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Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Archive: April 2021

Posted on April 13, 2021

We’re Halfway There

When taking on a big project or undergoing a long journey, it’s often too overwhelming to think about the totality of the journey. Let’s take you Matthew as an example; almost a year ago you started preparing to become a Bar mitzvah. You had an idea of how much you needed to learn but we Continue Reading »

Posted on January 11, 2021

Breaching the Walls

How many of us reacted with shock and revulsion at the photographs of thugs breaking windows at the Capitol building on Wednesday January 6? Reacted with disgust when we heard stories of the Americans urinating on the foundation of our democracy. We felt that one of our sacred spaces as Americans had been defiled. It Continue Reading »

Posted on September 29, 2020

The Lasts

Sometime in the Fall of 2009 I changed my last diaper. You’ll have to trust me since I didn’t save it. I didn’t even note the date in the baby book. Because I didn’t know it would be the last diaper I would change. I could tell you when I changed my first diaper. That’s Continue Reading »

Posted on September 21, 2020

There’s Always a Ram in the Thicket

  There are years that ask questions and years that answer. (Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God) You might think that this has been a year that asked questions, and indeed it did ask many questions.  Some were trivial – Where do I buy toilet paper? Can I substitute rapid rise yeast for Continue Reading »

Posted on September 14, 2020

Showing Up

There was a tradition in rabbinical school that on the first day of school the whole school would gather for an opening breakfast. The centerpiece of the breakfast, other than the free food, was that the chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary would address the rabbis to be with inspiring words as we began our Continue Reading »

Posted on March 2, 2020

A Jewish Leap Day

Perhaps you’ve had this experience before. You have a full schedule of events, a busy day, where you go from one thing to another. Until, like a gift from the heavens, at the last minute, someone has to cancel on you for a meeting, an appointment, or even a night out. Maybe you’re disappointed, but Continue Reading »

Posted on January 26, 2020

Liberations From Egypt and Auschwitz

We read this week the next installment in the saga of Israel’s liberation from Egypt. We read of a people and their leaders who have been demoralized because of their state of affairs. The God of Genesis – a God of pastoral creation, of families, of sisters, of animal pairs, of happy tearful reconciliation, has Continue Reading »

Posted on October 10, 2019

Yom Kippur 5780 – Living Amidst Dying, Together

In the Black Hills of south western South Dakota there are hundreds of thousands lodge pole pine trees. A tall, slender tree shaped like a flagpole, it is one of the most common tree species in western North America.  It has very thin bark which makes it particularly susceptible to forest fires. Which it turns Continue Reading »

Posted on October 10, 2019

Rosh Hashanah 5780- Aspirational Living

In April of 2021 we will mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Chizuk Amuno. It is an astounding milestone as we all know that American synagogues are closing their doors every day. There are few synagogues in the United States which have reached this anniversary. We can joke about how different the modern Continue Reading »

Posted on October 6, 2019

Things We Bring to a Cemetery

The cemetery was not something that God made when God created the world. It was a human invention. We wanted a place to come. A place to speak with our loved ones, to visit with them, to sit quietly with them, to laugh with them and cry with them. But when we come to visit Continue Reading »