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An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi KleinIn thinking of my own Jewish education, I first learned to read Hebrew, and only much later got to a point where I could speak with any similar fluency to what I read. It took years in the making and maybe that's because it should have been flipped over—speaking before reading.Dae SelcerExactly. And in fact, one of the real science-based practices is moving from speech to print, and that's actually the title of a very excellent book by Dr. Louisa Moats for anyone out there who's interested to dig in more. There's some technical stuff in there, but it's a little bit more accessible than reading an article in a scholarly journal. I highly recommend it. But yes, moving from speech to print is the way that we develop very strong readers.And as you say, language is so important, and we should be thinking about reading as a manifestation of language. There’s a famous idea out there in the research called the simple view of reading which was proposed by Gough and Tunmer in the eighties. It says that good reading comprehension is the product of one’s ability to decode multiplied by your ability to comprehend language.You need both those pieces, right? You need to be able to associate speech sounds to words, but you also need to understand the language that you're speaking.You could probably teach me to read in Finnish pretty quickly because Finnish is a very regular language. However, I wouldn't have good reading comprehension because I wouldn't understand the words that I was reading. You need both. You need associating sounds with words and letters, but you also need deep comprehension of spoken language, which is something that's often neglected.So bringing it back to the Jewish lens: what did the rabbis teach us about prayer? It’s not enough to just be saying the words, you must look at the words. But it's not enough to just look at the words, you must have that kavannah, that intention inside of you. And when I think about the science of reading, I think of that kavannah as really comprehending what we're reading.We need to be skilled decoders, but we also need to be thinking about what it is that we're doing at the same time. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.  
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi ZimmermanWe wanted to talk today about the swastika that you just sent to temple. And I opened it up recently and I guess I didn't expect my reaction to be so visceral. Not only is it a swastika, but there's wheat hanging out of it. It looks so innocent and yet it isn't.So tell us the story of the swastikas, how you worked so hard to get them removed, and the whole St. Cloud story around the swastikas.Rabbi EdelheitThey were on the outside of the building of St. Mary's cathedral in downtown St. Cloud.  The cathedral burnt to the ground and was rebuilt between 1927 and 1931. They used the plans of a third century cathedral Basilica in Rome. It had hakenkreuze, the broken cross, represented on five stone circular frames, and you're correct with wheat. These were on the upper part of the outside of the building. And they remained on the building, but now they were not hakenkreuze. They were swastikas because the swastika became the universally known recognized symbol of the national socialists after 1935. I want to make sure no one misunderstands the Catholic church did not put up swastikas. They put up a third century of the common era, old, old pre-medieval Christian symbol called the broken cross. That same symbol—used by Hindus and used by native Americans—became swastikas once the national socialists took over.Rabbi ZimmermanThat is so important.Rabbi EdelheitWhen I retired from Temple Israel, I took a position at St. Cloud State, which was a part of a settlement of a tragic federal class action lawsuit, Zamora et al, where a group of faculty sued the single campus St. Cloud State and the state university system over allegations of antisemitism in employment practice.That case was not litigated but settled. As part of the settlement, $1.5 million was set aside to create a Jewish presence on the St. Cloud State campus. Ari Zmora, an Israeli, was the named plaintiff in this suit. He brought Israeli television to St. Cloud and they televised the hakenkreuze swastikas on the church. So, Minnesota has Catholic churches with swastikas.  There were a group of activists, professors from the human relations department who would take their students down to the church to protest these swastikas.When your friend Joseph Edelheit was hired, one of the first things they asked is, can you do something about the swastikas? So I went and, as you well know, I knocked on the door and became friends with the priest, the rector of the cathedral. No one had ever talked to the priest or met with the parish council.I established a relationship with him and he said, “apologetically and with shame, we know they have to come down. The parish has grown very small. We can no longer afford to replace them, take them down and replace them. We want to, but we can't do it anymore. How much will it take? He gave me a number.”I made a few calls and raised 80% of it for him, from members of the Jewish community. He raised the rest. What was important was he invited me to teach a class to his church. It was the first time he had ever been in dialogue with a rabbi. They then planned and had five new outside pendants made to meet the standards of Rome and the hakenkreuze were taken down. I was given one of them as a gift for helping remove it.I was also invited to participate in the service where the new pendants were sanctified by the Bishop. I was the first non-Christian ever to be asked to preach in the cathedral of St. Mary. Rabbi ZimmermanSo what did you say? What did you say to the congregation? Rabbi EdelheitI talked to them about what it means to bear the burden of history.****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi ZimmermanI am a rabbi who cooks and I love being involved in your cookbooks. They're amazing because of the food and the rose water and all the beautiful tastes and smells that come from every one of your recipes. Now I’m wondering—we've gone through COVID. How has that changed the reality of food and gathering around food? What, what for you is essential about bringing people around the table in the time that we're living in right here, right now?Yotam OttolenghiThe key word there is essential because I think the way I’ve changed my perspective is about what are the essentials. We've all had that notion that certain things had to be done in one particular way, in another particular way. And that often applies in the kitchen, but I think what we've discovered is that there's many ways to do things. COVID forced us into this from the very beginning where there's a shortage of ingredients and in some supermarkets, we couldn't get what we wanted to, what we thought we needed.All of a sudden we were stuck with things that were maybe a bit less glamorous, a bit less exciting. You know, like a can of chickpeas or a bag of short grain rice. We dug up things from the bottom of the back of the freezer that were never going to be that the stars of the party, right? I think that was a really wonderful wake up call because it means that you understand that you can create delicious meals with what you had. I saw that I could still create delicious meals with whatever was there. This thinking on your feet was a bit like people in previous generations used to do. They would go out to the shop every time they needed just a bit of fish or a fillet of beef. There was just not that kind of sense of abundance that we were used to now.But this new situation has led a lot of creativity. In my home, I can tell you we served lots of curries because we just had lots of lentils and split peas and things like that. Or, with whatever vegetables that were around, often I would slow cook them into something. I would cook eggs into something a bit like a shakshuka, but with whatever was available. All of a sudden you make do because otherwise, you know, you're going to just sit around and pray for the day, pray to go back in time.Now we are all thinking creatively, thinking on our feet, and just doing things slightly differently. This is one of the lessons of this time.