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The 10 Commandments for Zooming into Summer

06/17/2021 09:01:44 AM

Jun17

What a difference a year makes!  Just take a moment and think about where you (we) all were last summer at this time.  In case you forgot, in all likelihood, you were at home.  Or at least you were at home a heck of a lot more than you had been before.

But thank goodness, we have arrived.  The COVID-scare has significantly subsided, if not disappeared from our day to day worries. And you know what that means? ...Read more...

Israel is Not an Apartheid State

06/10/2021 08:36:31 AM

Jun10

I know that I am not the first to decry this phrase but occasionally it needs to be done: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  There is so much wrong with this aphorism, both in terms of the far too common way in which mean and nasty words always carry the undeniable potential for the hurling of sticks and stones, not to mention the fact that a significant portion of the “oeuvre” of psychologists,...Read more...

06/10/2021 08:33:55 AM

Jun10

Update this content.

Dear Shma Koleinu and the world,

05/27/2021 08:28:55 AM

May27

We live in a time of ever-extreme polarities.  And with that polarity is a concomitant presumption of “thought purity” just as bit as dangerous as all-out anarchy.  As I shared recently in a sermon, who has ever heard of a healthy, lasting marriage in which each partner must agree with the other on every issue, be on the same page with the other on every issue, especially those that are at best, tangential to their relationship?...Read more...

"Being Jewish Feels Really Difficult Right Now"

05/20/2021 08:25:17 AM

May20

Ever since April of 2020, Shma Koleinu has held a weekday, noontime zoom call for meditation, reflection and prayer.  Each day, 15 zoom windows+ join us on line for this 10-12 minute period to gather one’s wits, realign for the rest of the day, and offer prayers for healing for one’s self, others, and our society at large.  Some days, “10@Noon” feels quite inspirational and emotional, even accompanied by an epiphany or two,...Read more...

Memo to CSG Leadership, University of Michigan

05/13/2021 09:07:28 AM

May13

Memo

To:       Central Student Government Leadership, University of Michigan

From:   Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss, Houston, TX

Until three days ago, I had never heard of any of you. I mean, if I had been asked if there is a student government at my son’s university, I’m sure I would’ve said of course. But, as I imagine is the case for most parents of college kids, my focus is most...Read more...

Wake Up!

04/22/2021 10:29:22 AM

Apr22

I’m not “woke” nor am I trying to be.  I don’t know where the expression first came from but I do know that it now feels like an equal opportunity malapropism, employed by both sides of the political spectrum to denigrate the other – the “woke” vs. the “unwoke.” 

While this term may feel like an already exhausted, but newly formed simile, the truth is that inspiring leaders and holy texts have been lobbing...Read more...

"God is the ultimate Non-Fungible Token" or "Dear Texas State  Reps..."

04/14/2021 03:30:19 PM

Apr14

Pharaoh looked down into Goshen and instead of seeing the industriousness and creativity of Joseph’s progeny, he discerned a threat.  With no noted precursor or precedent that might raise suspicion, the Israelites were a risk he wouldn’t abide.  Israel, to his mind, was too successful, growing too quickly. They were different and thus they were “other.” Those who were at first threatened refugees from a blight in the...Read more...

Memory is the  Secret to Redemption

04/07/2021 06:55:25 PM

Apr7

Mei libeinu anachnu sharim
Mei libeinu anachnu sharim
Uv’charta bachayim
Uv’charta bachayim…Chayim

From our hearts we sing
From our hearts we sing
Choose life
Choose life…life
 
Uv’charta bachayim, Uv’charta bachayim
L’ma-an tichyeh uzchor
Ki baz’chirah sod geulah
Sod geulah mei libeinu
Read more...

Passionate About our Holidays

03/31/2021 04:49:48 PM

Mar31

I’ve always loved this not so well-known movie called “Pleasantville,” in which a brother and a sister from the color-filled 1990s accidentally fall through the television set into the black and white 1950s. Their presence in the 1950s infuses a tremendous amount of w'rldliness.  They are in color, while the rest of the world around remains in black and white. However, their “roygbiv” color has a way of “infecting” the...Read more...

