A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 1.8.21

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 1.8.21

A few upcoming things I’d like to emphasize: Tonight: Shabbat-a-BimBom, 6:30 pm Shabbat morning: join us for services as Ariel Yaron becomes bar mitzvah. Mazal tov to parents Eldad and Adrienne, and to Ariel! Tuesday night: Israel Now with Tomer Gekler – lots going on in the Holy Land right … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 12.24.2020

As an observing Jew, I always find this time of year a little confusing, especially when Chanukah has already passed. We wish each other “Happy Holidays,” which is, for all intents and purposes, a “pareve” way of saying “Merry Christmas.” We say “Happy New Year,” which of course makes sense, … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 12.17.2020

I’ve been focusing a lot this year on the relationship between faith in God and human action. My own belief system, simply put, has us (human beings) endowed with agency – we are actors in our own drama – and we are guided and informed in our actions by the divine – God/Torah. … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 12.10.2020

Chanukah is here! A little light, a little joy for our otherwise blackened moods. Just in time! I am happy and grateful: my family will be all together, I will eat latkes despite my calorie-counting campaign, I will spin dreidels. I most likely will not eat any sufganiyot (jelly donuts – … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 12.3.2020

This week’s parasha tells of a momentous occasion in the history of the Jewish people. On his way back to Canaan after a 20-year sojourn in Haran, the patriarch Jacob wrestles with a man (an angel?) through the night. In the morning, having prevailed over the stranger, Jacob insists that … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 11.25.2020

With Coronavirus cases spiking across the country, I once again have our first responders very much in mind. As Covid fatigue continues to congeal, the springtime practice of lauding our medical workers every night at 7pm has largely fallen by the wayside, but the troops of doctors, nurses, and medical … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 11.19.2020

Unsettled.  That seems to be the operative word right now.  We feel unsettled.  President-Elect Biden has won the election, but for the first time in our history the current president refuses to acknowledge his victory and concede. Does this flagrant violation of norms endanger us? Almost certainly. What damage, in … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 11.12.2020

As I write this, there are still a few hours left of Veterans Day. I have a deep appreciation, a reverence, even, for veterans. The election last week and all the subsequent shenanigans – indeed, so much of what has transpired over the last 4 years – has put into stark relief … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 11.5.2020

We are living through history. As I write this, what has been perhaps the most contentious election in modern American history remains inconclusive. Yesterday, Wednesday, I was on the Upper East Side at the 24-hour Apple Store on 5th Avenue. At the entrance, I was told they were closing at … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 10.29.2020

Parashat Lech Lecha In a midrash from Genesis Rabbah (39:9), the sages make an interesting observation. Rabbi Levi notes that the unusual term lech lecha / “Go forth,” which gives this week’s parasha its name, actually appears twice in the Abraham stories: once this week (lech lecha m’artzecha / “Go forth from your native land”), and then again next … READ MORE