****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi Moss: What is your midrash—your interpretation, expansion, understanding, digging up and finding some gold—of the word Rimon and what it means for the organization today?David Harris: Well, Rimon is the Hebrew word for pomegranate. It is one of our most ancient symbols. And of course, what is the pomegranate famous for? Its seeds! And the seeds have been interpreted in many different ways. For some, they are the 613 mitzvot.But they also have a more general interpretation, which is of fertility, of creativity, of the multiplicity of ideas that spring from each of our heads. And so in Rimon, we've mostly looked at that symbol as an expression of what diversity is, what the full spectrum of art forms are. The many paths that artists walk; the many paths that communities walk.So we look at the Rimon as inspiration in the sense of why variety is critical to how we understand ourselves and how we respect each other. Sometimes people like to bring it to my attention that in modern Israeli life, Rimon has another meaning, which I believe is a hand grenade. So it's something very explosive and let's face it, art can be explosive. It can absolutely tear open the status quo and make us see something we had never seen before. Rabbi Moss: And in a less violent, but just as visceral way, the pomegranate juice stains or dyes in such a deep way. That also can be the effect that art can have on us, leaving a permanent imprint in a vibrant color.David Harris: That's beautiful. I should also say that the Rimon plays a role in how we decorate the Torah scrolls itself referring to its beautiful crowns which are called rimonim, the plural of Rimon, because they do look like pomegranates.The rimon—it is explosive, it is beautiful. It stains our fingers. That’s exactly how art should be described. It is the stain that says with you after you’ve left the room. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, the podcast of Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi Zimmerman: So talk to me about the art of preaching, where you learned it, who are your role models and how you continue to work on it? Reverend McDavid: I'm grateful that I had old-school parents who took me to church every Sunday. I grew up in one of those houses where it just wasn't optional. Right. We may have missed church one Sunday a year. And so I was always hearing it: the amazing artistry that is the black preaching experience, right. I think my dad started to do something around the time I was in the middle school. He would take me to rank and chapel, which is on the campus of Howard university. But every week, Rankin chapel would feature a nationally known preacher from somewhere in the country. Wow, hearing some folk who just were masters of the craft, right. Men and women who were lauded everywhere for the work that they had done. That planted the seeds for my interests that would grow and develop at Morehouse. I really give credit to that space more than any other for really developing my abilities as a preacher, and for understanding what it means to search our texts and scriptures in the fullest way possible to find what is there that can speak to the present moment and the pain that individuals are carrying. My early teachers of preaching taught us that every moment of the pulpit is life or death; that you never know how weak somebody may be and how fragile they may be on that given Sunday or whatever moment you may be preaching. And that that time is valuable. And so never to waste a single word, sentence, or paragraph, because there is an opportunity for, through the power of God, for you to help save someone's life.And so always think about that. It's just a huge privilege and enormous burden at the same time, but that's the beauty of the work we're doing. And so I was there at Morehouse under the tutelage of Dean Lawrence Edward Carter. He's been the Dean of the Martin Luther king chapel there for 40 years teaching and so it was beautiful to be there. And that's where I've found my circle. So many of the folks that you saw on that installation day shared in that lineage of coming out of Morehouse and that great tradition of preachers; others, I met along the way in seminary while I was at Union Theological Seminary. I got to study under Dr. Lisa Thompson. I was working under Pastor Michael Walrond in New York and Harlem. They and others mean so much to me because they took the hours of opening you up to a text and saying, okay, find the message here, find the meaning. What is this speaking to in our current predicament? You would have a sermon idea and they said, “that's not good enough drill a little deeper. You can go a little deeper. You can reach for it. Find what is the essence of what God wants to say.” So much of what I do, and this also goes back to my time at Union, is thinking about the psychology of religion. What are the tonalities psychologically in the texts that may relate to our current dilemma? We are such a busy people, right? And I think I had one person, one mentor who told me, you know, unfortunately part of the pastorate in the capitalist society that we live in is that you get paid to stop, sit, breathe, and think, so that you can come up with these sermons and these messages from God that other folk are too busy to hear.Right, that everyone else is running and constantly on this grind, trying to keep up with the demands of the life that we live and that the goal of the pastor, priest, clergy, is to actually take time to seriously pause, breathe, listen, pray and hear from the spirit as to what needs to be said. It'd be great if we could all do that but our world doesn't allow for that. So we have to stand in that gap. