Rabbi Zauzmer: Playing Dreidel – Not as Traditional as You Think (Dec 24, 2022)
The month of December brings ample opportunities for Jewish ritual as well as for assimilation. Rabbi Zauzmer explores the message of Hanukkah, the true story behind the dreidel, and the struggle to assimilate just enough to remain relevant.
How will we react to the seismic rightward shift in the Israeli government following last month’s election? Rabbi Cosgrove enjoins us that while our love and support of Israel must not waver, we must openly discuss our concerns for sake of the future unity of the Jewish people.
Throughout history, we have seen Jews and non-Jews leave their homes in a rush. Rabbi Zauzmer explores the story of Lot's wife and why she looked back when she left the sinful city of Sodom. Is it dangerous to look back on our past or can we gain something beneficial?
Given the fact of interfaith marriages, what is the role and responsibility of the rabbi and the synagogue? Rabbi Cosgrove enjoins interfaith couples to learn about Judaism together and to take responsibility for their Jewish future.
Rabbi Cosgrove: Kanye and Kyrie (November 5, 2022)
Why should we care about the antisemitic tweets from Kanye, Kyrie, and others? Rabbi Cosgrove explains that hate-filled rhetoric always leads to violence and calls on us to fight antisemitism by every means we have available.
Is it good to regret? The Hebrew word naham can mean to regret, to repent, and also to comfort. Rabbi Cosgrove explains how the relationship between these apparently contradictory meanings allows us to learn and to benefit from our mistakes.
Rabbi Cosgrove: Kissinger on Moses (October 8, 2022)
Drawing parallels between Moses and successful modern leaders, Rabbi Cosgrove finds that Moses exemplifies all the qualities of a great leader, especially the ultimate measure of success: that one’s values endure far beyond one’s own lifetime.
Rabbi Cosgrove: These Truths We Hold Dear (September 17, 2022)
What stories do we tell ourselves? What elements do we choose to include – or exclude? In this service from Selichot, Rabbi Cosgrove explores the role we play in constructing our narratives, our history, and ultimately, our truth.
Rabbi Zauzmer: Choosing to be Chosen (August 27, 2022)
As we enter the month of Elul and approach the High Holidays, we must uncover what each one of us is chosen for, so we can choose to be chosen. Rabbi Zauzmer explores what it means to be the chosen people.
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove: Keeping Pace (June 11, 2022)
Graduation season reminds us that time moves forward inexorably. Rabbi Cosgrove teaches that even though it is human nature to resist change, we live best when we move forward with openness to becoming our best selves in whatever circumstances the future brings.
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove: Rights and Obligations (June 4, 2022)
The story of Ruth, read on Shavuot, demonstrates the value of putting others’ needs above our own. Rabbi Cosgrove reminds us that our Jewish tradition teaches that we are not free to do whatever we please, but that living in society requires us to accept limits on our freedom.
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...