After The Wrong Note

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

August 26, 2014

At our Shabbat service in Lithia Park this past Shabbos, Russ Hannan relayed a great snippet from an NPR interview with a blues musician that he had heard, who was discussing what happens when one plays the wrong note. What is important, the musician said, is not the wrong note itself, but the next note played after it. How do we respond? How do we adjust? How do we make music of our mistakes?


Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

May 21, 2014

This morning I watched as carpenters opened up all the walls in the back room of our home, as we begin a renovation project that we’ve been planning for about a year. I imagine that this kind of sight fills some people with fear and loathing – for me, it is more like a giddy joy.

Could I Have Some Light Reading Material?

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

February 18, 2014

I’ve been enjoying watching the Sochi Olympics over these past ten days, as I’m sure many of you have. Besides crying during the commercials, I’ve also found myself moved by many of the events and athletes, even getting into events I’d never previously been drawn to – like bobsled and ice dance (though I still have not succumbed to the charms of the biathalon).

The Problem with Moments of Transformation

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

December 17, 2013

I recently read Nelson Mandela’s 100-day speech in 1994, soon after he was elected South Africa’s president. In it, Mandela spoke about the truth and reconciliation commission, but he also spoke about reconciliation is a larger sense – saying, if we take care of all South Africans, we’ll experience a meaningful and lasting reconciliation.

Judaism is Not a Monster in the Woods

Written by tesadmin on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

November 4, 2013

How do we measure being Jewish? Or how the Jewish people are doing? We have the old question, “Is it good for the Jews?” that our parents or grandparents would ask at cultural bellwether moments – when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, when Bob Dylan went electric, when the second Gulf War happened.

Five Elul Practices

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

July 24, 2013

1)   The traditional approach in Elul is to really ask the question, how have I caused suffering, to myself and to others? And then to work with what comes up when we ask this question. Where possible, we practice going to others and seeking forgiveness, or at least seeking to clarify those relationships in our life where there is density, static or difficulty.

Fact: There is Hope

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

June 18, 2013

It’s often debated whether things are really getting worse in our world, or whether the media is just covering more. We now get to hear about everything bad that happens, whereas previous generations might not have been exposed to violence and acts of ill-will taking place around the world.

Mariano Rivera and Religion in the Public Sphere

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

May 20, 2013

I’ve long admired Mariano Rivera, the famed closer for the New York Yankees, who is in the final year of his illustrious career. Not only has Rivera saved more games (624 and counting) than anyone in the history of America’s great pastime, but he is the rare figure in sports: a high-profile player – for the hated Yankees no less – who inspires nothing but universal respect and reverence, even among Red Sox fans.

“God’s Tomatoes”

Written by tesadmin on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog

You might recall the oft-quoted Chief Seattle teaching: “The Earth Does Not Belong to Man, Man Belongs to the Earth.” This week we have the same teaching in the Torah – “The land is mine. You are but strangers and sojourners in it.” What does this mean?

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