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, the podcast of Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi MossWhat is Mussar? Julie DeanIt’s no secret that character has become a huge topic of conversation in this country. How are we living? What are our values? How do we treat one another? Character is this very important topic of how we’re choosing to show up in the world. In the Jewish world we used to refer to it as being a mensch, you know as simple as that. Am I living my values? Mussar is a Jewish spiritual pathway that comes out of 19th century Eastern Europe. It contains the idea that at a certain point in our lives we can wake up and make choices about how we are in the world. For a while I’m reacting to the influences of how I grew up, and I cultivate certain character traits based on my experiences. And then I reach a certain point of introspection where I can go, “are those responses to the world really serving me and others as best they could. Through a practice of learning, introspection, and creating small doable changes, I can make adjustments in how I respond to the world around me. In essence, it is the ever-evolving practice of becoming a mensch. Rabbi MossI love that definition. I’m currently in a class that you’re teaching, in which you are training myself and others to be facilitators of a mussar va’ad, a facilitated group that is one of the main modes of mussar practice. Julie, could you explain the way a va’ad functions as a seminal structure of mussar practice. Julie DeanSure, so within mussar, there is the opportunity to be part of a va’ad--a small group of maybe 6-12 participants. We meet in small groups, whether on Zoom or in person, and we look at a certain character trait through a Jewish lens and through the lens of our own lives. We talk about where this midah, or character trait, shows up in our own soul curriculum. My life has all kinds of experiences that take place, and I can learn from those experiences.  So in the va’ad, we take a given character trait such as patience, generosity, compassion, anger, honor, and many others. We study this middah, examine where it appears in our daily life, and ask where I could make a small change. What would be a small doable step to become more patient, for example?  Being human is messy business. Judaism tells us that everyone is a holy soul. We hold these two ideas together. We’re not fixing something that is bad or broken in ourselves, but we’re currently working on our evolving development as people. There’s good humor when we do this together as a group. And I can learn from another’s experiences and insights. Everyone is a teacher and a learner in a mussar group. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi ZimmermanYou’ve really taken up this artform of sofrut, Jewish scribal arts. How did you get into it? How did this intense passion emerge? Rabbi HornsteinSofrut has been a powerful spiritual practice for me, as art too has always been. There’s something that happens when you’re doing something creative in that you become a vessel for and partner with the divine in a more embodied way. You get in that weird time warp when you get in the zone creatively. You say “wow I made that” but you also feel like you didn’t make it alone in a way. Creation is something that happens all the time. When we do creative things we become part of that act in a more direct way.  I discovered sofrut this past year from a friend at RRC, Rabbi Rebecca Richman. I was so interested in what she was doing with this visual medium. I was never so connected to singing the prayers. I found a way into prayer but it never was a natural fit like visual art was. So I was excited to find this visual and spiritual art form within Judaism of sofrut. I got connected with a teacher and just found it all to be really powerful. There’s this rich tradition in Judaism of scribing and the laws surrounding it. I liked the idea that you could have a discipline within your spiritual practice and follow in the footsteps of people who have also connected to God in that way. What a lot of Jews find in prayer, I found in scribing. I like that there are these rules with a whole theology behind it. The Keset HaSofer is a book that covers the laws for scribes. It opens up by basically saying, be careful scribes! Scribes can create worlds and destroy worlds! You have to really follow the rules. It is powerful, magical stuff here.  There’s a big tradition in Judaism of letters really having power, and God existing in the Torah and in the written word. So it’s not something to take lightly that you’re bringing that into the world.  If you make mezuzah it has to look like mezuzot have looked forever. And you know there’s all these rules for how to write the name of God because God is there in that name that you write. You have to be careful, pause, have an intention or kavanah. You have to say a prayer and really get into the mindset to bring God into the world. I like that mystical part of it too. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Sandy Divack Moss At that time, the value proposition was that each generation had as much to gain from the other. It wasn’t about doing for the elderly. Of course, there was a lot of doing for the elderly, but there was also mutual learning. In my parents’ generation of American Jewish life, the focus was on assimilation. So my peers had so much to learn from the previous generation about how to live a Jewish life. Rabbi Moss What you’re talking about is something that drew me to the rabbinate and synagogue life in particular. I think in contemporary society, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for intergenerational connection. We don’t all live in a small town with a town center where you’re interacting across generations. But at the synagogue, like you’ve been saying, there’s so much for younger people to learn from older people, and vice-versa. Sandy Divack Moss I came up with the idea of conference call seders. It struck me that Passover is such an important thing, and there were these homebound people that couldn’t have a seder. I remember a particular woman who had MS and was bed-bound, but wanted to be part of a seder. So we delivered all the accoutrement, including of course a haggadah and a shankbone. At the time, the only way you could set up conference calls was to work through New York Telephone. So we’d give them, say, the 10 numbers we needed to hook together. And I got these young people to commit to run the conference call seders so the shut-in elderly would join together for a seder and then that eventually morphed into what still exists today at DOROT, a University Without Walls. So we pushed the conference call seders into other forms throughout the year on different topics. For example, everyone would watch Phil Donahue, which was like the Oprah of the time, and then would have the opportunity to talk together. Rabbi Moss That sounds like a precursor to what’s been happening during this pandemic. Many synagogues have always known in some way, but really realized and materialized during this period, that there are a lot of people who can’t come to the synagogue for a variety of reasons, and we can do so much more to meet people where they’re at and leverage technology—yours that existed since the 80s and now new tech today—to bring as much Jewish life to as many people as we can. