Rabbi Katz’ Column

When Allie Shepard, Matt Weis, Brandon Singer and Casey Ferrara stand on the bimah to be confirmed this year they will not only be leading the congregation in the prayer, they will also be presenting an implicit challenge to the congregation. Shavuot is the festival that celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments. It is [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – May 12

Church vs. State Rabbi’s Message for Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Last week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that it was permissible to offer sectarian prayers before town hall meetings. The “New York Times” reported that ‘Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that a town in upstate New York had not [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – April 28

Reflections on Mitzvah Day at TOS It’s been three weeks since Mitzvah Day brought its wonderful, positive energy to the Temple. I am still smiling. There were opportunities everywhere to perform mitzvot. You could, for instance, make a blanket for an animal in need, write a letter to a soldier in Israel or in the [...]

Rabbi Katz’ Column – April 22

This past Sunday afternoon I saw the movie, “Noah.” The movie has been criticized for hitting the theme of environmentalism in too heavy handed a way. I, for one, saw no problem there. For three thousand years we Jews have taken liberties with our holy texts, embellishing them to make important sermonic points. We call [...]

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 [...]