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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...

Fri, May 20 2022 19 Iyyar 5782