Rabbi's Weekly Message

Rabbi's Message

I am writing this message well in advance of when you will receive it, as I prepare to travel on a rabbinic study mission to Poland and other sites in eastern Europe.  I am grateful for this opportunity to immerse with a group of colleagues and a scholar in these particular places.  Especially as we approach the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust this spring, I am eager to learn more of the history and also to engage in the current Jewish communities in the three countries I will visit. 

I think it is important for us to understand and reflect on the events of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.  But, it is equally important, and I think significant, to see what is happening today.  During my trip, I will be visiting synagogues, JCCs, and other active communities.  I anticipate asking the same questions we have asked here, obviously recognizing the different context: how do we remember and honor our past while creating a vibrant and relevant Jewish community for the future?

I will do my best to send some reflections and pictures during the trip (check Facebook), and as soon as I determine a date, I will also announce when I will be speaking about my trip.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Stein


Parashat Vayera
November 15, 2019

In this Torah portion, three guests arrive at Abraham and Sarah’s tent. They inform Abraham that God will give the elderly Sarah a child. The prophesy comes true, and they name their son Isaac. God informs Abraham that Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed, though Abraham attempts to convince God otherwise. God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham obliges but is told that it was a test of faith and offers a ram to sacrifice instead.