My name is Matt Glickman. I have been a member of this congregation for over 15 years. While we are regular participants in services, education, and community programs here, I may be stretching the definition of being a regular attendee. It made me wonder why I was asked to be up here today, and frankly even made me a bit squeamish. But I suppose I can take guidance from my grandfather, who starred in an annual city-wide review in my hometown’s main civic institution – the Cleveland City Club. He played the ultimate ordinary man – kind of like Richard...
Thank you Rabbi Heath for inviting me to speak today about my experiences with the Sh’ma group program.
I want to start by telling you a little bit about myself, what led me to Beth Am, and ultimately to the Sh’ma groups. I’ve lived near Palo Alto for about 8 years, and it’s become “home” for me and my husband Mark. Mark and I joined Beth Am almost 2 years ago, when I made the decision to convert to Judaism. Of all the synagogues in the area that I researched, Beth Am resonated the most with me, with its strong...
I’ve lived in the Bay Area all my life. My childhood home in the south bay was a place I could always come back to if I got really sick, had a traumatic breakup or just needed some extra help with math. I could see the love between my parents and felt their love for me. I was part of a family that ate dinners together and shared sections of the newspaper. I remember a cigar smoke-filled family room, watching 60 Minutes and arguing about politics. I will never forget the constant reminders like “Stand up...
Say Hi To A Guy
As this week’s Torah portion is Devarim, which is the culmination of the story of the Israelites preparing to enter the promised land, it reminds me of an old Jewish joke which goes something like this.
Why did Moses let the Israelites wander in the desert for 40 years?
Because men don’t ask for directions.
More about that later. But it does bring us to tonight’s service, which is brought to you by Beth Am Men. I think that makes this service a slightly different take on guys night out!
Given that, I...
Shabbat shalom. It is an honor to have the opportunity to share some words of Torah with you on this special Shabbat.
Today’s double portion of Mattot-Masei takes us to the conclusion of the book of Numbers (or as it is known in Hebrew, Bamidbar). This parsha is packed with all the things I love about Torah—drama, meaning, history, stories, mitzvoth and allegory—and we could easily spend 10 more weeks, or maybe 10 months, exploring it.
However, this morning I’ve been given 10 minutes, so in keeping with the wonderful spirit of our weekly Beth Am Torah study, I’d like...
About one year ago, I left sunny, tranquil Los Altos for magnificent but strife-ridden Jerusalem. I took the United nonstop from SFO to Tel Aviv, unsure of what to expect from my first year of rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College. After one year in Israel, I have not only left with a great appreciation for my year, but I have come to understand a great deal about the American Reform Movement’s relationship to Israel, and how we’re getting it wrong.
This week’s double-parsha, matot-masei, is a fascinating reflection of how we, as progressive American Jews, relate to the land...