Mina's Musings

Sermons and other thoughts from Rabbi Michelle (Mina) Goldsmith

Hol Ha-Mo’ed Sukkot – Hallel and God’s Care

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 1:57pm -- Rabbi Mina

Shabbat Shalom.   

Today as we observe Hol Ha-Mo’ed Sukkot, there is an interesting thing that takes place.  During a Torah service on a holiday which falls during the week as we stand before the ark of the Torah we chant what has come to be known in Jewish tradition as The Thirteen Attributes – Adonai, Adonai, El Rahum v’hanun, erech apayim, etc.  However, it is customary that we do NOT chant those words on Shabbat. 

Yom Kippur Day 2018 - Ten Questions to Change Your Life

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 1:33pm -- Rabbi Mina

Yom Kippur 2018 – What Are We Passionate About? Boker tov, tzom kal, and g’mar hatimah tovah to each of you this morning.  In this morning’s Torah portion we read the many details of Aaron’s service in the tabernacle on Yom Kippur.  We read about what he had to wear, how he purified himself, which animals he had to sacrifice, the ritual of the scapegoat, the purging of the Shrine, and more.  The rituals that Aaron performed in the tabernacle were eventually transferred to the High Priest who served in the Temple in Jerusalem, and we will actually re-enact part of it – goats excluded – later on today during the “Service of the High Priest in the Temple,” shortly before the end of musaf.  While said service in the tabernacle and Temple may not be considered extremely exciting today, it used to be. 

Rosh Hashanah 2018 Day One - The Path a Person Should Choose

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 11:38am -- Rabbi Mina

Shanah tovah.  It is so wonderful to see you all gathered here this first morning of Rosh Hashanah 5779.  As we sit here together at the start of this new year, the start of our annual cheshbon nefesh – accounting of our souls, I have a question for you:  “What should a person, what should you, what should I do with this thing, this gift called “life”?

Shanah Tovah - Shoneh Tov - Erev Rosh Hashanah 2018

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 10:35am -- Rabbi Mina

Shanah Tovah Tikateyvu – Shanah Tovah U’Metukah – Shoneh Tov

Several weeks ago I was working with the students in my Introduction to Judaism class.  As we were doing our unit on Rosh Hashanah we spoke about the meaning of the day, the changes in its observance from ancient times until today, the foods we eat, the significance of the shofar, and then we practiced the greeting – or I should say – various greetings that people use this time of year.

Mina's Musings - Kol Nidrei 2017 - Al Het & Using Our Bodies Properly

Sun, 10/01/2017 - 10:14am -- Rabbi Mina

Recently I took a fun quiz on Facebook.  It was one of those quizzes where you answer a bunch of questions to reveal something profound about you.  This one was called:  “Which Jewish Holiday are You?”  Unsurprisingly, since I have always told people it was one of my favorite days, I got Yom Kippur.  I guess I simply can’t hide my love for this day – even from a Facebook quiz! 

Though I love almost all of what we do and say on Yom Kippur, I especially enjoy our repeated recitations of the Ashamnu and the Al Het.  In particular the Ashamnu, with its “la la lais” and upbeat melody has always made me happy, even though it contains a list of the many things we do wrong each year. 

Mina's Musings - Yom Kippur Day 2017

Sun, 10/01/2017 - 10:13am -- Rabbi Mina

The way I approach my pantry is also the way that I approach life, and that approach is a way I believe is spiritually and emotionally beneficial.  What is the approach?  Quite simply, I acknowledge daily, that while I can control some things in my life – like the right side spice rack, how long I exercise each day, what I choose to eat, read, or watch on TV – there are other things that seemingly are beyond my abilities to control, and so rather than pretend I have absolute control over everything, I arrange what I can and then focus on managing and navigating the left-over chaos.

Mina's Musings: Rosh Hashanah Day One 2017 - Melekh Al Kol Ha-Aretz

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 10:02am -- Rabbi Mina

Shanah Tovah.  It is good to see all of you this Erev Rosh Hashanah.  After weeks of preparation - with the blowing of the shofar each weekday morning, selihot prayers, the psalm for the penitential season every day for a month and of course filling out the myriad forms for the holidays - here we are. With the tremendous importance we have placed on Rosh Hashanah, it may come as a shock to some of you when I tell you that this holiday doesn’t appear anywhere in the Torah. 

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