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Archive: Rabbi Jim Bennett

Joining in an Alliance of Virtue 

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

Last fall, I was invited to travel to Morocco with Mufti Asif Umar, Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, and Reverend Darren Casper of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association. During our short visit as part of the American Peace Caravan, we joined with similar teams from 20 cities around the U.S. Continue Reading »

Proud to be a Reform Jew: Reflections on the 2017 Biennial

Posted on January 2, 2018 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

I am proud to be a part of the Reform Movement! Early in December, I had the privilege of joining with nearly 6,000 other Reform Jews at the Biennial Convention of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), held in Boston, Massachusetts. Every time I attend a biennial or some other gathering of our movement, I Continue Reading »

Neilah: For those who struggle with prayer

Posted on September 24, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

“Neilah? What’s that?” I know, many Jews have long believed that the closing service on the day of Yom Kippur is the Yizkor, or memorial service, after which it is traditional for Jews to leave the synagogue, to beat the traffic, and go to an early break the fast.  The truth, of course, could not Continue Reading »

Message from the Rabbis and Cantor of Shaare Emeth

Posted on September 19, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

As we watch with dismay once again, our city and region are embroiled in painful dissent and angry protest spurred by the recent court verdict in the Stockley case. Like so many, we find the specifics of this case to be deeply disturbing. Once again, a bright spotlight is being cast on the injustice of Continue Reading »

Tallit on Yom Kippur

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

Upon entering a traditional synagogue on the evening of Yom Kippur, the solemn night of Kol Nidre, the haunting prayer of annulment of vows and forgiveness, one might be struck by something unusual. Unlike every other night of the Jewish year, when hardly a single tallit (prayer shawl) is seen in a traditional shul, Yom Continue Reading »

Sounding of the Shofar

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

Ever since I was a little boy, I have loved the sound of the shofar. When I was a young teen preparing to become a Bar Mitzvah, my grandparents gave me the gift of a shofar; that small, black and white ram’s horn still sits on my shelf in a place of honor. Not only Continue Reading »

The Holiness of the Day: Chosenness

Posted on September 3, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

One of the most difficult Jewish ideas for many of us who seek Jewish meaning is the idea of the “chosen people.” Were we chosen, or are we choosing? Does this idea of being chosen mean that we have been singled out, or is it simply a way to identify our unique destiny, different from Continue Reading »

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

We at Congregation Shaare Emeth join in overwhelming concern and compassion for those whose lives are being impacted so dramatically by the storms and flooding in Texas and the surrounding areas. We offer prayers for the safety, well-being and hope for those in the path of this storm and its flooding. We offer prayers of strength and Continue Reading »

Introduction to a New Machzor: What to Expect

Posted on August 22, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Jewish community brought offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem to express their profound gratitude, hopes and prayers on holy days such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The arrival of the New Year, heralded by the sound of the shofar, was also welcomed with burnt offerings to God. Similarly, Continue Reading »

Shaare Emeth Clergy Respond to Charlottesville

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Rabbi Jim Bennett

As we approach Shabbat and reflect on the events of the past week, we are angered and saddened, though not surprised, by all that has transpired in this nation we love. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the words and actions of white supremacist, neo-Nazi and alt-right groups in Charlottesville, Virginia. We mourn the loss of Continue Reading »

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