Ner Tamid - Keeping the Flame Lit

Winter 2020 Bulletin Article

I still remember the day when I was in 10th grade confirmation learning my Temple’s best kept secret. For as long as I could remember, a light hung above the ark in the sanctuary. The ner tamid, or eternal light, as I learned it was called in religious school. The truth is, I never bothered to ask how the light stayed lit, and never went out. It sort of felt like magic. But as I grew older, I assumed there was some secret to the light staying lit, and on that first night of Confirmation...

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What Are We Going to Do About It?

Yom Kippur Day 5780

It was a Saturday morning around 8am. I picked up a few dozen donuts and drove to Sinai to deliver breakfast to our 5th and 6th students who spent the night sleeping at the temple. When I arrived, half of the students were barely awake, struggling to pack up their sleeping bags,  and the other half  had a ton of energy, “we’ve been awake since 5, rabbi!”. And by 9, all students had been picked up. I got in my car feeling like the Shabbat sleepover was a success. Th...

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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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