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Rabbi Spitz’s Blog

Beauty Matters

In Hebrew the phrase hadur mitzvah, means the beautification of a mitzvah. The concept is linked in the Torah with the holiday of Sukkot and the command to take a “fruit from a beautiful tree” -“pri eitz hadar” (Leviticus 23:40). The sages of the Talmud (Sukkah 35a) will identify that fruit specifically with the etrog,…

Thanks Giving

Dear Friends, Thanksgiving celebrates the many gifts in our lives.  Please consider adding some sharing with those around your table beginning with “I am grateful for…” May your harvests of gratitude add to your days of happiness. The prayer below, composed by Rabbi Naomi Levy, is a good way to sum up the words that…

Let’s Play More

Let’s Play More – Rabbi Elie Spitz Play is vital to life. Consider the following imagining found in the Talmud [Avodah Zarah 3b]: “Rav Yehuda says, there are twelve hours in a day. The first three-hours God sits and learns the Torah, the second three-hours he sits and judges the world. The third three- hours God…

Finding our strength in the aftermath of tragedy

Good morning, my friends. We move toward another Shabbat still reeling from the massacre in a synagogue in Pittsburgh last Shabbat. I share below two reflections, one by me on “Antisemitism and Being an American” and another by Rabbi Adam Greenwald, which he posted on his Facebook page earlier this week. Tonight at 6pm our USY…

JLife Article: “Graceful Aging”

ON HIGH HOLIDAYS we traditionally chant: “Al tasheicheni l’et ziknah”- “Do not cast me into old age” (Psalm 71:9). My dear teacher, Rabbi Abraham Twerski was healthy until he was 85. He is now over 87 and struggling with pain and physical limitations. He explained that the line of liturgy means, “O G-d, do not bring…

Rabbi Spitz’s High Holy Day Sermons are online!

High Holy Days 5779 Erev Rosh Hashanah: Takeaways from Sabbatical Travel Rosh Hashanah Day 1: Shofar as Vessel of Judaism’s Call Rosh Hashanah Day 2: Humble: What Does Moses’ Defining Adjective Mean for Us? Kol Nidre: Our Families are Our Builders of Peace- with Interviews. Yom Kippur: Why Ritual? Yom Kippur Testifies Yom Kippur Closing…

Yom Kippur Sermon Resources

Resources from Rabbi’s Yom Kippur Sermon: Motzi Blessing: Say this blessing before eating bread (challah) at the beginning of a meal on Shabbat: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, Hamotzi lechem min haaretz. Modeh Ani: מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ Modeh anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, she-he-chezarta bee…