Something New Under the Sun

Yom Kippur Day 5779

To watch Rabbi Greene give her sermon, click here.  “They called her a THOT,” the female counselors shared one night during a staff meeting this summer. “The 6th grade boys, they called a THOT” “What’s a THOT?”, I chimed in? The counselors giggled at my naive question. “No but, really, I asked again, what’s a “THOT”? They all paused sheepishly, until the Unit Head took one for the team, “Rabbi,” she ...

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Three Simple Summer Tasks

Reflections

My Summer To-Do List: 1. Take a long walk. 2. Read a good book. 3. Make a new friend. Advice I learned from Rabbi Lisa Greene, who often quoted her father, Rabbi Barry Greene’s annual summer to-do list (and no we are not related). Take a long walk. I hope to take many long walks. I love summer in Chicago. When the weather is nice, I try my best to be outside. I think Rabbi Barry Greene’s advice was poignant -- for what happens on those long walks? My mind wanders, and yet I ...

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Israel: A Journey

Reflections

“Your trip can be just another vacation, or it can be the journey of your life,” writes Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman in his book Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide. I still remember my first trip to Israel. I was 18 years old, a senior in High School. It was a teen trip through my home syangogue. I still remember the first time I stepped off the bus. That first breath of fresh air. I’d always heard stories of people kissing the ground upon landing in Israel. The Tel Aviv airport...

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Purim Renewed

Reflections

As a young child, I loved the holiday of Purim. I would dress up, usually as Queen Esther, head to temple, watch the Purim Spiel and win prizes from playing games at the carnival. One year, dressed in a poofy 80s pink dress, I even ended up in the local newspaper! But, likely, between the ages of 9-22, with the exception of one celebration in Israel, I forgot about the holiday. It seemed, after all, to be a children’s holiday. My love for the holiday of Purim returned when I entered ra...

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The Door Marked "Teshuva"

Yom Kippur 5778

When you enter the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, you have a choice to enter through one of two doors: a door marked PREJUDICED or a door marked UNPREJUDICED. A door marked PREJUDICED or a door marked UNPREJUDICED. Which door would you choose? What if the doors were marked with the character traits GENEROUS and GREEDY? Which attribute describes you? Which door would you go through? Or what about MERCIFUL and JUDGMENTAL? Which door would you enter? Chances are, you picked the good doo...

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On Becoming a Bat/Bar Mitzvah

Reflections

March 11, 2000. The day I became a Bat Mitzvah. The Torah portion was Pekudei, the very last Torah portion in the book of Exodus. I chanted both my Torah and Haftarah, and then I delivered my very first d’var Torah. My Torah portion was about building the Tabernacle and all of the details needed to set its foundation. That morning I shared with my family and friends that my Bat Mitzvah was the foundation of my Tabernacle, for it was only the beginning of my Jewish journey... I was only ...

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The Meaning of Life

CCAR Journal Article by Rabbis Limmer and Greene

CCAR Journal| Winter 2017 ~   The Meaning of Life:  An Intergenerational Literary Conversation among Max Fitzgerald, Rabbi Amanda Greene,  and Rabbi Seth Limmer (Chicago Sinai)

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St. Barnabas Interfaith Gathering: You Are My Neighbor

Hinei Mah Tov U’mah naim, shevet achim gam yachad. How wonderful it is to be here today, to stand beside you, to stand amongst our Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters. For at its core, this is our Jewish obligation, to not only stand beside our partners in faith, but to stand WITH you. And that is why I am deeply honored to be here this evening to stand WITH you -- Our Jewish story teaches us over and over again the story of redemption. 36 times in our Torah, in the Five Book...

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Chicago Sinai Torah scrolls

Reflections

Chicago Sinai Torah scrolls are filled with many stories... But, most recently, I learned that one of our Torah scrolls stands tall in the American History Museum in Washington, DC. Chicago Sinai Torah scrolls are filled with many stories. Not just the stories of the five books of Moses. Or the stories about our students reading from the sacred texts. Not just the story of the journey our Torah scroll made from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC last summer. But, most recently, I learned that...

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2016 It Wasn't So Bad After All

Shabbat Service

I don’t know about you, but lately, all I keep hearing and reading is how horrible this year, 2016 has been. Just a week ago, my facebook newsfeed flooded with the following statements:  “Seriously 2016, I’m so done with you. RIP George Michael.”  “2016 you are the worst. We love you George Michael.” This wasn’t the first time I saw these remarks, and it wasn’t the last. Only two days later, when we learned that Carrie Fisher died, I a...

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