Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel

85 Harrison Street, New Haven, CT 06515-1724 | P: 203.389.2108 |

Our banner is based on BEKI’s stained glass, designed in 2008 by Cynthia Beth Rubin. For information on this and other of Cynthia’s work, go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Artisan Fabrication by JC Glass of Branford, CT
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Beauty and Art in the Sanctuary

Posted on July 17, 2014

For today’s services, a number of congregants have added touches of beauty to the synagogue and the services. In my Devar Torah, I would like examine the place of beauty and art in the Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a place where we pray together, where we venerate the wisdom of the Torah, where we tell Continue Reading »

Shabbat Para – Sabbath of the Cow 5760

Posted on July 17, 2014

Today is Shabbat Para, the Sabbath of the Cow, one of the four special Shabbatot that surround the month of Adar. We read today about the famous red heifer, the para aduma, whose ashes were necessary for the purification of the Jews in preparation for Pesah. Mixed in water, the ashes of the para aduma Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shira

Posted on July 17, 2014

In this haftorah [prophetic Scripture reading, Judges 4:4 – 5:31], Deborah helps Barak defeat his enemies, more or less. His enemies, or enemy, is Sisera, a general fighting for King Jabin of Canaan. In the end, Sisera gets killed by a tent spike through the head. But as they say, what goes around, comes around. Continue Reading »

Benot Torah Celebration — Shabbat Shavuot

Posted on July 17, 2014

This morning I’d like to comment on a few elements of today’s parasha and say a few words about the Book Of Ruth — not to necessarily enlighten you as to the meaning of the text — I leave that for others more scholarly — but to share with you how they resonated with the Continue Reading »

Isaiah’s Message of Teshuva & Healing

Posted on July 17, 2014

The haftorah (prophetic reading) of today’s parsha (Torah portion) is a poem of Isaiah. It is a wonderful selection both because it so well echoes the sentiments of the Torah portion but also because it is such beautiful poetry. I’d like to talk about Isaiah and conclude with a reading of a portion of the Continue Reading »

Joseph, His Brothers, and Forgiveness

Posted on July 17, 2014

Over the past few years, as I have reached the age where my mortality has become more obvious to me, I have been struggling with the issue of forgiveness. In some ways, I regret to say, am not as forgiving a person as I would like to be. I still harbor grievances for wrongs done Continue Reading »

On Teshuva (Repentence)

Posted on July 16, 2014

Our choice, Moshe tells us today at the end of Parshat Nitzavim, is between life and death, between the blessing and the curse. Teshuv el Adonai Elohekha — return to the Lord your God — and Hashem will give us abundant food and wealth and children. And if we turn away? Brimstone, salt, burnt earth Continue Reading »

Zionism & Pluralism

Posted on July 16, 2014

Almost exactly 100 years ago, on 29-31 August 1897, Theodore Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland. From the First Zionist Congress came the Basle Program, defining the goal of Zionism as the establishment, through human initiative, of “a home for the Jewish people in Palestine.” Fifty years later, the promise of the Continue Reading »

Wither BEKI Men’s Club?

Posted on July 16, 2014

Drew Allison is President of BEKI Men’s Club and graduate student at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Presented at BEKI Men’s Club Shabbat, Shabbat HaHodesh 4 April 1997 Shabbat shalom. Welcome to the Men’s Club Shabbat, Shabbat HaHodesh–welcome Men’s Club members and welcome all guests. This is the last Shabbat before we come to Continue Reading »