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Torah Fashionistas Unite

02/22/2024 11:06:50 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Exodus 28:2 from Parashat Tetzaveh

וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ בִגְדֵי־קֹ֖דֶשׁ לְאַהֲרֹ֣ן אָחִ֑יךָ לְכָב֖וֹד וּלְתִפְאָֽרֶת׃ 

Make sacral vestments for your brother Aaron, for dignity and adornment.

In this week’s parshah (Torah portion), Tetzaveh, the book of Exodus goes into depth about the clothing to be worn by Aaron and the High Priests...Read more...

Journey to Judaism

02/15/2024 01:30:24 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

“PopPop may have warned of the persecution and hate that comes with being Jewish. But having experienced the most utterly violent form of that hate, he remained a deeply kind-hearted person, an adoring grandfather and colorful painter who was fiercely proud of his Judaism. I’ve tried to follow his example of leading with an open heart as I’ve learned about Judaism, and it’s only strengthened my conviction that as a Jew...Read more...

Some Unsolicited Advice Before You Hit "Post"

02/08/2024 10:37:31 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

This week’s Torah portion, “Mishpatim,” with its myriad of laws to govern mostly civic and familial dynamics, is often understood as an expansion of the iconic “Ten Commandments,” presented to the Israelites in last week’s parsha, “Yitro.”  That “The Ten” establish a framework, but that life is often not lived in the absolutes, but much more so within the grays.  We are commanded regarding the treatment...Read more...

Tour de Torah 2

01/25/2024 12:18:47 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

There’s this terrific scene in the 1979 movie, The Frisco Kid, when Reb Avram (Gene Wilder) and Cowboy Bank Robber, Tommy Lillard (Harrison Ford) are taken captive by native Americans, and threaten to kill Reb Avram if he won’t give up the Torah he is charged by his 19th century Polish shtiebel (village), to bring to a small Jewish community in California.  Even at the threat of being burnt over a pyre, Reb Avram doesn’t...Read more...

Erev Rav

12/21/2023 10:58:21 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Erev Rav – The Torah states that those who were a part of the Exodus from Egypt, were an erev rav, a “mixed multitude.”  The classical and more modern commentaries capitalize on this colorful notion, explaining that not all those who left Egypt could, “de facto or de jure”, be considered B’nai Yisrael, the Children of Israel (“descendants of our patriarch, Jacob).  Rather, our brilliant interpreters teach...Read more...

Public Comment

12/14/2023 02:12:21 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Until 3pm every Monday, anyone can sign up to make a statement before the Houston City Council, during “Public Comment” which takes place on Tuesdays at 2pm. Under normal circumstances, individuals can sign up for public comment of 1, 2 or 3-minute duration. But as Mayor Turner explained, when there are public comment sign-ups that in total exceed more than 150 minutes, the city council moves to limit all speakers to only one...Read more...

Chanukah in Public

12/07/2023 02:35:58 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Chanukah starts tonight. For our people, the driving theme of Chanukah is lighting lights. The truth is, we are not the first people in the history of humankind to build a holiday around the lighting of lights at this darkest season of the year. For us, though, the power of the story is in the effort to banish darkness with the flames of learning, righteousness and expanding joy.  It is especially poignant this year, as we...Read more...

Thanksgiving for Privilege

11/23/2023 02:20:24 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

I don’t know where he first heard it or learned it or maybe he made it up himself, but my dad’s favorite toast at most any occasion is this: “May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.” At some point along the way, my sister Sara (Cantor Sara) painted a beautiful sign with these words and now it adorns my parents' kitchen. 

A sign on the wall

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11/16/2023 01:57:41 PM


I recently received an email from a member of our community expressing deep concern over the tragedy of lives lost and upended by the Israeli incursion into Gaza.  In response to my blog that week, this person wrote simply this, “There is no justification for the murder of thousands of children.” It’s taken me a few weeks to respond.

Dear Friend,

I am really not sure exactly what I can say to you to respond in a...Read more...


11/16/2023 11:09:46 AM


There is a there is an old Hebrew folk song that goes like this:

 Hayamim cholfim shanah overet

Aval hamanginah l’olam nisheret.

