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Ravid Tilles's blog

Sermons About Diversity and Inclusion

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 12:30pm -- Ravid Tilles

February was Jewish Inclusion and Disabilities Awareness Month. The timing could not have been more perfect with the Torah reading cycle! Here are two sermons that I gave, in consecutive weeks, which taught about the importance of being diverse and unified. The importance of inclusion and the importance of celebrating difference. The first semon is specifically about how we should include people with disabilities in our communities and the second one takes a slightly different spin and talks about the current political scene in America. Enjoy and feel free to comment!


Untaneh Tokef 5776

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 11:32am -- Ravid Tilles

I mentioned on Rosh Hashanah that the Untaneh Tokef prayer always makes me cry. It is more than a prayer; it is a statement of censure against the world. The famous words of the prayer, declare that on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur it is written and sealed, who will live and who will die. I am sad, because I wish it would say, “will people die? Will people die by fire and will people die by water?” but we obviously know that these tragedies are inevitable. Which is why I cry.

Clearly, there was eight days worth of oil to begin with: An Alternative Look at the Chanukah Miracle

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 9:47am -- Ravid Tilles

What is the miracle of Chanukah? A trendy question during this time of year. There are two answers that I hear most often: the military victory and the miracle of the long-lasting oil. It is this second miracle, the one about oil, that gets the most “play” in our modern society. So many of our Chanukah traditions center around oil (lighting a Chanukiah and eating oily foods specifically).

Don't Hit Snooze: Your Voice Will Be Heard

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 3:56pm -- Ravid Tilles

Wake up everyone! Elul is here! 

This morning we celebrated the first day of the new month of Elul by blowing the shofar. Jewish tradition commands us to blow the shofar every morning during Elul (except for Saturdays) to prepare us for the upcoming High Holiday season, which will begin immediately following the end of this Hebrew month.

This Year's Fast Means More

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 3:16pm -- Ravid Tilles

I hate fasting. I guess that's the point, but there are religious observances which I practice that I find unpleasant yet inspiring or meaningful. Not fasting though. Some will say that fasting allows us to focus on the things in life that are more important than food, but I always find myself thinking more about my food intake on fast days than any other days of the year. I obviously have found great meaning in the other religious observances which I practice, but fasting is a challenge.

Talking Torah - The Perfect Souls

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 10:27am -- Ravid Tilles

Talking Torah is back! This week I was joined by Leslie Levy, the founder of SNIPS (Special Needs Informal Parent Support group). We discussed how this week's parsha, Emor, connects to Leslie's important work in supporting families who have children with special needs. I hope that you learn something interesting and will spread the word about SNIPS.


Also, please remember that there is a cantorial candidate coming to the MJC this Shabbat. Come out and see what he has to offer!


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