Hi Rabbi!

Responding to your request:

>As we enter Shabbat, with our prayers pointed towards Jerusalem, what are your prayers for this current time?  What are the values and principles that you hope will guide Israel into the future?  And to reflect more broadly, what, in your life, are the moral imperatives and concerns that you hold most dear?<

Prayers: That Israel free itself from the domination of racist, anti-democratic fascists who persecute non-Jewish Israelis, kill innocent people in the illegally occupied territories, and demolish entire towns in violation of international law.

Values and principles: Israel will reject apartheid and illegal colonization; it will recognize the rights of the Palestinian people and refuse to be controlled by ultra-orthodox fanatics who are filled with hatred.

Values most dear:

Tzedakah: Deborah and I have NEVER ONCE ignored ANYONE asking for alms. We stop, speak with our fellow human being, and give what we can; because of the decline of begging around Barre and Montpelier, I carry $20 bills with me to give to desperate people.

Gemilut hasadim: even small acts of kindness and friendliness can matter. We greet the cashiers at the stores where we shop with warmth; I hand over daily jokes at the stores I visit daily. If someone behind us in line has few items, we invite them in front of us. If I see a car with a non-functioning brake light and it’s possible to drive up beside them safely, I let them know nicely. When I see the young person with Down’s Syndrome helping out at the Shaw’s in Waterbury, I greet her warmly. When I have lunch or supper at my favorite Chinese restaurant (China Moon in Barre) I greet the waitresses and cooks in Mandarin and leave a 30% tip.

Tikkun olam: We support environmental and animal-welfare causes with monthly donations. I am active in the progressive movements to support LGBTQIA rights and women’s rights. Long-time member of the ACLU and SPLC. Donations to World Central Kitchen and aid for Ukraine. Life Member (with a plaque!) of the NAACP.