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The Best is Yet to Come!

05/18/2024 07:21:15 PM


Peter H. Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

We have all heard the phrases, “Do your best!” and “Put your best foot forward,“and, “The best things in life are free.” We’ve heard about the best man, the best in show, best friends. There are all kinds of “bests,” and in this week’s Torah portion, if you read along, you noticed that the theme was “bring your best.” It seems as if the book of Leviticus has an obsession with the best. Not only were our ancestors...Read more...

D’var Torah Acharei Mot

05/04/2024 07:25:02 PM


Peter H, Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

Should you be inclined to tell someone to go to hell, you’ll find the source in today’s parasha, Acharei Mot. We don’t really have a phrase that is its equivalent, but lech l’azazel is the closest.
We read about the High Priest and his responsibility on Yom Kippur. As most know, while Rosh Hashanah is not found in the Torah, the ritual for the Day of Atonement is. In fact, it is very elaborate, and as far as I’m concerned, is...Read more...

“Minds and Hearts”Appreciating Our Teachers

05/03/2024 07:24:14 PM


Peter H, Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

“Thanks so much, teachers.” Amen. That’s the end of my brilliant discourse this Shabbat evening.
Seriously though, you and I could stand up here or out there and thank these people between now and y’mai ha-mashiach, the messianic age, and it wouldn’t be enough.
I see them at work; I see the kids interact with them; I see the smiles on their faces; the enthusiasm in their voices; the joy they have in being here. And if you...Read more...

Judaism and Medicine

04/12/2024 07:05:35 PM


Peter H. Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

I decided to speak about Judaism and Medicine since our Torah portion is steeped in the latest research in the medical field. That Cathy and JJ are in the field – dentistry is in the field – I thought it doubly important for I know that on more than one occasion – many, in fact – they have gone back to the days of our ancestors when they needed advice as to how to treat their patients. Of course, had they been dermatologists or even...Read more...

D’var Torah Shemini

04/06/2024 07:03:52 PM


Peter H. Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

We’re told that on Purim we’re supposed to get so faschnukerd that we cannot tell the difference between “Bless Mordecai” and “Curse Haman.” And in case you don’t know, faschnukerd means “drunk.” But that’s the only time during the year that our sages gave us permission to drink to excess. As a matter of fact, there is one theory that the only reason we drink but four glasses of wine on Pesach, signifying the four promises...Read more...

The Four Children’s Siblings

04/05/2024 02:15:36 PM


Peter H. Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

There’s a countdown to Passover. In two weeks from this Monday evening Jews will be sitting around the table for the wonderful seder ceremony that recalls, year after year after year, our exodus from Egypt. Leaving slavery, being free once we crossed the Red Sea, and then receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, is actually a cycle. We begin on Passover and conclude on
Shavuot; and then next year we begin on Passover and conclude...Read more...

D’var Torah – Vayikra

03/23/2024 05:08:54 PM


Rabbi Peter H. Grumbacher

In an early article I mentioned that one of my Beth Emeth congregants asked me why I didn’t bow lower for the Aleinu. As I wrote, “Because I’m not that humble.” That, believe it or not, is relevant for this week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, which begins the third book of the Torah, named, yes, Vayikra.
The first word is Vayikra but is written differently than you would expect. The last letter, the aleph, is written smaller in every...Read more...

The Zone of Interest

03/08/2024 04:50:17 PM


Peter H. Grumbacher, Interim Rabbi

The first movie about the Holocaust that came out was called “Let My People Go.” It was the wrong title. The scenes of victims of the Shoah were brutal; for all intents and purposes that was the content of the entire film. Then came others. So many of us saw “Sophie’s Choice,” “Schindler’s List,” “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “Life is Beautiful,” “Defiance,” “Woman in Gold,” and others. Each of them had the...Read more...

D’var Torah: Terumah

02/17/2024 04:47:44 PM


Rabbi Peter H. Grumbacher

When I was a student in my third year of rabbinical school there was a trip to the Sinai desert which in those days post-1967 war was in Israel’s hands. There were about twenty of us who camped in that wilderness. There were some magnificent natural sites. Probably the most beautiful was Dahab on the coast of the Red Sea.
In Hebrew the word Dahab is Zahav, as in Yerushalayim shel Zahav, Jerusalem the Golden. It was a perfect name for...Read more...

“Lewandowski, Taubman and Friends: Thoughts on This Shabbat Shira”

01/26/2024 11:35:48 AM


Rabbi Peter H. Grumbacher

   Jewish music! I so love the musical liturgy across the board that when Beth Emeth asked me what kind of fund I wanted to set up in honor of my retirement, I didn’t hesitate a moment. There is now the Rabbi Peter Grumbacher Music Fund that has brought singers and choirs and fantastic music  - traditional and contemporary – to highlight worship and special programs. 
   I grew up with the music of the...

Sun, July 21 2024 15 Tammuz 5784