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11/12/2019 11:45:55 AM


This space is designated for the words of Tora taught to us by the various members of our kehilla. 

  Behar-Bechukotai   22 Iyar 5780    Bet Shalom Zoom Service    

05/16/2020 11:32:24 AM


Irene Stern Friedman


This week we read a double Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai. These two parshiot end of the book of Vayikra. 


Parshat Behar focuses on letting the land rest. We learn about the return of land during the 50th year and the cycle of workers and loans. This law makes us aware that G-d, not people, rules over Earth. This year the world gave the earth several weeks of rest from our normal...Read more...

The Korban System 

04/03/2020 07:45:25 AM


I. Falkenstein


A person can easily afford an expensive korban (i.e., sheep or a goat), but instead this person brings a less expensive korban (i.e., 2 turtledoves or 2 young doves or a tenth ephah of fine flour).  Will HaShem accept the less expensive korban and provide this person with complete...Read more...

A Pesah different than all others. 

04/02/2020 09:55:57 PM


Rabbi A. Allpert

Sweet friends, as Pesah soon approaches, there are more than just four questions this year: 1. This year some ask, “Will we find all the special foods we use for the Hag?” This year we might ask, “What’s the appropriate way to remove our Hametz?” This year we are certainly asking “How will family and friends be together?” This year we ask, “When will we return to our regular...Read more...

Hodu LaAdonai Ki Tob- The Jewish Approach to Thanksgiving

11/27/2019 02:32:51 PM


Yosef Lopez


There is an erroneous belief that Jews shouldn't celebrate Thanksgiving in the same manner as our gentile neighbors. Some go further and say that to mark the day in any way what so ever is to be following in the ways of the nations, which the Tora prohibits us from doing. This idea is not only wrong but springs from an approach that is not only ignorant of Judaism but our history as a people. 

Many Jewish...

Sarah's Gala Story

11/14/2019 02:49:53 PM


Sarah Frieden


Friends, Tucsonans, and Congregants, I come here not to praise myself (too much), but to praise Congregation Bet Shalom. Of course, what I am really praising is all of the people, past and present, who have supported our synagogue throughout all of our nearly 40 years of existence. 40 years is no insignificant number, as Rabbi Avi would say.

Now, some history about me and mine:...

Choosing Life 

11/12/2019 02:24:10 PM


Rabbi Dr. Bennett Blum

An interesting thing happened at my father-in-law’s funeral this past summer.  A friend of his, and mine, showed up to give comfort. He is a sweet, Moslem man who had a Jewish grandparent.  I knew that the month of Ramadan had started, and after he expressed his condolences, I asked him if there was a standard greeting or wish that is said during Ramadan.  He replied, “One of my friends is dead, and another is in...Read more...

Hesed is the Answer- Yom Kippur 5780

11/12/2019 02:17:53 PM


Rabbi Avi Alpert

Friends, we are together as a holy community preparing to recall impactful people in our lives who have left us… who are no longer in this world. We do this in the middle of this awesome day, a day appointed for magnificent reflection… for return. We bring to the forefront of our minds our losses and our state of deficiency, realizing that we are left alone, yet still capable of more living. 

And, in order...

The Message of the Akeda 

11/12/2019 02:13:35 PM


Jesse Davis

I think it’s fair to describe the Akedah as one of the most difficult passages in the Torah.  It’s hard to find anything redeeming in the story of a man who takes his son up on a mountain to murder him, who takes a boy away from his mother under the cover of a lie.  There are a range of rabbinic interpretations.  Some applaud Abraham’s willingness to put his obedience to God over the love of his son. Others...Read more...

Rosh Hashana 5780

11/12/2019 02:04:03 PM


Rev. Norm Rubin

On this Erev Rosh Hashanah 5780, we are now in the ’80s again! Are you nostalgic for the 1980s? Imagine you are transported back to 1982... That was the year the CD was introduced, Brezhnev and Princess Grace died, Britain went to war at the Falkland Islands. It was also the year that a new congregation opened its doors in Tucson.  I have here a copy of Bet Shalom’s first newsletter, HAKOL BAMIDBAR, THE VOICE IN THE DESERT....Read more...

Yom Kippur 5780

11/12/2019 01:50:34 PM


Lisa Schachter-Brooks

It is an honor to stand before you tonight on this day of At-One-Ment when our souls are called into the temporal Holy of Holies.  I want to start by expressing my gratitude for being right in this very place at this very moment with all of you and for this beautiful Sonoran Desert and the peoples who have welcomed us to dwell here.


I come to you as a congregant,  a congregational director and as a fellow...Read more...

What Bet Shalom Means to Me 

11/12/2019 11:50:13 AM


Sarah Freiden

Congregation Bet Shalom welcomed my husband and me around 35  years ago. Neither of us was thinking of joining a shul at that time. In fact, I was only looking for an outlet for my urge to write. Someone had told me that CBS had a very good newsletter to which  I might want to give an article or two. Drs. Harry Lawrence and Norm Rubin were the editors at that time. I met with them and was soon a regular contributor to the...Read more...

5778 RH Derasha Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler

10/02/2017 12:19:02 PM


Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler

Shana Tova Everyone,

I didn’t have an easy childhood. I grew up feeling as if I had to be fiercely independent and alone. I felt as if it was hard to ask for anything and tried so hard to solve all of my issues by myself. 

     I learned through my experiences that it was not safe to let others know of my deepest struggles and insecurities. Whatever I went through in the past, whatever I had achieved...Read more...

Fri, September 17 2021 11 Tishrei 5782