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$614,250!

05/12/2022 07:00:20 AM

May12

I am thrilled to announce a gift to CSK of $614,250!  As you know, CSK normally does not offer public attributions in recognition of our supporters’ generosity. In this case, however, I hope you will agree that certain acts of generosity are just too significant to ignore.  $614,250 is just about 150% of our annual budget! $614,250!  Moreover, that isn’t even the top end of the yield of these donors’...Read more...

Do We Get It?

04/14/2022 10:10:51 AM

Apr14

In 1776, the Revolutionary War happened and yet there is still far too much taxation without representation. And ironically, for that matter, far too much representation without taxation.  The Civil Rights Act happened and yet for too long, too many have had to fight for the basic rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  WWII happened and the Holocaust happened and yet anti-Semitism, racism, and ethnic...Read more...

The Pharaohs and Hamans Keep Arising

04/07/2022 10:03:07 AM

Apr7

On the Shabbat that precedes Purim each year, the maftir (the additional Torah reading) comes from verses in Deuteronomy which describe the attack on the Israelites by Amalek soon after the exodus from Egypt and sets in motion the “feedback loop” of Shabbat Zachor (the Shabbat of Remembrance): the Israelites escape from the brutality of Pharaoh, only to then face the murderous indignities of Amalek, whose namesake later figures...Read more...

If the Russians Love Their Children Too

03/24/2022 08:06:55 AM

Mar24

Rabbi Scott Hausman -Weiss

"Russians" by Sting (Click here for a You Tube Video of “Russians” by Sting)   In Europe and America there's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mister Krushchev said, "We will bury you"
I don't subscribe to this point of view
It'd be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too
How can I save my...Read more...

What's a Nice Jewish Boy Like You Doing in a Place Like This?

03/10/2022 08:00:00 AM

Mar10

Rabbi Scott Hausman -Weiss

To Listen to this Blog, click here.

In the face of Queen Esther’s fearful reluctance to act at the behest of her Uncle Mordechai to break protocol and approach the King (even though she had not been summoned) to seek his help in saving her people, Mordechai retorted with these words:

כִּ֣י אִם־הַחֲרֵ֣שׁ תַּחֲרִ֘ישִׁי֮ בָּעֵ֣ת...Read more...

This Is It 

03/03/2022 09:20:41 AM

Mar3

Rabbi Scott Hausman -Weiss

A friend of mine once related this story to me. He really loved his therapist and he talked about therapy all the time. How much he was learning and how much he really appreciated the recommendation he had been given to start going to therapy. He told me following his most recent session, that he was feeling so very grateful to the therapist for how she has helped him so much over the course of the preceding year when he thought to...Read more...

Dear Rabbi Scott

02/10/2022 08:45:00 AM

Feb10

Rabbi Scott Hausman -Weiss

A couple of weeks ago, I received a “delicious” email.  A young Bat Mitzvah student named Violet, from Birmingham, whom I named some 12+ years ago, wrote me with the request to offer my thoughts on the meaning of Shabbat.  While watching Abraham sleep through his anesthesia-induced, post-surgery haze, I found a moment to respond to Violet’s question, which went something like this: 

Dear Rabbi...Read more...

Learning to Wait

02/03/2022 09:00:00 AM

Feb3

Rabbi Scott Hausman Weiss

Experience has taught me that the toughest lessons to learn are the ones we teach with gusto.  I would like to believe that all my meditation practice, training, leading and teaching makes me “a pro” at sitting quietly… waiting for news.  But it doesn’t.  It just makes me a bit more aware of how I missed it again.  Sharon Salzberg teaches that “healing is in the return.”  How annoying is...Read more...

"Old" "Hat"

01/27/2022 10:20:11 AM

Jan27

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

For some of you, this will sound like “old hat.” And for some of you, this will sound like something you believe you know (or you knew) but haven’t paid so much attention to, and  perhaps you could use a primer.  But for not a small number of you who are reading this blog, I believe—based on experience and at least the sin of omission by our educational institutions—this is something to which you really need to...Read more...

Ambiguous Loss 

01/12/2022 05:23:03 PM

Jan12

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

A question that has weighed heavily with me of late: Is there one thing we can identify as the greatest cause of human suffering? I mean certainly we can point to the terrible moments which take place in life like awful accidents, foreboding diagnoses, tremendous acts of treachery and faithlessness from the closest people in our lives. For me, illness and the death of loved ones are so far at the top of the list. These, like so many...Read more...