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Dr. RudnickShould there be limits on what we should do or study? Are there questions we should not investigate or ask? What are you going to say when I tell you I know why this is true? Let’s say science could tell you, from an evolutionary standpoint, why there is yetzer hara (evil inclination) and yetzer hatov (good inclination). Is that going to diminish it for you?Rabbi GlaserI read the Yuval Harari books, Sapiens & Homo Deus. As I was reading them I thought, wow this guy is really pulling apart the universe into its component parts. He wants to explain scientific rationalizations for everything. When I finished it, I was both incensed and really mobilized. I was jazzed up. When I read it I thought, huh, yeah you do think that…but you’re wrong! There was something inside me that was arguing with his very practical consideration of everything.So my answer to your question would be, no, we should not stop analyzing. There should not be limits. Keep doing it! But always have one eye on the people that have faith in certain aspects that might be unanalyzable. I don’t think it’s a problem. I think it’s good when scientists and theologians sit down together. In fact, it might be the only solution for the planet’s problems because if we look at what’s being done environmentally to this world, and we look at it only from a scientific standpoint, I’m not sure that’s going to suffice.Dr. RudnickRight, in fact we know it’s not. We know, for example, with all the misinformation that we’re experiencing now, that just giving people more facts is not the answer. We need to understand something about them as human beings and where they’re coming from. Science can help with some of that, but cultural and religious understandings need to come into play as well to understand where people are.Rabbi GlaserThat answers your question, doesn’t it? Don’t limit what can be studied, but also don’t put all your marbles in that basket.Dr. RudnickI come into a similar conflict all the time. I go to services and read the liturgy, and we say things like “who causes the sun to rise in the morning and the moon at night.” First of all, it’s factually incorrect because the moon is up during the day as well, not just during the night. And we know why the sun rises and sets. Then there’s other things like, “who can count the stars?” Well, I can.Rabbi GlaserYou can and you have!Dr. RudnickSo I have to just sort of relax, because the language means other things. And we have to simultaneously be people and be these analytic creatures that are trying to understand in this other way.**************** Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi HartmanMichelle, my understanding is that Appetite for Change really brings together your passions for cooking, food, and social justice. Tell us about how AFC and Breaking Bread got started.Michele HorovitzAt the time, I wanted to use food as an organizing tool. To learn about what interventions or programs might be helpful, we really felt that we had to ask the community. I was able to partner with LaTasha and Princess, both African American women, both northsiders. Princess is from Chicago—she calls herself a refugee from Chicago—and LaTasha was born and raised on the northside. Even they felt like they couldn’t speak for the whole community. So we brought people together to cook, to meet at the cutting boards and at the stovetops, to have conversations about what change people wanted to see in themselves, in their families, in the community, centered around food. But because food touches so many parts of our lives, we also learned about what community members and young people want to see change in the broader society. Rabbi HartmanIf I remember correctly, you bring youth in to do gardening, work, and training. It feels like more than a restaurant, like it’s a community project.Michelle HorovitzTotally. Most people know us because of our Breaking Bread catering and restaurant but the Appetite for Change programming—our cooking workshops, our youth gardening and farming, the farmers’ market—that all came before Breaking Bread.Regarding our community meal program, we used to do just a little bit of community meals for housing or for youth programs, now we are doing 10,000 meals per week through Minnesota Central Kitchen.Our efforts have always been about leadership development, workforce development, getting people to a place where they can go out and make more money. If they’re interested, they can go climb this ladder which can be a great ladder to climb in food service management and hospitality. But there are more career paths than that coming out of this.With the minimum wage rising in lots of cities, food services is a great place for people—youth, people who’ve been incarcerated, etc.—to have a first job or re-enter the workforce.It is great how we can be a holistic resource for the community. We just built a greenhouse on the northside and are able to do some farming training for Black growers who are starting their business. It’s great to be working now so upstream. It is hard work what we do, but it is hopeful and uplifting.****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Michael O’ConnellI‘m grateful to be with you and my friends from Temple, and I say that in a very heartfelt way. I’ve had almost a thirty-year history with Temple. It’s framed who I am, certainly humanly from the opportunity to meet so many incredible people, but also spiritually. I cannot possibly think of myself as a Christian unless I at the same time understand that whatever that means, it is fundamentally rooted in Judaism. It is simply impossible to think of my Christian faith and who Jesus is without understanding that he was a Jew. He was a Galilean Jew. He was clueless about Catholics, and Protestants, and Muslims, and so on and so forth. Born a Galilean Jew, he died one. His mind, his heart, his body, and his soul were framed in that reference. That’s why I feel so close to the Jewish community.Rabbi ZimmermanI remember when we sat in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and I was honored to go into the area with the tomb with you. I’d been to the church many times, but never wanted to wait in line and as a Jew take up a place in that very long line of pilgrims, essentially. But you invited me in to be a witness. Talk about Jesus and the history of Jesus in Jerusalem, in Bethlehem, in the Galilee, and help temple listeners hear that history, because Jews don’t often know it and I’ve learned it so well from you.Michael O’ConnellI’ve been there 5 times. It’s the one place in the world I would still go back to. I don’t need to go any place else. It’s a pilgrimage. It’s going to the place that is the foundation of your faith. It’s going to a place where the visual impact is profound because you’ve been hearing stories for years, you’ve gone through the gospels and the Hebrew scriptures, and this is where it happened. Rabbi ZimmermanYes, walking up the southern steps of the Jerusalem Temple where Jesus walked, and likewise the place of Abraham and Sarah. The history is felt in your legs and your heart. It’s a powerful place.Michael O’ConnellThe last 3 times I’ve been there I’ve gone straight north. You go to Caesarea. You get to know Herod, because if you don’t know Herod, you don’t know Jesus. You need to know that context. And then the next choice is fundamental to me: to go to Nazareth. I believe in a strong appreciate faith that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But if you drill me to the wall on that one, and ask my real historical understanding, I think he was born in Nazareth.      