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Jews from across the Southwest will gather in the Valley on Oct. 11-12 for “Sacred Waters,” a program sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), to explore the role of water in Jewish tradition and ritual, as well as the relationship Jews have to water in the Southwest and, geopolitically, in the Middle East.
Rabbi Jeremy Schneider during the One Nation Under God program at Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
(L-R) Speakers Pastor Chad Moore, Rabbi Jeremy Schneider and Elder Greer during the “One Nation Under God” program at Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
This is the first year of the official Sept. 11th Museum and Memorial. Located underground, on the foundation stones of the World Trade Center Towers, it contains more than 10,000 artifacts of the day, 23,000 pictures, and an archive of more than 500 hours of video.
My grandmother told me about the Tree of Troubles.
I grew up with a lot of religious rules. To violate these rules was to subject oneself to the judgment of God. If you had a fundamentalist upbringing, you may be familiar with some of these restrictions. No drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no playing cards or going to the movies, no mixed-bathing (a prospect that intrigued my teenage mind), no Sabbath-breaking (though we did not actually gather on the Sabbath), and absolutely no questioning of religious authority.
The sun has just set. From where I sit, up on a ridge, I hear music from two simultaneous song sessions filling the Valley below. When campfires turn to embers, youngsters will peel themselves away from the festivities and make their drowsy way to their bunks. Their dreams will no doubt be filled with obstacle courses and tie-dye, hikes and ropes courses. Another day at summer camp is done.
Summer is here in all its brutality. Reptiles sun themselves and mammals seek shade. Life takes considerable effort now, as it does during an East Coast winter. Nighttime gives no respite.
The Torah is the soul of the Jewish people. It is our sacred story, written on a scroll and in our hearts. The Torah, or Five Books of Moses, binds the Jewish people together across place and time. It tells a tale so massive, so all-encompassing, every Jewish person finds him or herself within it.
My grandmother always set a beautiful Passover table. The linen was crisp and the glasses sparkled. A plate of matzoh, unleavened bread, covered with an embroidered cloth, graced the table. So did a tray of vegetables reserved for young stomachs. My grandfather presided over the service from the head of the table, with Gramma at the other end, close to the kitchen. In the center of the table sat the seder plate with its crimson and gold border, and in its centre, at the heart of all the finery, sat the shank bone.
When my wife insisted that I accompany her to the gym I thought it was a good idea. She had been pressing me about it for some time, and combined with my recent lipid readings I finally relented and agreed to go.
Ken Autry is the former pastor at First United Methodist Church on the lake yard in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. I say, “former” pastor only because he has now moved on to another appointment. Those Methodists won’t let their preachers sit still for long. He once shared a letter with his congregation that I have yet to get out of my mind. The letter, while not written to Rev. Autry, had been written by a parishioner who had become quite disgruntled with her pastor. This is not uncommon.
AP- Jocelyn Noveck
I pulled from my bookshelf a few systematic theology books that I had not opened for a long time. I blew off the dust, cracked the stiff binding, and dove into the hundreds of pages filled with declarations about the attributes and characteristics of God.
There is fascinating new research now being conducted in the field of “Superior Autobiographical Memory.” Researchers have found a small group of people, only about a dozen or so here in North America, which remembers almost everything about their lives. And when I say “almost everything,” I mean almost everything.
Joy, fun, and laughter enrich our lives. They belong in our houses of worship.
When I was studying to be a rabbi, I spent several years doing volunteer service work in India, Thailand, El Salvador, Ghana, and many other countries. During that time, I heard many wrenching stories from women who had been the victims of violence. They told me they felt powerless, vulnerable, and scared.
•Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Executive Director of the Valley Beit Midrash study center in Phoenix, the Founder & President of the Jewish justice organization Uri L’Tzedek, and the author of four books on Jewish ethics.
The synagogue is a place with many doors. People enter for a wide range of reasons: to learn, to socialize, to make a contribution to the community, to develop values in our children, to celebrate the seasons of life, to mourn losses of many kinds. However they enter, we welcome them into a caring community.
• Rabbi Dean Shapiro is the spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Tempe. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Dean Shapiro is the spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Tempe. Contact him at email@example.com.
Rejecting claims it will lead to discrimination, a House panel voted 5-2 Tuesday to give individuals and the businesses they own more rights to refuse to provide services based on their religious beliefs.
Last February we told you about a very cool Kickstarter project for a film documenting real people who have been inspired by Batman to triumph over adversity and live heroically in their everyday lives. Last Sunday afternoon the Amazing Arizona Comic Con screened the finished film, Legends of the Knight, which has turned out to be as inspirational as the “caped-crusader” himself.
A state lawmaker who also is a pastor unveiled legislation Friday designed to protect him and others religious leaders from being forced to marry same-sex couples.
It’ll be a short ceremony — 30 minutes in all — but the second menorah lighting organized by the Chabad Jewish Center of Gilbert this Sunday will celebrate Chanukah while honoring a local soldier.