Tag Archives: Jewish People

Israel is calling – let’s go!

12 Feb

by Rabbi Jonathan Freirich

Register for the TBE Family Trip to Israel by March 6, 2015!
Trip dates: June 21 – July 2, 2015

Link to trip details and registration information: Click here

With all of the news about Israel we often lose sight of the best aspects of our relationship with Israel as Jews – the senses of wonder, home, belonging, and connection to our extended Jewish family that we get when we visit.

My first trip to Israel as an adult was in 1990 and my romance with the place continues after more than three years of living there at three separate times, through multiple trips with congregations, leading three Birthright trips, and the opportunities to dwell in diverse parts of the country: Jerusalem, on a Kibbutz in the north, and in Arad, a small city in the Negev desert.

Through work in kiwi fields, study in both modern university and yeshiva settings, time learning from the vivid and evocative locations – every place in Israel speaks to us – and exploring the tangled difficulties of creating a Jewish democracy, I feel my life even more intertwined with the destiny of our people through my relationship with Israel.

Join me and many Temple Beth El families this summer for an amazing tour of Israel. We will go many places, touching on the most important highlights as a trip for first-time visitors. We will also spend enough energy and attention in each of our destinations so we can get a profound glimpse at the layers of the people and history that saturate our Jewish homeland.

Please register soon, as the deadline approaches:

March 6, 2015 is our deadline

and the link to register is here: TBE Family Trip Registration


Image source


Soul Prints – Rabbi Judy Returns from Interfaith Journey to Israel

12 Mar

It is great to be home after a most inspiring journey to Israel with our decades long partner in dialogue Myers Park Baptist Church. I missed my husband and kids.

Here is the poem I wrote this morning called
“Soul Prints (Interfaith Journey 2013)”

Toward the altar of old, Jews travelled from the farthest places to Jerusalem.
With sacrifices in hand, they hoped to appeal to the Divine.
Toward the altars of today, Jews and Christians travel to the holy land.
Some bring empty offerings – tourists snapping pictures and purchasing postcards.
Others bring sincere sacrifices – pilgrims saying prayers and meditating on their purpose.
Tourists leave foot prints.
Pilgrims leave soul prints.
The sacred dust that attached to the cloth where they dried their weeping eyes
Is their souvenir calling them to act.
Jerusalem JDKling

Elul Parashah thought of the day – Lech L’cha

23 Aug

An Elul thought a day on each of the Torah readings of the year continues – parashat ha-yom!

For today we look at Lech L’cha, the third parashah of the Torah, Genesis 12:1 – 17:27. Here we learn of the life of Abram, who becomes Abraham, the ancestor of the Hebrew people.

One of the many themes of these stories is challenging the divine – Abraham questions God on the fate of the dwellers of Sodom as well as how Abraham will sire a great nation without offspring.

In Elul, we challenge the order of things, we look back over the last year and see what didn’t work out well, and try to return to them so as to set them right. We engage with the past to build a better present and future.