Ten Minutes of Torah: The New Reform Machzor and the Shofar Service: Part 1


Part One: Don’t “Bury the Lead,” or Why We Have Placed the Shofar Service into Three Parts of the Service

The traditional High Holy Day prayer book, as opposed to the Reform versions produced in the last century and more, includes a service, musaf, that evokes the ancient sacrifices. Reform Judaism abandoned this service, due to its musty connotations of “barbarian” rites but a key element of this service on Rosh Hashanah, the sounding of the shofar was maintained. Sounding of the shofar was retained no doubt because the very essence of Rosh Hashanah is bound up in the peal of the shofar. Can you imagine Rosh Hashanah without it?


They leave their mark on you. When my wife Esther and I joined the Temple Sholom community, we had a lot of opportunities to become involved in it. And when we heard that congregants were working on sustainability issues, we jumped at the chance to help out. I can’t tell you every reason why, but I can tell you that a sense of place plays a part in it. …

Why Did We Choose the Name Eco-Chavura?

What’s in a name? Sometimes a lot. When we first started meeting as a group it became apparent that we each had our own nomenclature. Some of us used “Green Team”, some used “GreenFaith Initiative”, and others referred to us as the” Environmental Group”. We knew we needed to brand ourselves in a way that it made it clear what our purpose and values were…

Marriage Equality at Temple Sholom

Bill Healey and I were married at Temple Sholom on Sunday August 1, 2010 At that point in our relationship we had been together for 23 years.

Having an actual wedding never occurred to us, as odd as that sounds. We had met with Rabbi Shoshanah Conover one morning to discuss our spiritual experience and how it related to Temple Sholom. Bill is Catholic but had not found a spiritual home since moving back to Chicago 9 years ago.

The Biggest Blight on our Beach

There we were, Allie, Ascher and I, last Sunday on Montrose Beach on a bright and sunny, but windy, spring day. We had joined the Temple’s new Eco Chavura for Olam HaMitzvot and their Adopt-a-Beach program.

Cuba Libre for Temple Sholom

I’m typing this Blog (my first ever) on my iPhone from Cuba, on the drive from Havana to Cienfuegos, which is ironic since the vast majority of Cubans have never seen an iPad, or iPhone, or really any cell phone or smartphone for that matter. Of course, it will have to be sent when I get to the hotel since there’s no cell service available to us while out and about and I only hope the Internet is working – I’m told the service is spotty. It’s refreshing to walk down the street and not see people attached to their cell phones and smart phones as they walk (and drive).

Will the New Pope Be Good for the Jews?

Quite a lot of Jewish ink has been spilled over the last few weeks analyzing the pontificate of the now retired Benedict XVI, prognosticating on who might be his successor, and, once announced, reporting every detail of Francis’ history with the Jewish community.

Some words on Marriage Equality from Rabbi Conover

It’s almost hard to recall the sunny, forty-five degree weather I encountered in Springfield, Illinois, as I now sit in freezing, snow-covered Chicago. On Wednesday, I drove to our state capitol with Rabbi Max Weiss where we met forty other clergy members to lobby for Marriage Equality.