The gospels tell the story of the birth in order to connect it to Jewish history, and Bethlehem as the place where the messiah is supposed to come from. And that’s a wonderful connection, but here’s my point. The hidden life of Jesus of Nazareth is what for me is so utterly fascinating. There’s virtually nothing we know about it. But he was there from post infancy until probably his twenties or even thirties. If you lived there, you were dirt poor. There was nothing cosmopolitan. It was a backwater. And that’s where he lived. So I’m fascinated by being there, and at one place in particular. There’s a big Catholic church there, but it’s a little bit Disney land. Half a block from that place, there’s a well that’s still there. And like any ancient city, the well was a very important place. It was the local post office where everybody got together, exchanged gossip, found out what was going on. And you might go there twice a day, and it was women who went with their jugs of water. There weren’t schools at the time so their kids came with them to the well. That’s the image that’s so powerful or me. When I go to the well, I just say what did this kid learn? Jesus’ mom taught him his faith. I strongly believe that the faith she taught him was essentially found in the Psalms. They’re beautiful, they’re poetry. It’s all there, the rachamim. The mercy.You know Christians were kind of dumb, talking about the Old Testament God versus the New Testamnt God—that the New Testament God was into rachamim and chesed, but the Old Testament God was judgmental and strict. It’s all baloney, it was the other way around. It’s all in the Psalms. It’s the wallpaper: compassion, loving-kindness, forgiveness. It’s constantly there over and over in the Psalms. **************** Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi KleinSometimes when people think about ma’asim, the behaving part of Judaism, we think about lighting 4-inch tall white Shabbat candles on a Friday evening. And sometimes we think about getting out there and saying black lives matter. So maybe you could talk a bit more about Jewish behaving, and the resilience work you’ve been doing.Rabbi WaxmanAt the end of the day, it’s not about thoughts and prayers. It has to be about action. Judaism is, at heart, an activist religion. Separate from professions of faith and identity, it’s about what we do and how we bring it to life. And that’s the case in exclusively Jewish spaces and at all times. I am a Jew in the streets, even as I’m also an American in the streets. Rabbi KleinThat’s beautiful. And not just beautiful, but really important. It’s something that we need to seize onto. I think I’ve shared with you that when I learned about the possibility of serving as the director of lifelong learning at Temple Israel here in Minneapolis, I was excited to be a part of this 140-year-old congregation, connected to the Reform movement, perhaps the movement that I’d had the least exposure to in my professional life. I was inspired by Temple’s past, but also a vision of the future by Rabbi Zimmerman to keep open the possibility that movement identifications might not remain such a defining factor Jewishly. When I looked at our strategic plan, I saw how belonging, behaving, and believing were prominent, which seemed so familiar from my Reconstructionist training as well. Rabbi WaxmanMovements are a tool. They’re useful as far as they’re useful. And if they’re limited or limiting, we should set them aside, or work to overcome any limitation. We have an orientation in the Reconstructionist movement towards collaboration and partnership. And I see that reflected and mirrored back to me from all the other movements as well. What’s powerful at this moment in time about movements? There’s a shared language; there’s a shared approach and ideology. We can make a significant political statement, which is highly cooperative but still turned around within about 14 hours. We’re able to enact all of our principles and be swift, expedient, and effective. There’s an existing network of like-minded people who are pulling towards the same ends. That can be powerfully impactful.We’ve seen that very much during the pandemic. There are things that Reconstructionist synagogues need and they can learn from each other, or they can turn towards the central organization and get it. And, I’m talking at all times with the leaders of the Reform movement and the Conservative movement, and folks who are not in movements, about ways we can collaborate and do things better. So it’s a “yes and” approach.There are positive benefits about denominations, certainly in the rabbinical training that you and I received, where there’s something very intentional and very concentrated about training leaders from a particular ideological perspective. For me, even though I grew up in the Conservative movement, RRC was the correct place for me, and I think it would be for me today too. I also see the value of movements at our camp which is a 24/7 experience of trying to put out what this is.But in other places, such as on a college campus, a more expansive and adaptive approach might be more suited. Certainly, when I’m in a hospital, I’m going to tailor my approach as much as possible to the person who has need of me as a chaplain, rather than argue for Reconstructionist ideology. And that kind of pragmatism is how I approach pretty much any problem. I absolutely don’t think that the time for movements is over.  What we’ve been able to do in the pandemic only strengthened us. And I also think there are so many opportunities for collaboration, partnership, and jointly imagining what comes next.  The denominational affiliation need not be exclusive nor limiting. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
Temple Talks is honored to hand the microphone to Rafi Forbush, founder of the Multiracial Jewish Association of Minnesota (mjamn.org), in conversation with a Temple Israel congregant with Chinese heritage. In the context of the horrors of the Atlanta-area spa shootings and the ongoing anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander racist incidents, they discuss the history and present reality of AAPI, and Asian American Jews in particular. We hope their discussion prompts our listeners to reconsider faulty assumptions about Jewish authenticity and to work towards a more inclusive Jewish community. Please subscribe and share this episode with a friend. Comments and questions can be directed to tmoss@templeisrael.com. Talk with us!
