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OCTOBER 5, 2017 – Jews have a long history of working for area fire departments, and Ed Seligman has served as a Swampscott firefighter and lieutenant since 2001. A Swampscott native, he is also a logistics team manager for the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System (MA-TF1 in Beverly). Over the years, he has Read More

OCTOBER 5, 2017 – I never saw anyone in our family set foot in a synagogue. But for that matter, I didn’t exactly observe my grandparents going to church, either. I went to church. It was mandatory. On certain school days at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (or “Our Lady of Perpetual Motion,” as we Read More

OCTOBER 5, 2017 – Singer/songwriter Neshama Carlebach, a passionate advocate for inclusion in synagogue, will headline Congregation Shirat Hayam’s Shir Lanu (“One Song-Every Voice”) Inclusion Initiative Celebration October 27 and 28. “When you’re accepting people who are different than you, it means that you have acceptance and love in your heart. Period. And if you Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – Where once I found visiting the cemetery a somewhat frightening experience, I now feel it is a place of comfort, of memories and of peace. When I walk among the graves of those I loved, respected and admired, I don’t see gravestones but loved ones. I read the names in English Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – My rabbis always have stressed the importance of preparing for Rosh Hashanah during the entire month of Elul leading up to the holiday. This year, I have spent some time thinking about why it takes the entire month to prepare and what our focus should be. The Rosh Hashanah prayers are Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – We often refer to the High Holidays as the Days of Awe, Yamim Noraim. These last weeks have evoked in us a palpable sense of awe, as we reflect on the power of nature – creative and destructive in the same moment, wreaking havoc with human structures, and even with human Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – Are you a dreamer? I sure am. My wife laughs at all my dreams, and I always reply, “In my la-la land, things are always rosy.” The truth be told, since I do live in a dream world almost all the time, the good news is if even a fraction of Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – It is curious to notice the Torah refers to Rosh Hashanah as “the first day of the seventh month.” It is actually not even called “The New Year,” but “The Day of Blowing the Shofar.” Why do we start counting the year on the seventh month, Tishrei, and not on the first Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – It was a cold winter morning, and I have a vivid memory from sometime during the year after my bar mitzvah of my father rousting me from my bed a full hour before I needed to get up for school.  I was not happy! A neighbor was sitting shiva.  As was Read More

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 – Do you think you are a bad person? When you go to synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and you read the long list of sins that all of us atone for, do you give up on yourself? “Wow. I really stink,” you say to yourself. “I’m a pretty hopeless case – so Read More