The days pass and the years change

But the melody forever remains

Esther 8:3-6

Esther spoke to the King again, falling at his feet and weeping, and beseeching him...Read more...

Its in the Bones

10/12/2023 10:47:16 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Many of you have called and texted or stopped me to ask, “What do you think?” or “What is happening?” or “How can/should I understand this?” I believe that, in the most complicated and convoluted, and yet simple of ways, it is a matter of what Secretary of State Antony Blinken, stated at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem, in the past couple of hours:


Torah from Sinai 

10/05/2023 09:52:26 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Years ago, a rabbi friend of mine, stepped even farther outside the box than me.  He founded an organization called, “Religion Outside the Box,” and his most recent article was focused on spending Yom Kippur in a tent in his backyard, channeling the vibrations of the natural world and centering upon his place within it all.  (Clearly, he didn’t do this in Houston!)  But he also specifically focused his article...Read more...

Thank You! 

09/28/2023 08:31:44 AM


For all of our technological advances, our lack of control over the weather can feel as daunting as it was for the ancient Israelites.  Rain was the lynchpin of life in ancient Israel, and this extended period of heat and lack of rain here in Houston, should remind us of its import to our lives, our health, and to the functioning of our city.  Maybe a rain dance is called for?

Back in the day (the ancient day, that is), the...Read more...


09/07/2023 04:40:22 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

I am anxious.  I am feeling a bit raw.  

In September 2020, we reinvented the High Holy Days and as difficult as that was, it was a time filled with incredible energy and ironically, possibility.  

In September 2021, it felt, as they say in yiddish, nisht ahin un nisht aher, “Neither here nor there.”  Masked, not masked, in-person, on-line, COVID emergency’s...Read more...

CSK's Book of Life Speakers 2023

08/31/2023 01:57:17 PM




When the Rabbis of the Talmud would argue over a point revolving around life and living, there was always a great variety of opinions on the “shoulds” of life.  That variety of opinions was actually the point.  But after rounds and rounds of discussion, if you really...Read more...


08/24/2023 09:12:46 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Dear CSK friends,

From the very beginning, CSK engaged in a value proposition. We believed and still do that
dues establish an expectation of payment, while voluntary contributions invite investment. For
10 years, we have been offering meaningful, engaging, and inspiring Jewish programming to all
Jews, Jewish families, and those who love them. And we do so, unironically, as an act of faith.
We hope and, dare we say, we...

The Elul Project

08/17/2023 09:32:00 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Elul is a time for self-reflection.  

Have you been thinking that maybe you need to do some work on yourself?

Do you have a trustworthy loved one who has offered this suggestion?

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are around the corner with a special delivery – Your very own Cheshbon Hanefesh, The Accounting of Your Soul.  This Jewish wisdom tradition imagines each of us receiving the record of our...Read more...

Failure is our Friend 

08/10/2023 09:35:25 AM


Failure is our friend. 

If we haven’t fallen, how do we learn how to get up?  And how do we discover how to offer a hand to another who has fallen?

If we haven’t fessed up to breaking our word, how do we learn to receive the effort when made in our direction?

If we haven’t strived for something beyond our reach, achieved even some measure of our goal, and learned to live with imperfection, how do we...Read more...

Prell Shampoo

08/03/2023 08:46:51 AM


Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Why do we cook? Why do we go to the trouble of envisioning the meal, finding the recipes,
standing over hot ovens, stoves, and barbecues, to then plate and serve the meal, that often
lasts us but a half hour, if that? For that matter, why do we mend a fence when it inevitably
will break, oil a hinge when we know it will rust, paint a wall, fix a chair, or obsess over just the
right spirit for just the right...

"Respect the Weather!"

07/20/2023 06:10:33 PM


Rabbi Scott Hausman -Weiss

I was probably 8 years old and my mom, dad, sister, and I were in Colorado Springs visiting one of my Dad’s old friends, Jerry.  It was winter and Jerry and my Dad were very excited to bring my sister, Alli, and me, out to a snow field across the busy street, where we would go sledding.  My mom was immediately skeptical of the idea. I don’t know if it was because of the sledding, the snow, or just a general concern because...Read more...

Mon, February 26 2024 17 Adar I 5784