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Rabbis' Corner

Message from Rabbi Bemporad:

The Jewish People throughout their history have been involved in every culture and civilization predominantly in the Western World. The record is clear that while being a minority and in many places oppressed, nevertheless wherever they have resided they have been at the forefront of those individuals who have striven for social betterment. They showed concern for issues of Justice and social equity, helping establish institutions for the sick and underprivileged.

Today, the Jewish People especially in the industrialized countries still largely are committed to these noble goals. However the significance difference is that today all to many Jews do not see these activities as grounded in the Prophetic-Rabbinic traditions of Judaism; rather they see them as a part of a universal secular ethics unconnected to the teachings of Judaism. Unfortunately even among those who may see such a connection they take the ethical aspects only and feel the religious component to have been meaningful in the past but today no longer relevant.

Jewish communities in the western world are at the forefront of secularism; and though Jews today may not deny their Jewish roots and identity, they do not view their Judaism as an essential or central element in their lives.

This must change and it can only change if we strive to ask and answer a different question than has been asked and answered throughout Jewish history. That question was: How can I be Jewish? That is, how can I learn about and practices the Jewish religion. Today we must ask and answer a different question:

Why must I be Jewish? We must endeavor to demonstrate to our youth and the coming generation what it is about Judaism that is meaningful and compelling, credible and adequate as a guide to living one’s life as a human being.

Every human being has a set of core values which are part and parcel of their sense of self. We must in our education and in our congregations present these values which are essential and show how they are part and parcel of living a Jewish life and which answer the ultimate questions which all human being ask.

Our Chavurah is dedicated to teaching a set of values that will be a guide and a resource for life so that Judaism becomes what they want to adopt and have compelling reasons for why they should be Jews.

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”