Entries by Rachel Barenblat

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After Roe

My heart keeps breaking at the news emerging from the Supreme Court.

We knew that the end of Roe was coming. It’s still a shock to the system, and portends a tremendous amount of suffering to come. Countless people will suffer and die because of today’s ruling, and we know that the consequences will be most dire for people of color and for those without the fiscal resources to travel to “safe” states where abortion is available.


From the Rabbi – June 2022

The verdant beauty of Berkshire summer is upon us. The hills are spectacular in their new green cloaks. The pollinator garden at CBI is bright and blooming. During “no-mow May” I watched as wildflowers sprung up all over our lawn and butterflies danced from one to the next. Sometimes I feel a little bit sorry for everyone whose synagogue and environs aren’t as beautiful as ours are. We are in a really stunning place. It still sometimes takes my breath away.

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I emerged from Shabbat to the news of the horrific shooting at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. The shooter was motivated by racial hatred and by the so-called “great replacement theory” – the belief that Jews are orchestrating a “replacement” of white Americans with people of color. That same argument has motivated many shootings in houses of worship and elsewhere.

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We Live in a Society: Teachings from Kedoshim for Right Now

My son likes to say “We live in a society.” It’s our refrain. We need to be mindful of other people’s needs, because we live in a society. If a kid is being bullied, it’s good to stand up for them, because we live in a society. If a neighbor needs help carrying in the groceries, we offer to help, because we live in a society. We have obligations to each other, because we live in a society..

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From the Rabbi – May 2022

Reb Zalman z”l — Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, of blessed memory; a formative teacher for me before and during rabbinical school — used to say that revelation is like the radio. God is the Source of the broadcast, and that broadcast is always streaming into creation. And as for us? We’re radio receivers. We receive revelation on the levels to which we’re attuned.