Synagogue Politics

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Synagogue Politics.”

Clearly, the mobile sanctuary and later the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and now our synagogues are “Houses of G-d,” where we go to pray, learn Torah, and worship Him, and where He resides among us.  Sure, G-d is everywhere, but the synagogue/Temple is a unique, special, and spiritual place where we as community dedicate ourselves to G-d and worship Him. It should go without saying that the synagogue is not a place for petty politics, protests, or other antics.

As Jews, we are supposed to make a “Kiddush Hashem” (sanctification of G-d’s name) and not Chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d), and so my hope and prayer is that people in this synagogue and in every synagogue, can “let go” and instead “let G-d.”

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal, Image for Illustration Only)

Let Freedom Ring

I saw this van with all this messaging about “Communist China.” 

Guy from the truck asks me:

Do you know what CCP is?

Not having heard that acronym, I started to mumble something about communism, and before I could finish, he goes:

It stands for Chinese Communist Party. 

He continued:

That’s dictatorship. Do you know what that is?

I responded:

Of course, and the people want to be free.

He goes:

Yes, freedom! We want freedom. 

It’s hard to believe that a generation ago the Cold War ended, but here we are still with people battling Communism and repression of basic rights. 

How lucky we are in America, Israel, and other western countries to live in freedom and have basic human rights. 

People around the world fight and die trying to earn their freedom, and we wake up with it every day, and it’s just there for us. 

It’s an incredible blessing to be free to think, speak, worship, and live how we choose.

We have to safeguard freedom and even fight for it: to have it, to keep it; and we should use it wisely to do and grow good in the world.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)