Rabbi Gordon’s Blog Page
I’m a rabbi in large part because of Reform summer camp. But pikuach nefesh, saving lives, outweighs all.
Our world changed irrevocably this year before Pesach. Now we are counting days of isolation as well as counting our way to Mt. Sinai. But because the US is incredibly stratified and segregated — by geography, by economics, and by color and culture — there are still large segments of our population who don’t personally know anybody who has died or even tested positive.
We are commanded never to forget. For if “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” then remembering and honoring our dead is part of our survival — as Jews and as human beings.
Tonight begins the seventh day of Pesach. It’s a yontif (Yom tov, a non-work holiday day), like the first day (or two) of Passover, and I invite you to light candles to mark the beginning of this ending. Such markers of time are especially important for those of us whose days are blending into each […]
You are living through a crisis. This is not a time to worry about “productivity” or “academic success” or even “a meaningful, memorable Passover.” Not yet.
Some people are asking what to add to the seder plate this year. There are many creative answers. For myself, I think we already have all the symbols we need. New answers to Rabban Gamliel’s question: Why do we eat this on Pesach?
Mah nishtanah ha-magefah ha-zot mi-kol ha-magefot! How different is this plague from all other plagues! For all other plagues took place long ago or far away. This plague is here and now. For all other plagues in our lifetime there was an “us” and a “them.” This plague affects us all. For all other plagues, real-time communication […]
What Are You Paying Attention To? Rosh HaShanah 5780/2019 Abraham was relaxing one evening when his phone vibrated with a text message. “Can I call you?” “Sure.” The call went something like this: “Take your son…” “The one who lives at home or the one who’s moved away?” “Your only one…” “I’ve still got two, and each […]
May 2, 2019/27 Nisan 5779 Once more we are grieving and in shock because a terror attack has hit close to home: American Jews were targeted in Poway, California. Once more we are saying Kaddish for a Jew killed only because she was a Jew: Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l. Six days earlier Christians were murdered in […]