Gingerbread for Hanukkah: DeLight or Diminish?

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Last week, five different people wrote me asking if making a gingerbread Hanukkah house might be a welcoming compromise for intermarried families and for those experiencing Christmas envy.

Jewish Spiritual Masters: Do We Have Them?

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo credit: Google images Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Jewish Spiritual Masters: Do We Have Them?
Rabbi Dr. Goldie Milgram

Guest Lecturer, Sarasota Liberal Yeshiva

Thanksgiving: From Tension to Connection on a Train

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Photo Credit: Barry Bub

Radio Times yesterday offered discussion of a study showing a positive impact on the well-being of commuters who chatted with the strangers sitting nearby.

Signs and Wonders

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

 Sometimes the way ahead seems uncertain, and we wish we had a clear sign of our best path forward. We want a sign from God.

No Deposit, No Return

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

 It was 1976 and I’d been alienated from Temple life for 20 years. Not that my parents didn’t try: they insisted my family and I come with them every year to High Holidays, and then lovingly guilt-tripped me into joining a synagogue “for the sake of the children.”

Blessing: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

 In this season of gift giving it is good to remember that one of the best gifts we can bestow on others does not cost money or come wrapped in gift paper with ribbons. It is the gift of a blessing- a prayer for well being. In Genesis 48:15-16, Jacob-- now called Israel-- blesses Joseph’s two sons with the following words:

Text Your Thanksgivukkah Knowledge: Reb Goldie's Dreidel Quiz

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
My students ask me, "Rabbi Goldie, just what gives?
Is celebrating Thanksgivukkah really the way a good Jew lives?"

There is only one way I know to decide:
By the dreidel's spin, you'll have to abide.

Here is how it works, you should pardon the mention,
of these Five Thanksgivukkah Academic Spin K'vetch-tions:

R' Shohama -- Struggling with Ourselves and with God

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

 Life is never simple, and the struggle to overcome fear and be a better person is a continuing journey of wrestling so that holy Light may prevail.  We see this clearly in the well known story of Jacob wrestling with the angel.

On the Shoulders of Imperfect Giants

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

How many of us have a Hebrew name somewhere in our family line like Avraham, Sarah,Yitchak (Isaac), Rivkah (Rebecca), or Ya’akov(Jacob), Rachel or Leah? The Torah portions in Genesis, from Lech Lcha through Vayeishev, tell the stories of our Avot and Imahot, our Fathers and Mothers in Israel. They received G!d's blessings for themselves and for the people Israel, and carried our Jewish heritage through many times that were challenging.

G!d & Community as our Shield & Protector

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |


Our forefather Avram had his name changed by G!d to Av-raham, father of multitudes.  His life was not easy. At age 75 he heard G!d telling him to leave his home, and that “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3)

Heeding the call he travelled to Canaan where there was a famine, then down to Egypt where his wife was nearly taken by the Pharoah, then back to Canaan. There his beloved nephew Lot was captured and he had to battle against five kings to free him.