Rabbi Neil's WEEKLY WORDS!
Rabbi Neil's WEEKLY WORDS - Rabbi Neil touches onthe courage, kindness and compassion in the aftermath of the violence at the Boston and discusses this week's Torah portion "an eye for an eye..." and how impracticle that is - that we need to turn this into something more positive - WE need to be better than that...
Click here to watch the 1st of Rabbi Neil's Video Blogs - a 2 minute video about the Boston Marathon tragedy.
Read Rabbi's Rosh HaShanah Sermons
There is a way for you to help the victims and families who must live with the aftermath of this terrible event.
100 percent of collected donations will go directly to help victims and their families. The Jewish Federation will absorb all administrative costs. Your support will help those affected by the attack address supplemental needs not covered by Israeli government bodies.
Here's an easy one. You can come at this from the point of view of Dr. Suess's "The Lorax", "(who speaks) for the trees...for the trees have no tongues, " or from the perspective of Deuteronomy 20:19 which not only makes it nearly impossible for us to wage war against humans, it even mentions trees: "...You shall not destroy (a besieged city's) trees by forcing an ax against them...and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a human being that it should besieged by you?" The Torah asks few rhetorical questions, but when it does, it's important. By the way, I took out the first line of the letter that SumofUs suggests we send. It's unnecessarily strident.
Send a Message to Ikea to stop destroying Russia's old-growth forests before it's too late. Click here
Leviticus 19, also known as the Holiness Code (i.e., how we should act with one another in order to activate each other's holiness!) tells us "You shall not oppress your fellow. You shall not rob. The hired worker's wage shall not remain with you overnight until morning." Keeping someone at an hourly salary that is below anything approaching a living wage is tantamount to oppression, robbery and holding their wages overnight. Some have had their wages held "overnight" for years. Let's feed this economy and help each other get back on our collective feet!
The need to keep pressing Congress on behalf of working class Americans who desperately need a raise remains urgent. At just $7.25 an hour, or roughly $15,000 per year, the current federal minimum wage is leaving millions of hard working Americans in poverty.
Support Senator Tom Harkin's (D-IA) legislation to raise the federal minimum wage. Tell your Representative: Raise the minimum wage - Click Here
Khadija Tahir has fond memories of her life in Darfur before the genocide began. After fleeing the anjaweed militia for the relative safety of the Farchana refugee camp, her problems were not over. This 26-year-old mother of young children faced potential rape and attack every time she left the camp to collect firewood. Two of Khadija’s children died after becoming ill and she struggled to make a new life. But with your support, Khadija has found hope in the the Solar Cooker Project.
Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam, a village, jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, that is engaged in educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples.
They recently suffered an arson attack apparently from a neighboring "outpost settlement" that was declared illegal andordered to be dismantled. Check out this incredible village at and you'll be inspired. I hope you choose to give them a little help, too!
AT THE CAR WASH
Rabbi Neil presents the Bonus Carwash on Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica with an olive tree, thanking them for signing a contract with their workers.
Get actively involved -- Click here for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
CURRENT AREAS OF CONCERN
- Rebuilding the International School in Gaza and bringing students to UCLA for a "college prep summer."
- We are working with Imagine LA to mentor a formerly homeless family
- We have partnered with the Islamic Center of So. Cal to promote interfaith activities, understanding and respect.
Neil's Album: "On This Day and all the Time" is now available!. Featuring 14 songs that will take you a musical journey for kids of all ages born of heart and inspiration.