Spring’s Blessing

It is officially Spring and I hear that, in some quarters, it’s actually starting to look and feel that way! Though we associate the beginning of spring with the holiday of Pesach, Jewish tradition makes other seasonally appropriate connections, too. Among them are Birkat Ha-Ilanot, the blessing on (blooming) trees:   ברוך אתה … READ MORE

East Midwood Jewish Center is Not Our Past. It Is Our House.

[Remarks by East Midwood Jewish Center Rabbi Matt Carl on the occasion of EMJC’s 90th anniversary celebration, December 14, 2014.] Those of you who have belonged to wealthy synagogues in the suburbs may be familiar with the cycle of such shuls rebuilding, renovating and expanding their physical structure. We here in … READ MORE

The Sweet in the Bitter Month

In the next few days, we will enter the month of מרחשחון (Marheshvan). In truth, the month is really called Heshvan, but there is a strong tradition to refer to it by the longer name. This tradition is so strong that when the month is announced in synagogue, as it was … READ MORE