Passover Pro-Tips

A not exhaustive but decently comprehensive list for seder hosting By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh   Plan Ahead The beginning of the seder should not be the first time you’re picking up the Haggadah. Get to know the book, and make some decisions about what you want to do and not do for your seder. You […]

God May Speak, But We Sing

Rosh Hashanah 5779: P’sukei D’Zimra Kavana By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh I come from a very musical family. My great uncle, his brother my grandfather, their cousin, all of their children and even me and my sister — and that’s only my mom’s side of the family. Dad also had musical chops. My point, however, is […]

Who shall live, and who shall die?

Yom Kippur 5779: Unatanah Tokef By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh This year when I started looking at the liturgy of Unatanah Tokef to speak to you now, I found myself unexpectedly desensitized to the question: “Who shall live, and who shall die?” Usually, when the time comes during the year to ask this question about the […]

It’s Always Worse at Night

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5779: Kavanah for Hash-ki-veinu By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh My Zayda was a doctor and in his wit and wisdom coined a few phrases in our family, one being: “It’s always worse at night.” This was the refrain that evolved in response to our modern-haunts: an ear infection, sniffle, heartbreak, and grief-stricken evening. […]