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Remembering Those in Search of Refuge

Rosh Hashanah 5776

In honor of Sheri Rosenberg, of blessed memory. Shana tovah. I feel so blessed to stand here with you today to welcome in the New Year with the BZBI community to sing, to celebrate, to reflect, to connect and to create memories together. The period around the Days of Awe is a time rich with… Read More

Posted: September 16, 2015 by

Believing is Seeing

Rosh HaShanah 5776 / 14-15 September 2015

Last summer, Chicago’s Art Institute exhibited a major retrospective of work by the Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte. Magritte, who also worked as an illustrator for advertising agencies, employed a crisp, hyper-realistic style but distorted his images in odd, often disturbing ways. He’s definitely not for everyone, but I have always loved Magritte’s style and… Read More

Posted: September 16, 2015 by

Retribution and Restitution

Shabbat Shoftim / 22 August 2015

This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, takes me back to one of the richest and most challenging pages of Talmud I have ever taught. The eighth chapter of tractate Bava Kamma deals exclusively with laws of personal injury, and opens with the fundamental principle: Essentially, anyone who causes a non-mortal injury becomes liable financially to make… Read More

Posted: August 23, 2015 by

Compassionate Attention

Shabbat Nahamu 2015

In 1946, Dr. Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian pediatrician, went to work at an orphanage in Budapest. In private practice before the Shoah, Dr. Pikler had developed distinctive ideas about raising infants, and in the aftermath of the war she brought her method to the orphanage. For Dr. Pikler, the most important thing was to treat… Read More

Posted: August 4, 2015 by

Rabbi Ira F. Stone – On the occasion of his final Shabbat as Senior Rabbi

Parashat Hukkat 5775/ 27 June 2015

I’m not sure if anyone would choose Parashat Hukkat for a special occasion or for their final regular weekly D’var Torah after 27 years of preaching from this pulpit. However, like countless b’nai mitzvah students who I’ve had to guide through less than inviting parshiyot, I will persevere. The truth is it won’t be difficult…. Read More

Posted: June 29, 2015 by