Personal Inoculations

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

Primarily still working from home, I am not out a lot and certainly not out in crowds. Except for last Friday. That was when I returned to Squirrel Hill to get my second vaccine. Due to social distancing, the line … Continue reading

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Why Shouldn’t This Night Be Different From All Other Nights?

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

I learned that the four questions are optional.  They were meant to be an if-all-else-fails to get the children’s attention, then break glass (so to speak) and use this emergency device.  Yet not one of us could imagine a Seder … Continue reading

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Welcome Home, Kind Of

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

To: Jews by Choice From: Israel Subject: Welcome Home, Kind Of On Monday, March 1, per the Times of Israel (3/1/21): the Israeli Supreme Court voted to allow for Conservative and Reform conversions to be accepted regarding the Law of … Continue reading

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Where Did Schmoozing Go?

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

We used to schmooze. And we were good at it. Perhaps even experts. As much as many of us see one another via Zoom, we don’t schmooze before or after a class or service, while standing at the oneg table, … Continue reading

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The Proof is in the Pudding

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

Do you like pudding? And when you think of pudding, do you think more of bread pudding or of the gelatinous dessert that goes well with whipped cream or in a pie? I never ate much pudding. But when I … Continue reading

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Words Count

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

Mask. Pandemic. Synchronous. Asynchronous. Insurrection. Fake news. Suppression. Zoom. Tweet. Uprising. This is just a portion of the new vocabulary that swirls around us in print, on our devices, through the news and in conversation 24/7. These are words that … Continue reading

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The Passage of Time

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

As we celebrate the new year and get accustomed to writing “2021” on letters and checks, we realize that while the clocks and calendars move forward, time as we know it has changed. For many of us, we cannot remember … Continue reading

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The Stamp of Invisibility

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

I love going to the post office and go often. In fact, over the past few months, mailing packages to our kids and mothers has brought me out of the house more than any other activity. I was at the … Continue reading

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Chanukah Gifts

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

Antiochus Epiphanes was different from the others. The 2nd century BCE Syrian Greek ruler did not want to exterminate the Jews, he wanted to exterminate Judaism. His method of choice was to ban Torah study, Brit Milah (circumcision), Shabbat and … Continue reading

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Building My Cabinet

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

As President-Elect Biden forms his cabinet, it got me thinking. Who would be in my cabinet? What would their positions be–would I create a new cabinet position?–and who would fill them? Would those people be insiders with experience and already-formed … Continue reading

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