TOS Blog

Shabbat Shira: Singing our Way Forward
Posted on February 3, 2023

Shabbat Shira: Singing our Way Forward

February 3, 2023 This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shira (the Shabbat of Song) because in this week’s Torah reading, we have the Song at the Sea! From this section we take the words of Mi Chamocha – the blessing for redemption traditionally recited as part of the morning and evening Shema each day, and …

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Remember their Names, Remember their Stories: A Reflection on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Posted on January 27, 2023

Remember their Names, Remember their Stories: A Reflection on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2023 Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a UN-designated day to mark the day that Auschwitz was liberated in 1945. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency explains: “While Jewish communities traditionally observe Yom HaShoah, which typically falls in April to mark the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, tomorrow’s commemoration is often …

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Making Jewish Choices
Posted on January 20, 2023

Making Jewish Choices

January 20, 2023 “What’s the last Jewish choice you made?”  This was the first question posed by Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath, the Senior Director of Knowledge, Ideas and Learning at The Jewish Education Project, author of #antisemitism: Coming of Age During the Resurgence of Hate, and the facilitator of the lunch-and-learn I attended the other day on empowering learners (primarily …

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Pausing to Notice, to Question, and to Serve with our Soul:   Moses, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Burning Bush
Posted on January 13, 2023

Pausing to Notice, to Question, and to Serve with our Soul: Moses, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Burning Bush

January 13, 2023 This Shabbat, the weekend on which we commemorate the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, we also enter into the book of Exodus. Of course, the narrative of our people’s enslavement and redemption, and the leadership of Moses, have layers of resonance with the life and work of Dr. King. …

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Chesed v’Emet, Acts of True Kindness & Re-igniting Kayla’s Caring Community
Posted on January 6, 2023

Chesed v’Emet, Acts of True Kindness & Re-igniting Kayla’s Caring Community

January 6, 2023 For many of us, January marks an opportunity for making headway on our New Year’s resolutions – tackling new projects, or revisiting previous ones that have been left by the wayside, or getting more involved in communities or activities we care about.  Just as the new year begins, the book of Genesis …

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Eid el-Banat/Chag HaBanot: Celebrating Women in the Month of Tevet
Posted on December 30, 2022

Eid el-Banat/Chag HaBanot: Celebrating Women in the Month of Tevet

December 30, 2022 As we make our way toward the close of the Gregorian calendar year of 2022, we find ourselves only 4 months into the Hebrew calendar, having just entered the month of Tevet, at the end of Hanukkah. And though we’re a week into the month, I am compelled to share a tradition …

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Bringing out the Hidden Light: A Shabbat Message from Rabbi Berkman for the 6th Night of Hanukkah
Posted on December 23, 2022

Bringing out the Hidden Light: A Shabbat Message from Rabbi Berkman for the 6th Night of Hanukkah

December 23, 2022 On Wednesday night, on the fourth night of Hanukkah, the balance of light and not-yet-light shifted, as we reached the halfway point of the holiday. So, too, the balance of day and night shifted with the winter solstice on Wednesday night. What an amazing alignment, as the light grows, inviting us to …

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Community Refrigerator
Posted on December 14, 2022

Community Refrigerator

There’s this refrigerator out on the street             between the coffee shop             and the ice cream shop. The idea is for people to put what they can into the refrigerator             and for people to take what they need                         from the refrigerator. Honor system. Nobody checks to see if you actually need some …

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Tochacha, Protest, and Building Moments of Faith
Posted on May 27, 2022

Tochacha, Protest, and Building Moments of Faith

This Shabbat we complete the third book of Torah, the book of Leviticus, with parashat Bechukotai. After being told the rewards that they will receive if they follow God’s laws and faithfully observe God’s commandments, God tells the Israelites: But if you do not obey Me and do not observe all these commandments, if you …

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