Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky: Do Not Wrong One Another (May 21, 2022)
What can the Torah teach us about facing the horrors and hatred we see in Buffalo and the world around us? Rabbi Witkovsky explores the injunction in Leviticus, “Do not wrong one another,” and implores us to stand up against hate wherever it is found.
What defines a life of k’dushah, of holiness? Responding to that ages-old question, Rabbi Cosgrove finds that a life of holiness includes both observance of ritual detail and commitment to ethical behavior, pride in the distinctions that set Jews apart and responsibility to all humanity.
How shall we remember the Holocaust? Rabbi Cosgrove teaches us both the pitfalls of remembrance and that memory should inspire us to live meaningful Jewish lives and to respond compassionately to present-day suffering of others.
Rabbi Witkovsky: Remembering Others and Centering Ourselves (April 23, 2022)
The Passover seder asks us to not only think of the lives of our ancestors in Egypt, but to see ourselves “as if” we were there. So too when we recall the loved ones we have lost: We can think of them and their lives, reflecting on what they taught us and left for us. Rabbi Witkovsky introduces Y...
Rabbi Cosgrove: The Pipeline Problem (April 2, 2022)
The future of the Jewish community is threatened by a shortage of clergy, with not enough people choosing to become rabbis and too few rabbis choosing to serve congregations. We all have a role in addressing this pipeline problem.
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove: Our Esther Moment (March 5, 2022)
The story of Esther hangs on the question of whether to reveal one’s identity in public no matter the consequences. In light of current events, Rabbi Cosgrove urges us to stand up for our values and to commemorate Purim with heroic generosity to aid the Jews, and all the people, of Ukraine.
When do we peak in our life work? Reflecting on the life of Martin Luther King, Rabbi Cosgrove suggests we are all ever at the shores of the sea taking a stride toward opening the next vital chapter of our lives.
Why didn’t Joseph write home to his father? Rabbi Cosgrove reviews the possible answers, suggesting that when we are open to hearing the perspectives of others, we can pass blessings from one generation to the next.
Rabbi Cosgrove: Gender, Intermarriage, and Jewish Identity (November 20, 2021)
Why are we more confident that a child born to an intermarried Jewish woman will identify Jewishly more readily than the child of an intermarried Jewish man? Drawing on the Biblical story of Dinah, Rabbi Cosgrove opens a conversation on the dynamics of gender, intermarriage, and Jewish identity.
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman: A Stranger and a Citizen (October 30, 2021)
Thousands of years ago, Abraham carefully negotiated his involvement in his hosts’ society and his fidelity to his own traditions when he uttered the phrase, “I am a stranger and a citizen together with you.” This verse has inspired Jews throughout the generations, from Abraham through the early ...
Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky: Caring Through Criticism (October 23, 2021)
We all love the story of two enemies who become friends, but how can we make it happen? Rabbi Witkovsky uses one of the more obscure relationships in Parashat Va-yera to discuss the importance of giving and receiving criticism in transforming our relationships.
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove: Rebel Without a Cause (October 16, 2021)
How do you show that you are a Jew? Rabbi Cosgrove reminds us that we are heirs to Abraham, the iconoclast founder of our people. We must be true to that heritage and proudly assert our Jewish identity.
Life is meaningful when it is shared with others, when we are in relationship with others. Just as God told Noah, “get out of the ark,” it is time to venture outside, and it is time to remind others that when they are ready, it is safe to do so.
What is the theme of our people’s story? As we open the Torah to read once again about the beginning of humanity, Rabbi Cosgrove teaches that our history is a story of persistence in response to setbacks. Faith in the future and in ourselves is as essential today as ever.
Where do we go from Yom Kippur? Rabbi Cosgrove reminds us that resetting our moral compass is not a “one-and-done” task, but a lifelong challenge that we meet by a day-after-day commitment toward becoming our aspirational selves.
Rabbi Cosgrove: Heartbreaking, Inspiring, and Complicated (March 19, 2022)
Rabbi Cosgrove describes the heartbreaking, inspiring, and complicated moments of his recent trip to the Poland-Ukraine border. While acknowledging the complexity of the situation, he reminds us that we must also do whatever we can to provide relief.