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Cantor AbelsonWe’re going to look at some of the changing faces of Jewish music since I’ve been here, and from Jayson’s perspective, some of the new music coming out of the URJ and Transcontinental Music.When I first got here, 35 years ago, the closing anthem was God in His Holy Temple, accompanied by organ and a choir of professional singers—very different than what we have today. At Passover, we sang Mendelssohn’s Elijah every year. We’d sing, “if with all your hearts you truly seek Me.” It was very odd for me at first as I came from a conservative, traditional background, but those were the traditions at Temple Israel, so I followed that. At the time, Rabbi Steven Pinsky was the senior rabbi. He loved having formal classical music performed on Shabbat. Congregational participation was not so much on the charts. No one really sang along. It was up to the Cantor to lead.Over the years we’ve had lots of talented musicians at Temple: Rabbi Joe Black, Rabbi Sim Glaser, and Rabbi Tobias Moss, among others. We’ve had quite a musical team and seen a lot of musical change over the years since I’ve been here.Jayson RodovskyMy experience also mirrors Cantor Abelson’s. And so today we will hear various examples of how the music has changed. These are only little snippet excerpts from the original recordings. If you’re interested, you can go on the Transcontinental Music Publishing website and hear longer examples. I think you’ll hear a shift from the earlier examples to the later ones. We’ll be hearing from 1983 until almost today, from a presentational style to a more congregant-participation style, which is a wonderful thing in my mind, that more people can participate directly rather than being passive in the pew—not that we ever threw everything else out. It is nice to have melodies that are more cantorial in style but good to have both options available in our day.****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi HartmanI remember when you were dreaming up this women’s commentary on the Torah, back in the early 90s when I was just a girl. And now that book sits in this and so many other congregations, with your preface written in it.Cantor SagerYes, my involvement with The Torah: A Women’s Commentary was probably the proudest moment of my career.  I received an invitation from Region 3 of what was then the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS), and is now the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ). They asked me to speak at their regional convention in '91 or '92 on the topic of the Torah from the perspective of Reform Jewish women. I received that call during the week with the Torah portion containing Akedat Yitzchak, the binding and almost-sacrifice of Isaac. Before the call came, I had been thinking about the portion for a d’var Torah I was giving at the board meeting that month. For some reason, maybe because I was a relatively new mother, it occurred to me that if Sarah had been asked to sacrifice her child, the story would have stopped right there. She’d have just said no; this is not my God; this is not possible.Because the call came as I was considering that possibility, I said yes to being the scholar in residence at this regional convention, which was to be about a year later. I spent a year studying and creating two major presentations. I realized that there was an article there, and a book there, and something here, but there was no central place I could go to find the literature and the scholarship on women in biblical times and as represented in our sacred texts. I thought to myself, what if there was as a central place—and I thought about it for me! It was kind of selfish in that way, but it also occurred to me that if there was a place that could bring together all the rewards of all the women who had recently conducted Jewish feminist scholarship, it would be a terrific tool, and a tool for study for decades. As part of my presentations at that convention, I charged the NFTS to commission a women’s commentary to the Torah that would make use of every woman scholar or rabbi who had something to say about our tradition. They were so excited that I was asked to speak at the WRJ national convention. They embraced the idea, raised the money, and we were able to move forward. ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi ZimmermanWould you please talk about what parents can do in terms of having rituals while everyone is mostly at home, and how parents can help provide some sense of structure and support?Dr. BernsteinSure, I'd be happy to. So in terms of helping the kids in adolescence during quarantine, you mentioned this, and I'm going to second it, that having a structure and a routine to their day is really important. They lost their usual routine around school, extracurricular activities, get-togethers with friends, etc. So you need to set a routine that’s predictable. This includes even some basic, like say a bedtime, a time to get up, and when to get onto the screen for distance learning. They need to know what to expect.It's really important for these kids to get into the routine with their distance learning. I hear a lot about families that are struggling with kids who don't want to get on the screen, don't want to get up in the morning. Many aren’t doing their homework because they don’t feel they have enough understanding on what they're supposed to do. So it's important to get into the routine and to get parents helping but not over-involved.We want to have kids have a break from the screen because we know how monotonous, tedious, and overwhelming it can be. There's technological problems that kids are struggling with. So yes, they're on for school, but then they need breaks in between to help mitigate the loneliness and the loss of regularly seeing friends in the house, the synagogue, and throughout the community.It's important for kids to have at least sometime every day that they can be in touch with friends. That would have to be by phone, texting, or zoom, but it's really important. They need that. And then engaging in exercise and hobbies that they can do at home, things that they can do with family members, they could maybe even simultaneously do with friends.Another key point is that it's probably a very good idea to shelter the kids from some of the monotonous ongoing news and feed about what is happening with the pandemic. It gets very repetitious and scary.  Yes, it's good that they know the reality and why they need to do what they're doing. But it's important to give them some break from that.Rabbi ZimmermanLove that. You talked about the fact that it's hard for kids to always understand what the assignment is because the communication between teacher and student is more difficult right now. How can parents make sure that the assignment is clear to the student, their child?Gail Bernstein: I think that a parent has to be a kind of coach and support their kids with the distance learning because it can be very, very challenging and frustrating. You know the kids might not have a good connection. Some kids are really, really very shy and anxious about being on a screen and asking questions. And some are going to need probably some extra help from their parents, but also maybe need to have some scheduled one on one time with teachers. With quite a few of the patients that I work with, we've been able to get that worked out where there is a time during the day where that particular child can have some one-on-one instruction. This helps them with the ability to ask questions.Rabbi ZimmermanI'm not sure I would’ve thought about that as a parent—to reach out and make sure there is that one-on-one. I think that's a fabulous idea.