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Wholehearted Repair

07/28/2021 09:52:35 AM


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



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...

Special Deliveries

07/07/2021 01:43:24 PM


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


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


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


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


Update this content.

Dear Shma Koleinu and the world,

05/27/2021 08:28:55 AM


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


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



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


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


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


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

Passionate About our Holidays

03/31/2021 04:49:48 PM


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


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. 



Passover Plea

03/17/2021 08:37:09 AM


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...

The Usual Excuses

03/10/2021 08:10:17 AM


“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


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


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


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...

Sun, August 1 2021 23 Av 5781