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The Hebrew month of Elul has begun...

09/01/2022 11:21:52 AM


Rabbi Scott Colbert, D.Min.

The Hebrew month of Elul has begun. We are only a few short weeks to Rosh Hashanah when we will celebrate the New Year. With the blast of the Shofar, we will open a new chapter in our lives. With the blast of the Shofar, we will begin the task of looking into our lives and seeing where we have succeeded and where we have fallen short.

On Yom Kippur we will recite the words, Al Chet Shechatanu…The Hebrew term chet usually translated...Read more...

American Jews living in a free country

08/08/2022 05:37:17 PM


Rabbi Scott E. Colbert, D.Min.

I grew up in Los Angeles proud to be Jewish. For most of my long career, I never thought that I would need to address antisemitism as a contemporary American problem. Was I burying my head in the sand? I don’t think so. My job is to teach Jews to be proud of their religion, to encourage the observance of meaningful Jewish ritual and traditions, to love the Jewish people, to love the State of Israel, to understand Jewish history and...Read more...

Traditions and Innovations

07/24/2022 08:53:58 PM


Rabbi Scott E. Colbert, D.Min.

Karen and I are thrilled to be joining you in Huntsville for this year beginning July 1st .

Kadima is the Hebrew word meaning forward. As a congregation, we cannot stand still or just remember our history. We must continually move forward without abandoning our past.

In every generation since its inception, Reform Judaism has shifted with modern innovation. Just consider the most recent change - that of hybrid worship. It is...Read more...

Jewish Words of Greeting... and Parting

06/03/2022 08:11:17 AM


Rabbi Berk

The Jewish people are a people who love greetings. You’ve heard the pithy joke – maybe from me on the Bima, that supposedly Eskimos have one hundred words for “snow,” and that we, the Jewish people, have so many ways of greeting one another.

 The everyday, most classic, and perhaps most widely-known Hebrew word is “Shalom,” meaning “Hello” (of course also...Read more...

The Passover Seder

04/08/2022 12:47:28 PM


A question: What is believed to be the most celebrated and observed of all Jewish holidays? You might be thinking: “That’s easy, Rabbi: Yom Kippur.” Guess again. “Okay, how about Rosh Hashanah?” Try again. “Hanukkah?” Nope. Believe it or not, we believe that the most observed Jewish holiday is, in fact, Passover! Something like over 75% of Jews celebrate a Passover Seder. Why? It might be, at least in part, because you don’t...Read more...

Life With Loss

03/01/2022 06:41:13 PM


Rabbi Berk

Throughout my years as a Congregational Rabbi and a Hospice Spiritual Counselor, I have many times reassured those who have been close to a death that “death is a part of life.” Death is a part of life and being alive means living with death. At first glance it seems paradoxical: life is about death? In a very real sense, yes.

Just ask any of us whose loved one, spouse, child, friend, or pet has died. We all live with death every...Read more...

Colleyville, Texas 

02/03/2022 08:39:51 AM


On the Saturday afternoon of January 15, 2022 after I had been able to do some reading, I was going to have a late lunch. Around 2:00pm Shira got my attention: “Hey, there’s a hostage situation... at a synagogue… in Texas.” “What?” I replied. She had seen it online. We turned on the TV and that’s when it all started to sink in. “Colleyville,” I said, “that’s near Dallas.” Where, of course, I grew up. “Wait,...Read more...

Living in Sync 

01/03/2022 08:37:55 AM


Rabbi Berk

As Jews we have accustomed ourselves to living with, in, and within at least two very different but very similar aspects of life. For example, Jewish Americans live within two cultures (American and Jewish), live with two languages (English and Hebrew…and Yiddish), and live in two calendars: the Gregorian, secular calendar (January, February, and so on,) and the Jewish, Hebrew Calendar (the month of Tishrei in which the High Holy Days fall,...Read more...

Hanukkah’s Brightness in Dark Times 

12/01/2021 02:30:18 PM


If faith is bravery in the midst of uncertainty, then perhaps the meaning of Hanukkah is that the miracle was actually on the first day! As Rabbi Michael Strassfeld has taught, the miracle was thanks to the deep faith and courage that it took to light the Menorah, knowing there was not enough oil for eight days. It was that same faith led the Maccabees to revolt against impossible odds. They believed they would overcome, as in the words of...Read more...

An Attitude of Gratitude

11/07/2021 04:01:14 PM


Rabbi Eric Berk

Among my colleagues and friends in the Rabbinate, the weeks following the buildup and preparation for the month of Tishrei’s very busy holiday season (including but not limited to: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah) are a welcome – and even sacred – pause until the next holiday, Chanukkah. Yet isn’t there another holiday we celebrate before the festive lighting of the Chanukah Menorah for eight nights? Yes…...Read more...

Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784