Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

This Is Not How I Remember It

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me. (Exodus 19:4)

Often I tell you stories about my family; however, when my children are in shul and hear me tell the story they often remark, "That is not how we remember it."  Confidently, I insist that is actually how the events unfolded.  More determined, they correct my version.  More important to them are the details, while I insist the point of the story is the same no matter the individual specifics.

I imagine, when God turns to the children of Israel and says, " How I bore you on eagles' wings," the response was, "That is not how I remember it. The exodus wasn't that easy."   Maybe for God it was.  Maybe God wanted the people to remember it fondly.  Maybe in comparison to the challenges they would face in the future, it actually was.  However, I still imagine, at that moment the collective memory of our people was that the initial foray was hard.  To characterize it as anything but that, minimizes the challenges of that moment.          


To view this week's "Learning in My Living Room" click here.


Trustworthy People, Trust

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

And God said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from the sky, and the people shall go out and gather each day that day's portion- that I may thus test them, to see whether they will follow My instructions or not." (Exodus 16:4)

In every relationship there is testing.  Parents and children, spouse, employers and employees, friendships  all have moments when they test each other. Usually the testing begins early in the relationship and then fades away as confidence each  grows stronger.  However, sometimes the testing never dissipates.  When that happens, is it because one has trouble trusting? Is it because the other continues to show a lack of trustworthiness? 

In the early stage of the relationship between God and the Jewish people, God tests them.  Although this test shows that God will continue to care for them,  God will continue to test them and they God. The relationship between the Jewish people and God continues to undergo challenges, most stemming from the fact that the Jewish people continue to be less that trustworthy.  However, God never gives up on them.

While trust may be a litmus test for a relationship, its absence sometimes has nothing to do with the other person.       

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Change Can Occur Without Even Noticing

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

Our country has seen rapid changes in the past two weeks.  In some cases they seem almost revolutionary.  However, that is not how most change occurs.  Most of the changes that happen in our lives, happen so slowly we barely notice them. It is those alterations that truly challenge us to stay focused on our values and priorities and make sure we never stray too far.

This week, with the help of Jacob Goldman-Wetzler (a member of our Dalet class) I have started a new project. This week I explore this message further in"Learning in My Living Room." Please take just four minutes and enjoy it by clicking here.