February 10, 2012
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ
Having just survived Super Bowl Sunday last week, we are headed for the Oscar season—the telecast takes place in a couple of weeks—in which we get to find out what the best picture was last year, who the best actor and actress were, which director did the best job, and so on. It is remarkable that anyone takes this process seriously, but it means big business for the movie studios and big contracts for the stars and directors, so naturally they make sure we care about the results.
Read more: Yitro 5772: Being Commanded for Reform Jews
February 24, 2012
Rabbi Jason Holtz, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ
In a lot of ways, this week's Torah portion is the most Jewish of them all. For one, the title of it is "Terumah" or "Donation." Moses, as a full-time Jewish professional, is supposed to solicit donations from the Israelites in the desert in order to build a kind of portable Temple-tent, called the Tabernacle. It reminds me of an old Jewish joke:
A Jewish couple survives a plane crash on a desert island. They start to worry about being stranded there. The man turns to his wife. He says, "Honey, what are we going to do?!" His wife thinks for a moment and says, "Don't worry, we never mailed in our Temple membership checks. They'll find us for sure!"
Read more: Terumah 5772: Building a House for God