The Day After: Recovering Hope in a Time of Trauma

Rosh Hashanah Day Two | Rabbi D'ror Chankin-Gould | September 20, 2020

How are you going to feel the day after the Coronavirus? When this is all over, when the disease is vanquished, can you imagine how deeply you’ll breathe? That tightness in your chest, the knot that won’t let go… what will it feel like when it’s just… gone? When we can go “back to normal,” Continue Reading »


Rosh Hashanah Day Two | Rabbi David Russo | September 20, 2020

Shana tova! I want you to think back to 2019 with me for a moment. And I know, it’s hard to remember a time before March of 2020. But I want to think back to the end of December, 2019. One of the things that I mentioned last year during the High Holy Days is Continue Reading »


Rosh Hashanah Day One | Rabbi David Russo | September 19, 2020

Shana tova! Don’t you love it when someone reframes or changes your perspective on something that you’ve thought about forever? I want to let you in on two facts about me, both of them geeky. First, I’m part of a Facebook group called Ask the Beit Midrash. People ask random questions about Jewish thought, and Continue Reading »

The Limits of The Emergency Room

Rosh Hashanah Day One | Rabbi D'ror Chankin-Gould | September 19, 2020

I couldn’t put down my phone. I was in Galena, on a short vacation with my family. We rented a house in the midst of nature. It was glorious. The space to breathe without a mask was healing. The time away from responsibilities was liberating. But I couldn’t stop checking my email. And my texts. Continue Reading »

Whether Imagination is a Source of Power or Disempowerment is Up to You

Shelach-Lecha | Rabbi Michael Siegel | June 20, 2020

This morning, I would like to speak to you about the power of imagination.  Here, let me put great emphasis on power.  It was none other than Albert Einstein who was able to imagine things happening in the universe that are only now being verified.  “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces Continue Reading »

Remarks on the Juneteenth March

Rabbi Michael Siegel | June 19, 2020

What an amazing sight this is! I have been on a journey with Pastor Chris Harris for the past 8 years and we have walked a great distance together. Chris, I am so proud of the way that you, along with an army of Bright Star volunteers, have brought together elected officials, corporate leaders and Continue Reading »

Shalom, Not Peace

Naso | Rabbi Michael Siegel | June 6, 2020

Sometime in the 8th Century, a silversmith etched Hebrew letters on a small piece of thin, pounded silver. It was then folded and presumably worn either as jewelry or pinned to the person’s clothing. This tiny sliver of silver contains the earliest example of Hebrew writing in the world today. For those who would deny Continue Reading »

The Silver Platter Upon Which Our Freedom Rests: Thoughts on Yom HaZikaron and Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron | Rabbi Michael Siegel | May 23, 2020

I experienced Yom HaZikaron only once in the land of Israel, but I never forgot it. Yom HaZikaron is the Israeli version of Memorial Day, a 24-hour period set aside for a nation to remember its fallen soldiers. At 8 p.m., sirens blast throughout the country announcing this most solemn day. The seriousness with which Continue Reading »

The Excellence that Comes from Pursuing Perfection: What I Learned About the Jubilee Year from Vince Lombardi

Behar-Behukotai | Rabbi Michael Siegel | May 16, 2020

Growing up in Cleveland in the 60’s, football was the civil religion. No matter what part of the city you lived in, your politics, religion, race, or socioeconomic standing, the one thing that everyone could agree on was their love of the Cleveland Browns. I can still remember the excitement of a Sunday as game Continue Reading »

Making Sense of the Non Sequitur’s of Our Society

Emor | Rabbi Michael Siegel | May 12, 2020

In these days of COVID 19 it is important to find reasons to smile; opportunities for laughter. There are certain comedians that make me smile without even having to watch their routines. I just have to hear their names.  For me, the Marx Brothers, the antics of Groucho, Harpo, and Chico, rank high on my Continue Reading »