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“Yehiyeh lachem shabbaton”

05/22/2019 02:00:00 AM


“Yehiyeh lachem shabbaton”
Rabbi Avi Taff
Clergy Corner, May 22, 2019

Last Shabbat in Parashat Emor we read about the command to create a shabbaton (a day of complete rest, a sacred occasion) and that is exactly what we did. 26 families from our day school community descended upon Camp Ramah for our 5th annual Youdai Family Camp.  Children and families celebrating Shabbat, singing and dancing, appreciating...Read more...

Hineni Action Day

02/07/2019 02:03:49 PM



"Rabbi Hama, son of Rabbi Hanina, said: What does the Torah mean when it says: “You shall walk in the ways of the Lord.”  Can a person really walk in the shadow of the Divine Presence? Rather, it means that you should imitate the ways of God. Just as God clothed the naked, as it says: “And God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve and clothed them,” so you shall clothe the naked. Just as God visited the sick,...Read more...

I Need a Daddy-Do-Over

09/05/2018 12:26:15 PM


I Need a Daddy-Do-Over

The other night I was trying to put my 6 year old daughter, Eliana, to bed but she just wouldn't go to sleep!  It was late, I was tired and all I wanted was for her to go to bed so I could have a moment to myself, but she had other plans. She just wasn't tired and for good reason; she had fallen asleep earlier in the day (a practice she was not accustomed to doing) but I continued to put my needs above hers....Read more...

Lend Your Voice

02/15/2018 01:05:49 PM


Today I held my daughter's hand a little tighter than usual as I walked her into school.  On our drive to school this morning I had to change the radio station six times to prevent her six year old ears from hearing about 17 children, a little older but just like her, who were murdered, gunned down by a peer just yesterday in Parkland, Florida. I am in shock, but I shouldn't be; this isn't new to us. According to research done by the...Read more...

Camp Might Be The Best Place On Earth

07/26/2017 01:16:13 PM


Camp might be the best place on earth. Just hear me out. Every morning our campers at Camp VBS are greeted with a warm welcome, a smile, an emphatic “Boker Tov!” They are escorted to their camp rooms where they again are received by warm and caring counselors. Embraced by their fellow campers, they play until it is time for opening circle (my favorite part of the day!).  As soon as all campers are seated, each week begins with...Read more...

Ordinary People. Extraordinary Action

03/05/2015 01:09:00 PM


Swastikas as lawn decorations in Sacramento.  A Jewish student thought to be unfit for a UCLA Judicial committee, solely because she is Jewish. Jews targeted and killed in Europe.  BDS.  One would think we are living in a different time period.  It has been over 75 years since the Holocaust; one would think that humanity would have learned by now.  It is 2015 and we Jews are still experiencing anti-Semitism, hatred...Read more...

The Crown of a Good Name

05/22/2014 02:29:00 PM


This week I had the amazing privilege of teaching an inter-generational Mishnah class to my 6th grade day school students and members of Chazak. The back and forth, the discussion, was truly representative of the mishnah from avot which states, Ezeh hu chacham? Halomed mi kola dam. Who is wise? The Rabbis ask. One who learns from everyone (Avot 4:1). No matter age, position in society, we can learn from everyone we come into contact...Read more...

#bringyourwillinghearts #bepresent #liveintentionally #createholyspaces #repeat

02/20/2014 01:45:00 PM


Rabbi TaffIn full disclosure, I write this article not from the pulpit on high, but from the depths of parenthood and personhood, being a father, son, partner and friend. I write this for me because I believe that I need to hear this and be reminded of this message daily and maybe there are others like me who...Read more...

That Will Be the Day

08/01/2013 12:01:00 PM


Rabbi TaffOn July 4th, 1776, 56 representatives of the Continental congress gathered together to declare the independence of 13 American Colonies, separating themselves from the British Empire and thus forming what came to be known as the United States of America.

Our forefathers...

When Enough is Enough: Learning from Moshe to Take Action in the World

01/22/2013 01:03:00 PM


Rabbi TaffIt is unfortunately too often that we find ourselves in situations where we witness atrocities; People persecuted and denigrated because of the color of their skin or the religion of which they were born.  I often find myself saying, “I am but one person.”  It continues to bother me and the...Read more...

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