don’t mean Hebrew, though Hebrew is a barrier for many when the day is so liturgically heavy. The challenge is that, even in English, many of the words and concepts of the high holidays are Continue Reading »

Posted on August 26, 2014

Returning in Elul

If there were one place to which you could return where would it be? If there were one person to whom you could return who would it be? If you could return a thing what would it be? If you could return to one moment in your life what would it be? Hodesh Tov! Tonight Continue Reading »

Posted on April 3, 2014

20 Suggestions for Pesah Happiness

anyone who offers to help, let them repeat after me, dirt is not hametz once it is cooked, no one can tell the difference between a deckle and a brisket Barton’s almond kisses use your grandmother’s dishes put your shopping list into excel and update yearly go to seven mile before 10:30am start early. slow Continue Reading »

Posted on March 25, 2014

The Purple Passover Notebook

A small purple wire bound notebook sits on my shelf. It’s from Israel which I know, not just from the tiny Hebrew characters on the front cover, but because the wire binding is on the right side of the book. I use it as my Passover book. As with so many of our ritual items Continue Reading »

Posted on February 10, 2014

Leap Year Changes

Two weeks ago after services, a careful reader of the Siddur (prayerbook) noticed an anomaly and asked me a question about it, “Why do we add the phrase kapparat pesha (forgiveness of sins) to the musaf amidah of Rosh Hodesh only in Jewish leap years?” Well friend I am glad you asked, because while I’ve Continue Reading »

Posted on November 4, 2013

Hanukkah Guilt

Based on the title, you probably think that this blog post is going to be about the year I lived in Israel when I ate hot-from-the-streetcart sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) every day for the month leading up to Hanukkah. Or about the years when I refrained from getting eight gifts for my kids, one for each Continue Reading »

Posted on October 2, 2013

Two By Two – The Fall Holidays

Just to keep your mind sharp as Tishrei comes to an end, test your knowledge of the fall holidays. First Chizuk friend to get them all correct gets a Chizuk Amuno T shirt. How is an apple used on at least two of the fall holidays? (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hoshanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, Continue Reading »

Posted on September 9, 2013

Yom Kippur Reading

Thank you for sharing a wonderful Rosh Hashanah with us. We are so grateful for your singing, your participation, your kind words, and your engaged presence – all of which helped us have such a haimish and wonderful Rosh Hashanah in the Krieger auditorium service. As I mentioned from the pulpit on Thursday, I’d like Continue Reading »

Posted on August 29, 2013

High Holiday Services are …

… boring. So says Abigail Pogrebin. In her intriguing article on Tablet magazine ( she discusses how rabbis and congregants alike have made High Holiday services boring and she suggests what might be done to remedy them. Much of what she says resonates with me. It is a magnificent and challenging time of year. She Continue Reading »

Posted on July 15, 2013

How We Remember

I am writing from New York where I am vacationing and spending time with family. It’s as good a place as any to spend July 4th; and though the timing was accidental I set out to observe the day with some semblance of its original intent. While the founding fathers might have looked askance at Continue Reading »