This morning I want to tell you about Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, who came to the United States with her parents when she was three months old. All of them are undocumented immigrants. Rosa Maria was detained this week by federal immigration authorities in Texas on her way to undergo emergency gall bladder surgery-- accompanied by her cousin, a US citizen.
D'var Torah by Rabbi Aaron Weininger
on Kol Nidrei 5778
My friend Rabbi Dahlia Bernstein, who visited from Long Island earlier this month, asked why I thought the death of my third grade teacher affected me so deeply. You may remember I spoke from this bimah two years ago about how Mrs. Dorros taught her third graders to keep our shoes pointed to the door. And I wrote about her passing this summer in the September Clarion.
by Rabbi Aaron S. Weininger,
Rosh Hashanah Sermon, September 2017 / 5778
“God held me in the palm of His hand.” These were the first words Michelle spoke when I sat down at her bedside in the Emergency Room at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Michelle jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge the day before and survived the ten-story leap. I was the hospital chaplain on call.
By Rabbi Aaron Weininger
My brother, sister, and I learned melodies in junior congregation we still sing today. We ran through the synagogue’s hallways after our teen congregation deli lunch and when we got tired running the maze, we went to somebody’s house to hang out, play chess, or toss a ball in the park.
This exact experience doesn’t need to be the reality for everyone, but it makes me wonder what it takes for a community to feel this way. Judaism is not a performance for some to produce; it’s a home for all to build. One of the challenges in synagogue life is for families to feel that kind of ownership of Judaism, an authenticity and comfort to be at home in an ancient tradition, as their full selves. Many synagogues respond to that challenge with programs that reinforce a producer/consumer mindset. Staff produces a program. Congregants consume it. Repeat.
To read the rest of Rabbi Weininger's essay go to TC Jewfolk
Reflections on Playing with Fire: Fear and Love from Parashat Tzav and AIPAC Policy Conference 2016 by Rabbi Aaron S. Weininger
Don’t play with fire. We grew up with this warning and tell it to our kids. But for our ancestors wandering in the desert, offering animal sacrifices, it didn’t really apply. Parashat Tzav jumps right into the ritual of the “olah,” the burnt offering, the sacrifice that was offered over a fire that had to remain burning all the time. The olah offering was never eaten and it was most accessible to all Israelites, rich and poor, because the offering could come from a range of animal choices.
by Rabbi Aaron Weininger
The so-called war on Christmas doesn't happen on the outside of a Starbucks coffee cup. The war on Christmas and the war on people of all faith traditions happens when cynicism and fear are allowed to corrode what’s inside, the soul. Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from entering the US threatens to do just that to the soul of this country. His words threaten to silence the call engraved on the Statue of Liberty, "I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Adath clergy, staff and congregants share