Ayeka? Where are you?

01/06/2022 09:24:53 AM

Jan6

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

The primary purpose of Jewish spiritual practice is the betterment of self and one’s interactions with the world. 

I’m not quoting anyone specifically, except maybe none less than Rabbi Hillel, who taught, “Whatever is hateful to you, do not do to others.  That is the whole Torah.  All the rest is commentary, go and learn it.”

And if it were easy…but since it’s...Read more...

823,101 - My Covid Prayer for 2022 (and why vaccination is a Jewish thing to do)

12/30/2021 07:03:45 PM

Dec30

(Sung to “Seasons of Love” from Rent, Click HERE to hear this sung and the article read aloud.)

Eight hundred twenty-three thousand, one hundred people Eight hundred twenty-three thousand, empty chairs Eight hundred twenty-three thousand, one hundred people Two years and countless heartache, and what of those spared?   In memories In sorrow In midnights In words of prayer In sunsets, in road trips, in...Read more...

Unsolicited Advice

11/24/2021 10:44:07 PM

Nov24

If we are indeed God’s chosen people and if God is indeed in control of everything, then why do we have such a sordid history?

But if God is a presence, the force of creation, the common bond of all humanity that exists but without pre-ordination or even an authorial personality-- and we are thus the writers of the Torah--why then would we write and repeat our story the way we did and do?

Instead, why didn’t we just write and rally around a “Yay Jews!” narrative?  Why must we continue to toil in Genesis’ vineyards of rivalry, debasement and violence between our ancient kin?  Our patriarch abandons his lover and child to death in the desert; our matriarch abuses the trust of her husband and son; the namesakes of the many of our 12 Tribes sell their brother into slavery and lie to their father about his fictionalized demise-- these are the ones in whose names we pray the Avot v’Imahot? Read more...

Muslim -Jewish Christmas

11/17/2021 07:38:44 AM

Nov17

We do indeed live in a Christian-ish society, at least when it comes to the majority’s predilections, as well as the default presumptions of many.  And we Jews all know what it’s like to experience the “jingle” phenomenon--the  intrusive means by which “Rudolph” burrows into our brain such that, as we are mindlessly emptying grocery bags or waiting in the carpool line, that jingle of a tune is, unbeknownst to...Read more...

Nes Gadol Hayah Poh - a Great Miracle Happened Here

11/09/2021 02:23:50 PM

Nov9

This past Shabbat, November 5, 2021, felt like a watershed moment for CSK.  From March of 2020 until just recently, CSK, like much of the rest of our society, had more or less been on lockdown.  Yes, we had a few positive blips this past summer when we gathered (still with precautions); but of course that enthusiasm abated quite quickly, and most unfortunately, as the Delta variant was on the rise.  Even this...Read more...

"Mommy, are there really Jews with light skin?"

11/04/2021 09:24:52 AM

Nov4

Click HERE to listen

Yesterday morning, the first email I read was from “My Jewish Learning.”  In it, I learned that Wednesday evening of this week is Sigd, the Ethiopian Jewish observance that falls 50 days after Yom Kippur.  Sigd means “prostration,” and with its celebration of the revelation of the Torah, prayers for a return to Zion, a partial day fast, and a festive gathering, it feels a lot...Read more...

Vax the Jews? No, we're good.

10/27/2021 08:43:06 PM

Oct27

Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss

 

LISTEN

Vax the Jews?  OK.  That would be a great idea, if only we weren’t already the most pro-vaccine ethnic group in America to do so (85% of us!)  What’s that?  That wasn’t their point?  They weren’t really talking about that kind of vaccination?  

Some morons last week hung a banner in Austin over the MoPac Expressway very near the...Read more...

Looking Back

10/20/2021 10:56:03 AM

Oct20

Perhaps because we hope that we are standing on the precipice of being able to claim we are “Post-COVID,” but still are wary of doing so; perhaps because the weather is changing and with it the willingness to head back outside is renewed; or perhaps because this December 6 will be CSK’s eighth anniversary - whatever the reason, this feels like a moment for reflection. Eight years is long enough to be known as one of Houston’s...Read more...

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...

Tue, May 17 2022 16 Iyyar 5782