Quote of the Day


I do not claim that everything I say fits all synagogues equally. My charges are both specific and general. As to the specific, I make many particular claims here: that synagogues lack good spiritual leadership; that they do not use volunteers well; that they squander their members’ natural gifts because they never ask what they are; that synagogues do not rise to the level of excellence that the new generation expects; that their websites are poorly utilized; that their bulletins fill a congratulatory function (they reward the regulars who plan everything) but are inefficient as announcements; that tension is growing between rabbi and cantor; that, despite the claims of the regulars, synagogues are by and large neither welcoming nor warm; and so forth. To these and other specific claims, some readers will retort, “Not my synagogue!” And they might be right. If so, I can only respond that I wish most other synagogues could honestly say the same thing. I do not know the specifics of every synagogue, but I believe I am correct regarding the majority.



About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue in Agoura Hills, CA, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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