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Rabbi Tarfon Taught...

10/14/2021 08:45:02 AM

Oct14

In the second century CE, our Rabbinic Sage, Rabbi Chanina, taught:  “Pray for the welfare of the government, for were it not for the fear it inspires, every [person] would swallow his neighbor alive.”[1]About 1400 years later, the English  philosopher Thomas Hobbes would similarly warn:  “Except they be restrained through fear of some coercive power, every [person] will dread and distrust each...Read more...

CSK Announces the First Rabbi Tarfon Award!

10/14/2021 08:36:01 AM

Oct14

In the second century CE, our Rabbinic Sage, Rabbi Chanina, taught:  “Pray for the welfare of the government, for were it not for the fear it inspires, every [person] would swallow his neighbor alive.” (Pirve Avot 3:2) About 1400 years later, the English  philosopher Thomas Hobbes would similarly warn:  “… [E]xcept they be restrained through fear of some coercive power, every [person] will dread and distrust...Read more...

REI - Recreating, Exploring, and Inventing (same title, different article than 2 weeks ago!)

10/06/2021 02:57:28 PM

Oct6

Houston didn’t need another reform synagogue.  While certainly there were exigent circumstances which led to its founding, the driving force which birthed CSK into existence was the desire and yearning to utilize Jewish tools for deep and personal expression of oneself and one’s community. Our commitment to not owning or occupying a single building wasn’t first and foremost a financial decision, it was a spiritual one that...Read more...

REI - Re-creating, Exploring, and Inventing

09/22/2021 10:35:43 AM

Sep22

Houston didn’t need another reform synagogue.  While there were certainly exigent circumstances that led to its founding, the driving force that birthed CSK into existence was the desire and yearning for deep and personal expression of oneself and one’s community, utilizing Jewish tools. Our commitment to not owning or occupying a single building wasn’t first and foremost a financial decision, it was a spiritual one that insured...Read more...

Dry Bones

09/02/2021 08:57:58 AM

Sep2

Weary…Transformation....

I have been teaching two online High Holy Day prep courses during the month of Elul.  Rabbi Laura Sheinkopf and I taught a 4-part course called, “Texting in Services,” and I have been offering a course through 18doors (a non-profit dedicated to supporting...Read more...

Headlines from Rabbi Scott

08/25/2021 04:25:28 PM

Aug25

Extra, Extra, Read all About it!

“CSK bobs and weaves with ever more agility!”

“CSK floats like a ner tamid and stings like a shofar!”

“CSK remains here for you even though, for us, “here” is just theory!”

Yes, yes, I know, I should have been a headline writer.  But I’m not sure that’s actually a job (at...Read more...

Ringing in the New Year

08/11/2021 01:22:47 PM

Aug11

I received a call from a young man last week who I haven’t always known as a young man. What I mean is, I’ve known him since he started at Journey when he was probably in 4th or 5th grade.  Over time, he became a Bar Mitzvah and stayed involved afterwards for a little while, but then got involved with high school and after school jobs, and soon he will be starting his freshman year studying engineering. He called me, as he has kept...Read more...

Imagining our Enemies as Babies

08/04/2021 02:33:31 PM

Aug4

When civil rights protesters in the 1960’s prepared for the inevitable confrontations that would come from marching the streets of southern towns, sitting at lunch counters, using water fountains, etc., they were taught that in the moment of conflict, they should envision their opponents as the babies they once were – innocent and free of the instilled hate borne out of others’ irrational vengeance.  Not only were they taught...Read more...

Wholehearted Repair

07/28/2021 09:52:35 AM

Jul28

I spend a majority of work as a Rabbi toiling in the vineyards of healing.  That doesn’t mean that I completely or usually succeed.  But, when it comes down to it, it feels like the driving force within Judaism, and the subsequent raison d’etre of a Rabbi, is to seek and pursue healing.  Healing rifts.  Overcoming and perhaps smoothing tensions.  Finding equanimity within one’s persona, one’s psyche. ...Read more...

Our GPS for Your Soul

07/15/2021 08:08:17 AM

Jul15

 

Yes, the rumors are true.  Rosh Hashanah is coming to visit just a bit “earlier” this year than we’re used to.  Monday of Labor Day weekend is quite a surprise, but not really. 

See, Rosh...Read more...

Special Deliveries

07/07/2021 01:43:24 PM

Jul7

In Jewish time, the High Holy Days are just around the corner.  Following is something to consider as we enter into the last “season” of the Jewish year. 

Every day I hear about and read about families reuniting. Families for whom it was a regular habit to be together often have quickly found themselves in each other’s arms. And families for whom it was not a regular occurrence to schlep via planes trains and...Read more...

"But wait, there's more..."

07/01/2021 08:33:31 AM

Jul1

They call us the people of the book and indeed we are. Books, whether physically bound or digital, are central to what it means to engage as a Jew in the world. That doesn’t mean that every one of us is incredibly well read, or that we might win some literature trivia contest, but what it does mean is that we take words, written words all the more so, seriously.

In Hebrew, the word for prayer book is Siddur, from the root samech,...Read more...

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...

Mon, October 18 2021 12 Cheshvan 5782