**************** Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Alicia StollerYou know, it’s true that especially younger children are very much in the moment, but I think that sometimes causes us to not revisit thing with children because we feel that if we missed the moment, we missed our opportunity. But actually, we can go back to things with kids and there’s something really powerful—even with really young children—about a grownup stepping back and saying, “you know, when that happened the other day, I think I didn’t react the way I wish that I had. I’d like to talk a little bit more about that.” Or, “I didn’t answer that question the way I wish I had.”The ability to model that going-back­, it doesn’t undermine our authority. It actually enhances that relationship of trust and that sense that our authority is coming from a logical and loving place. That supports the relationship in a positive way. It models for children how we can all revisit, we can all apologize, we can all rethink, we can all reflect and come to new and different ideas. Rabbi KleinThat’s beautiful. It seems like when we talk about teshuvah as a Jewish value, and this idea of turning around and doing better, we want to really name it—name where we missed the mark. What a great way to model that for children. Because, how many times might a parent or an educator say, “you need to apologize” as opposed to “I’m going to now apologize to you because there’s something I think I could have done better.” Or even just something that needs revisiting. There can be different degrees of what apology looks like, or what teshuvah looks like.You talked a lot about trust, could you say a bit more about trust between parents and educators? There may be tension because an educator sees a different side of a student. What are some best practices for educators or parents who may be listening to this?Alicia StollerThere’s something that’s very easy to lose sight of from both sides of that relationship, and something that we lose sight of more generally in our relationships: we are all a bit different in any given context, but we also want to assume that we know people fully or we know people best. But actually, we only experience them in the context in which our relationship exists. So I think a really key piece that we sometimes miss is that it is possible, and in fact common, for children to be in some way different at home and in school. In the same way, we adults are different in different aspects of our lives—at home, at work, in different kinds of relationships etc. We show different parts of ourselves. We’re confident in different ways in different environments.That’s true for school and home too. Teachers and parents have a lot of emotional stake in thinking they know the whole child. Yes, we talk about the value of trying to get to know a child in a holistic way. But let’s start from the assumption that parents know their children best at home, and teachers know their children best at school. Those things don’t have to completely mesh. They don’t have to be complete mirrors of each other. That allows us to better listen to one another and come closer to knowing the full child.  **************** Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi GlaserWhen you were just talking about different kinds of sound that we can’t understand, or can’t hear but others animals can, that always piques an interest in me. It is similar with colors right, infrared and so on. And you know as I’ve studied Kabbalah the last fifteen years, it seems that the mystics, the Kabbalists, seem to be interested in dimensions other than those which are perceived. Third, and fourth, and even fifth dimensions of what they call reality. And these Kabbalists are interested—maybe like people looking for extraterrestrials or otherworldly creatures or forces—in knowing if there’s something beyond what we experience in this physical world. And that’s where they start moving into the realm of the divine. They philosophize about a greater being, and I say greater only in the sense of a being that isn’t entirely manifest in our day-to-day life. They say that’s our problem, not the problem of the divine. It’s our inability to seek.Dr. RudnickAstronomers are extremely sensitive to these limitations because in almost every kind of parameter that you could think of, we know that we are limited. We talked about being limited in terms of sound, that if the pitch is to high or too low we can’t detect it. And then you brought up light, where if the frequency is too high its ultraviolet or x-ray or gamma rays, and if it’s too low we call it infrared, or radio, or millimeter waves. So what we do is we recognize that there are things way beyond our senses and we build instruments to detect them. If things are too fast we can’t detect them. If they’re too slow, we can’t see them changing.We are extremely sensitive to these limitations, but one big limitation really is the things we can’t even conceive of: the unknown unknowns. The questions that we don’t even know to ask.And we do talk about dimensions we can’t directly interact with. That’s sort of an ongoing quest for us—to go beyond the physical limitations that we have, but also to go beyond the conceptual limitations that we have. We try to ask is there more.Rabbi GlaserI think there’s an interesting Kabbalistic analog in that when you look at the Sephirotic system. The sephirot emanate from the divine and become increasingly understandable, or knowable, or conceivable by humanity. So by the time they get down to our human world, these things are garbed in ways that human beings can understand it. Like the idea of compassion is nothing, unless someone is being compassionate. And there’s no way you could identify compassion outside of a person being compassionate.When you talk about prisms of light, some people talk about God—or whatever you want to call the Source of all being—as being an infinite and unseeable light, but like a prism, that non-visible light is broken into elements that are in fact perceivable by human beings.Similarly, God’s infinite power cannot be conceived by human beings because it is too powerful and too all-encompassing. But broken down into component parts that exist within the human structure and huma life, we start seeing. We get hints as to what that divine energy might be.****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi MossHas the Jewish leadership of Congressional prayers increased over time? Or did we have a heyday where we were more frequent? After that first Jewish prayer in 1860, was it a long time until we got back?Howard MortmanThat’s a great question. If you look at just the raw numbers, rabbis give prayers in Congress about seven times a year since World War Two. Now, I will throw in immediately that this year is different, obviously, because of the virus. This year, there have been just four rabbis who have given prayers. Definitely an outlier.The heyday, believe it or not, was during the Vietnam War, when there was a real surge of rabbis giving prayers for whatever reasons, but the message of Vietnam was a part of it.You can see it in the in the prayer itself—in the content and the language that they used. And you could almost see the swing of embracing the Vietnam War, as America embraced the Vietnam War, and then as America turned against the war, the language in the rabbis’ prayers turned against the Vietnam War. In 1967 in particular, probably the bloodiest year of America's involvement, you see a lot of rabbis give prayers that year, and even though you're really not