Rabbi Katz’ Column – April 7

“Mitzvah goreret Mitzvah.” (Avot 4.2) One mitzvah brings on another mitzvah. And that is how it was on Mitzvah Day here at Temple Ohav Shalom on Sunday. Writing letters to soldiers in the U.S. armed services and in Israel, making blankets for animals in shelters, buying baked goods with the proceeds going to a shelter [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – March 17th

I knew exactly what the mother of one of our Religious School students meant when she said, “All I want is that my son should be a proud Jew.” What she was saying was that she wanted her son to grow up with a strong identity, with high self-esteem and with a positive attitude about [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – March 10

Rabbi’s Message March 11, 2014 This month the Jewish world celebrates Purim, the only holiday, say the Rabbis, which will still exist after the messiah comes and all religions combine into one. Why in heaven, the Rabbis would think that Purim would remain after all the other holidays vanish into a new universalistic state of [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – March 3rd

Purim is Pure Fun! Passover is a time to learn about all the rituals that teach about the exodus in Egypt. There is so much to learn that the week before the holiday was one of the only two times in the year that Rabbis gave a major sermon… so the people could learn how [...]

Rabbi Katz Column – Feb 24

Rabbi’s Message for Feb. 24, 2014 On Gossip On Tuesday, February 25th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 2 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Room 206 I’ll be teaching a short course on gossip. Not how to gossip mind you, but how to avoid and stop gossip. In our tradition books have been written on the [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – Feb 17th

Praying for John Kerry’s Success Realism and Idealism in the Mideast John Kerry is attempting to forge an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Let us hope that he succeeds. We must maintain hope that reason will prevail in the Mideast… that what we want for our children is the same thing Palestinian parents want [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column

Change in direction! Instead of an Intro to Judaism course, I am offering a two part course on gossip. In our tradition there have been whole books written on gossip and slander and in fact, there is a lot to learn. When your friend begins a conversation with the words: “I like her but…” what [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – January 27

Dear Friends, If you thought you were seeing double when you opened up my Emily Postein, message last week, you were! I pressed the wrong button and the message I sent out a few months ago, was sent again. Through the years congregants have asked me questions about customs and rituals. I keep a running [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – January 20

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 22, 2104 Last Friday night I spoke about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and in particular about my experiences in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1987 when the holiday was brand new. Friends, this is a holiday in search of a ritual. On the 4th of July we have picnics [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – Jan 6

When the Torah is taken out of the ark there is high drama. And the manner of speech is lofty. “We pass this Torah down from generation to generation. This is God’s word!” But in our everyday lives maintaining the Jewish tradition means taking many small steps that are very often mundane…..schlepping one’s children to [...]