Rabbi’s Blog

Reflections from Rabbi Philip

While many occasions require us to think about the clothes we wear, I think the hardest about what I’m going to wear when it comes time to do laundry. It’s a very specific type of outfit since it needs to be something that I’m not choosing to wash in that […]

Shalom Aleichem

The second psalm of Kabbalat Shabbat begins with another energetic call to worship: שִׁירוּ לַה’ שִׁיר חָדָשׁ שִׁירוּ לַה’ כָּל־הָאָרֶץ׃ Shiru l’Adonai shir hadash, shiru l’Adonai kol ha’aretz. Sing to Adonai a new song, sing to Adonai all the earth. There is a clear irony when we begin part of […]

Psalm 96: Can We Sing a New Song Every Week

After the shofar blasts during Rosh Hashanah, we recite the paragraph hayom harat olam. Because the Hebrew root hey-resh-hey refers to pregnancy and because of the tradition that world was created during this season, most prayer books translate the line as “Today is the birthday of the world.” This suggests […]

Hayom Harat Olam

During the High Holidays, we go through more words of prayer than any other time of year. The themes of creation, repentance, and awe inspired poets throughout the generation to expand the prayers with elaborate poems which blend biblical imagery and rabbinic interpretation in creative new ways to express many […]

Areshet S’fateinu

When I first moved to the Vancouver area about a month ago, I was awestruck by the distant sight of Mt. Baker. For the first few days, I did not notice the mountain off in the distance. The first time I saw it when I was crossing the bridge felt […]

Nishmat: How do We Pray?