supposed to talk about current events like this, it was impossible to do a prayer in that time for anybody without mentioning our troops overseas or citing Isaiah 2:4 of turning swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.And in fact, there were two or three rabbis who gave prayers during June ‘67 which coincided with the Six Day War in Israel, and they didn't even mention the Six Day War at all in their prayers, but did mention Vietnam, or made some implicit reference to it. So yes, that was perhaps the heyday or golden age of rabbinical prayers in Congress.Rabbi MossTell us about an especially eloquent or favorite rabbi’s prayer.Howard MortmanThere is one prayer that really stuck out to me. This happened only recently and it's kind of a personal story. So I've been mechanically putting all these prayers on YouTube and creating playlists for both rabbis and their sponsoring officials. One of the rabbis I put on YouTube was a Rabbi Maurice Lyons from St. Louis, who gave the prayer in 1984 in the Senate, and he has since died.So he's just one of the rabbis I put on YouTube and I moved on to the next one. About a month ago, I got an email out of the blue, from the family of Rabbi Maurice Lyons, from one of his grandkids, who had stumbled over this on YouTube. They were just googling Rabbi Lyons as they were marking his yartzheit, the anniversary of his death, and they had never seen this prayer before. They actually didn't know that he had even done a prayer in Congress, and some of the grandkids had never even heard his voice before.They sent me a note saying how great it was, what a service to them to see his prayer before the Senate. I wrote back saying that's really nice but what an even greater service to me to be able to hear your reaction to seeing this.As it turned out, it was a really interesting prayer. This Rabbi Lyons is giving a big prayer and at the end, he gave countenance and blessed and raised his hands dramatically and spoke in Hebrew over the Senate. That was so interesting to see the rabbi offer the Priestly Blessing over the Senate.It was an amazing moment, and it came full circle so it was a very humanizing moment for me to be able to connect to the family like that.****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
An edited excerpt from this week’s Temple Talks follows below. Rabbi Zimmerman:So you talk about your work in DC, and I know that one of the interactions we’ve had over the years is a conversation about Reverend Barber’s work and the Poor People’s Campaign. In so many ways, people bifurcate what happens inside the synagogue or the church—the prayer that happens there—and the work on the street. I think something that Reverend Barber does so beautifully is say, no, no, no! They are one and the same; they are extensions of each other. And so I’m wondering how you, both theologically and practically, see that work that you had in DC and that you now have as a minster inside churches?Rev. Davis:I was a congressional staffer for fifteen years. I worked for three different members. The funny thing is you can’t get away from the way you were raised. My folks lived in a world where it was about service, and giving, and taking care of people. I tell people all the time, there’s two things that I always remember. First, I remember when people would come to the door, and it was grownup talk so I didn’t care what they were talking about, but on occasion, what my mother would do, was go into the kitchen, and start going through the pantry and filling up bags and giving people stuff. And that was just fine, until she started giving away my peanut butter too!And secondly, I’d hear stuff from my father like, come and help me, we’re going to pick up a bed and carry it to someone who needs it. And these were things that went on all the time. It wasn’t until I started working in politics, that I started to make the connections of how public policy was affected so much of that. And that some of the things that were happening around social services, some of the worst outcomes, where you just wonder why it’s not working, it was that it was intentionally done through public policy. That was the really shocking experience, where I would see politicians who would make it harder for people to access things because they didn’t like the program. Ideologically they were opposed to it, so they would use public policy to get the outcomes they want, and then point out the program and say “it’s not working” or “poverty programs don’t work.”And that was the real learning experience when I was a staffer. And then I thought, OK, I’m going to use my skill to try to get at that. And I got into strategy: how to drive public policy, how to advise members of Congress, how to do it so we can get what we want out of it. As I got more into it, unfortunately, I did get a little cynical. But when I started to explore faith, one of the things that I found was a great freedom in what I saw in the biblical witness. The prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, boy did they fill me with a lot of energy. And I said, maybe where I could do something, especially with the knowledge I have of how it’s done, is I could speak with a prophetic edge instead of a pragmatic edge. I had to learn over time that as a preacher, as a clergyperson, as a public theologian, I don’t have to be pragmatic. I get to say and name truths vividly. And so there was a moment there where it was real uncomfortable. How do I move from this place of political strategy, ideology, working rooms and compromise, and all off that, and then get to this place.I had to figure out my identity. There was a moment there, when I was in those two worlds and I wasn’t quite comfortable.What I love about Reverend Barber, and what really hits me where I’m most excited, is that I don’t have to compartmentalize it. I do get to name the truth and say it out loud. And then I can also say, I know what it takes to get it done.I’ll give you one other story. I do a lot of work with Bishop Yvette Flunder, who does a lot of work with queer Black people of faith, and regarding HIV/AIDS in Oakland, California. I was doing some work on HIV and I was talking to her about some of my frustrations. What she made me see was that I’d gotten into a policy room and I was getting back into the way I used to operate as a congressional staffer. And she said something that really brought me back to myself. She said, you’re also a minister, and called minister. So sometimes you need to bring that into the room with you. So yes, there are times when I can go back to the best of that strategic engagement with it, but boy I love getting up and saying “Thus saith, the Lord,” to just remind people, that there’s something bigger than the pragmatism that got you into the room.   ****************Welcome to Temple Talks, a new podcast from Temple Israel in Minneapolis, where Jewish wisdom meets our ever-changing world. Join us as we talk with our favorite partners and thought leaders, from around town and around the world. We hope these talks will inspire you, challenge you, and give us all new ideas about Judaism, religious life, and social justice. Join us for services, learning, and community at TempleIsrael.com.
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