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Monsters Under the Bed

05/10/2024 12:33:14 PM

May10

My son just graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors degree in Political Science.  We were at The Big House (football stadium) for the giant commencement ceremonies and we witnessed the anti-Israel demonstration performed by 100 or so keffiyeh-clad students. I was annoyed.  So, from the ceremonies, I posted the following message on Facebook:

“At...Read more...

Passover Message

04/25/2024 12:22:52 PM

Apr25

Rabbi Laura Sheinkopf

As a kid growing up in Massachusetts, Passover always fell just as the world was coming back to life. The air smelled cleaner, and the sky was bluer and, because my mother had a knack for making things beautiful, the yard was filled with daffodils and crocus that she planted in the fall. And the Seder table was just as lovely - set with beautiful china, silver, and flowers. While it might seem superfluous, Jewish tradition actually...Read more...

No Bowing Zone

04/22/2024 04:36:41 PM

Apr22

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Tonight we celebrate the Exodus from Egypt. For thousands of years, Jews have been celebrating this moment that sets the trajectory for the Jewish people. It’s hard to really tell the chicken from the egg in this case. Have we made the ritual of remembering slavery a bug or a feature of Jewish life? It’s certainly hard to know. 

Our history of miraculous survival is only miraculous because so many forces...Read more...

Not So Ironically 

04/11/2024 08:45:45 AM

Apr11

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Yesterday, in an episode from the podcast, “Call Me Back,” I heard Israeli author and public intellectual, Yossi Klein Halevy, prophecy these words: 

“October 7 was the collapse of the Jewish state. It was a one-day collapse, but we experienced a kind of pre-enactment of the destruction of the state of Israel, and this is a war (the Israel-Hamas war) to reestablish the...Read more...

The Hope of the Modern-Day Refugee

04/08/2024 11:39:17 AM

Apr8

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Monumental Memory 

04/03/2024 03:28:09 PM

Apr3

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

Blue Light Special

03/28/2024 11:52:09 AM

Mar28

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

To listen to Rabbi Scott's blog, click HERE.

I never much understood Holocaust denialism.  It seemed to me that the very people who enacted the Holocaust, and the very people, who believe today and since then, that the decimation, for example, of 90% of Poland’s Jews (at the start of war, there were 3 Million Jewish Poles, and in 1945, there were less than 300,000, and today there are barely 30,000)...Read more...

Today is Y0ur Lucky Day! 

03/14/2024 04:27:59 PM

Mar14

This is Your Lucky Day!

CSK is launching something very exciting! With a big shout-out to Jon Sheiman, our volunteer CSK Digital Gig-Worker, CSK will soon and regularly invite you to celebrate with us your BIRTHDAYS and ANNIVERSARIES, as well as to mourn and remember your loved ones, lost to the world when their YARTZEITS arrive.

Now, CSK has...Read more...

What is the Alternative?

03/07/2024 10:03:00 AM

Mar7

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

What is the alternative?  That is what I keep asking myself and others.  And nobody screaming “ceasefire,” has a quality answer.  Finally, the US is calling upon the UN Security Council for a ceasefire that requires the return of all hostages.  Why is this so anathema?  Shouldn’t this be the obvious requirement?  

If Hamas wants Israel to halt its attacks launched in...Read more...

Torah Fashionistas Unite

02/22/2024 11:06:50 AM

Feb22

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

Feb15

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

Feb8

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

Jan25

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

Dec21

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

Dec14

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

Dec7

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

Nov23

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

Description automatically generatedRead more...

Questions

11/16/2023 01:57:41 PM

Nov16

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...

Defense

11/16/2023 11:09:46 AM

Nov16

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

Oct12

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:

Read more...

Thu, May 23 2024 15 Iyyar 5784