Rabbi's Weekly Message

Rabbi's Message

For the last several years, TBK has participated in the annual Pride Parade.  This year, we will join the parade and festival on Saturday, July 20.  Please join us immediately after services to lend our support to this important community event. 

Creating a presence at Pride is really only one part of fulfilling our commitment to creating an inclusive community.  Our temple family includes cherished members with a wide variety of sex and gender identities.  This is not a special project or accommodation.  Rather, it is simply our way of working to create a congregation where everyone is welcomed and valued for who they are. 

In our Torah portion for this week, Chukat, we read of the death of Miriam and the death of Aaron.  Especially with the death of Aaron, the description makes it clear that leadership (and responsibility ) passes from one generation to the next.  This pattern has repeated over and over again.  We stand in a chain of tradition, responsible for the community, to make it as strong as possible.  One way we do this is by demonstrating to the broader community that we are inclusive and we celebrate the authenticity, beauty, and holiness of the rainbow of identities.  This is part of our maturation as a community over the years, and is critical to our future vibrancy and relevance. 

I look forward to seeing you this Shabbat, as well a week from Saturday for Pride. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Stein


Parashat Balak
July 20, 2019

In this Torah portion, Balak, the king of Moab, asks Balaam to curse the Israelites after he sees them defeat various nations in battle. Balaam’s donkey sees an angel of God and refuses to move any further. Balaam hits the donkey. God speaks through the mouth of the donkey to tell him not to curse the Israelites. Instead of cursing the Israelites, Balaam blesses them.