Rage like a Sage

03/24/2021 11:15:07 AM

Mar24

There was a piece on NPR yesterday about rage rooms.  Rage Rooms are businesses with rooms filled with all sorts of “to be trashed” items like old cars with windshields intact, old big television sets – you know, the kind with the big tubes, not the newfangled flat ones, old lamps, ceramic dishes, computers and anything else that makes a lovely crash the moment you slam the unstoppable force upon it. 

 

Read more...

Passover Plea

03/17/2021 08:37:09 AM

Mar17

OK, so I’m in the Ozarks. I’m on “vacation” this week with Natalie as she and the Woods Project Team scout out a new site.  So it’s kind of like vacation because I’m not working, at least officially, and she is. But it isn’t bad in the least. I’m in the middle of nature, hiking and camping with lovely weather and Wi-Fi. Who could ask for more?

Well I could, because...Passover is around the...Read more...

The Usual Excuses

03/10/2021 08:10:17 AM

Mar10

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.  And like that – poof – he’s gone.”  Thus spoke the character, Verbal Klint, about the mastermind, super criminal Keyser Soce, as credits begin to roll in the movie, The Usual Suspects.  This line arose to my mind today and quite a few other times recently, as I listen to those who seek to re-write the history of the hours-long...Read more...

Marshmallows and Golden Calfs

03/04/2021 09:13:17 AM

Mar4

Many of you have heard about, read about or even studied a famous psychological test called “The Marshmallow Test,” performed at Stanford University in the 1970’s by Walter Mischel.  Simply put, “The Marshmallow Test” studies delayed gratification in children.  A child is brought into a room with a table and a marshmallow sitting on a plate.  The child is told that she is going to be left alone for a few minutes, and...Read more...

A Very Meaning-Filled Purim

02/25/2021 08:30:26 AM

Feb25

You can still join us tonight to Laugh over our people's ways of coping and Learn about heroes in our community helping so many others do the same in the wake of the recent Texas winter storm crises..

Exactly a year ago (according to the Jewish calendar) was the last time Shma Koleinu officially gathered in person for an event.  Our “Motown Megillah” performance directed and organized by Jerry Peperone...Read more...

...Therefore We Pray, O God, ...

02/18/2021 08:58:14 AM

Feb18

Hello friends, I know that most all of us find ourselves in the midst of this weather emergency and I pray that you are remaining safe and warm.  In the absence of my own words at the moment, I offer you these words of prayer and solace. May we go from strength to strength.  

Rabbi Scott 

 

We Cannot Pray to You

We cannot pray to You, O God,
to banish war,
for You have filled the...Read more...

"Hayom"

02/11/2021 08:10:28 AM

Feb11

Imagine for a moment that the Torah indeed is born of the Divine.  That Moses does dwell with God at the top of Mt Sinai, receives the Divine instruction, and then writes it into a text.  And imagine the Creator, infinite, immeasurable, and unknowable, desiring to share the wisdom of eternity with these beings born of love, who are necessarily finite.  It is not difficult to understand the Rabbis’ imagination that God...Read more...

Hag Purim

02/03/2021 04:55:52 PM

Feb3

Do you know why the holiday of Purim is called, “Purim?”  Because pur means “lot,” thus meaning the “casting of lots.”  For this is how Haman determined the day on which the Jews of Persia were to be slaughtered.  Not who should be slaughtered, and not if the Jews should be slaughtered, but when.  And just how, according to the Book of Esther, are the Jewish people saved?  By a Jewish girl, debasing...Read more...

Life Goes On

01/27/2021 02:16:59 PM

Jan27

Said sometimes with hope and more often with muted acceptance, “life goes on” is a phrase that leaves so much to be desired.  In the midst of COVID, life goes on.  In the face of cancer and treatment, life goes on.  In the wake of biting and striking political winds, life goes on.  In the face of mysterious symptoms but no obvious diagnosis, endless tests, and doctors who employ the reminder that, “it is called...Read more...

A Broken Pane

01/21/2021 09:00:31 AM

Jan21

There’s a window pane in one of the doors entering the Capitol Rotunda that remains broken  from the insurrection on January 6th.  Well, not exactly broken perhaps, but riddled with spider cracks fissuring through the pane.  So much pain.  There’s been so much pain and suffering, and I know it didn’t start 4 years ago.  And I pray that we all come to understand that the hateful rhetoric that has become far too...Read more...

Sat, June 19 2021 9 Tammuz 5781