Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

Steady as She Goes

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Number 11

Steady as She Goes

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. הַמֵּכִין מִצְעֲדֵי גָבֶר:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam Hameichin Mitzadei gaver

Praise are You Sovereign of the universe who steadies one’s feet.

Some people like roller coasters, some do not. Some like them in amusements However, most do not enjoy them emotionally.  Life can throw us curve balls that knock us off balance. Life can be a strange journey of ups and downs and after a particularly tumultuous time we long for stability.  This bracha asks God for assistance in steadying ourselves. While we ask God for help, we are additionally reminded that we might be able to offer a hand to another.  This bracha is a daily reminder of our capacity to bring consistency to those around us.  


Wants and Needs

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Friday, June 14, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Number 10

Wants and Needs

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. שֶׁעָשה לִּי כָּל צָרְכִּי:

Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam She’asah li kol tzarchi

Praised are You Sovereign of the Universe, Who provides for all of my needs.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could discern the difference between wants and needs? 

A child in a toy store can be overheard whining to his parents, “But I really need it.”  Maybe you have heard that conversation, maybe you were even the parent in the story.  Most adults would agree no child needs a specific toy.  Don’t tell that to the new parent who has be convinced that certain toys will help develop certain motor skills critical to that toddler becoming a surgeon.

This category reminds us the difference between needs and wants can be difficult to see. We are often convinced of our needs which will transform a want to a necessity.  This bracha gives us pause to ask, “is this something I truly need or is it something that I just want?”


Climate Change

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Number 9

Climate Change

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. רוקַע הָאָרֶץ עַל הַמָּיִם:

Barach ata Adonai Eloheinu melech Ha’olam Rokah Ha’aretz al Ha’mayim

Praised are you Sovereign of the universe Who spreads the earth over the waters.

Without going into too much science, sea levels are rising in places while other areas are suffering draught. Some are drowning in torrential downpours while others are burning up because of wildfires.

This bracha reminds us of the delicate balance of our natural world.  This bracha reminds us we are supposed to care for our world because if the balance is altered by just a few degrees, the results will be tragic. 

The rabbis tell us this bracha was originally recited when one put their first foot on the ground – today this bracha reminds us of the carbon footprint we are leaving for the next generation.