A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Portrait of Rabbi Josef Davidson

Hearing, not only seeing, is believing

RABBI JOSEF DAVIDSON May 27, 2021

After my transfer to a new elementary school in the fourth grade, I was offered the opportunity to play a musical instrument. Music had always been a huge part of my life, whether in synagogue, which I attended each Shabbat morning with my grandfather,...

The new Kol Rinah building in Clayton is nearing completion.

Torah speaks to the challenges of reentry

RABBI NOAH ARNOW May 20, 2021

It’s been more than a year since I began reading the Torah through COVID-colored glasses. Or perhaps more aptly, I’ve been reading Torah this year through a mask. Familiar stories and concepts in the Torah read differently from home, on Zoom, streaming,...

Congregation B'nai Amoona. Photo: Bill Motchan

Shavuot is the time to again tune in to the divine voice

RABBI JEFFREY ABRAHAM May 13, 2021

When we enter the world of the Book of Numbers, Bamidbar, In the Wilderness, I harken back to the discomfort of my own camping experiences. There was always grumbling from me or my brother. Yet the wilderness is the place of revelation. True, its...

Studying, teaching, family pursuits top rabbis’ post-retirement wishes

Studying, teaching, family pursuits top rabbis’ post-retirement wishes

Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief April 22, 2021

What are you looking forward to when you retire from the rabbinate? That’s the question we posed to several St. Louis area rabbis. Here’s what they told us: Rabbi Noah Arnow, Kol Rinah, age 41:  Although retirement feels rather distant...

Jeffrey Stiffman is Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Shaare Emeth

What does retirement look like for St. Louis rabbis?

Eric Berger, Associate Editor April 22, 2021

In the mid ’90s, when Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman served as chairman of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) ethics committee, the Reform Jewish group faced a quandary: What do you do when a retiring rabbi sticks around too long? “There...

Rabbi Josef Davidson serves Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the weekly d’var Torah for the Jewish Light.

Prayers for women, families in childbirth sorrow

BY RABBI JOSEF DAVIDSON April 15, 2021

In Denver, I was based in the community’s nominally Jewish hospital and spent half of my time there delivering pastoral care to a wide variety of people and families.One of the areas in which I was called to specialize came as a result a need identified...

Cantor-Rabbi Ronald D. Eichaker serves United Hebrew Congregation and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the weekly d’var Torah for the Light.

Passover, the pandemic and a chance to delve deeper into our Jewish history, identity

By Cantor-Rabbi Ronald D. Eichaker April 2, 2021

This particular Passover observance, while it may be dominated by the external expressions inspired by time-bound practices, has presented us with an opportunity to recalculate our future by recalibrating our reason for being.Most of us, myself included,...

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham serves Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the d’var Torah for the Jewish Light.

Making memories is the sweet in Passover’s bitters

By Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham March 25, 2021

The “Sarajevo Haggadah,” handwritten and illustrated in 14th century Spain, was probably part of the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The details of how and when it arrived in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are not known. But it...

In this 2014 image, Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt takes part in a procession marking the completion of a new Torah scroll for the St. Louis Kollel. File photo: Donald Meissner

After three decades, a ‘changing of guard’ at St. Louis Kollel

Eric Berger, Associate Editor March 21, 2021

Ever since Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt spearheaded efforts to start the St. Louis Kollel in 1991, he has served as dean — in a part-time capacity.Now, three decades later, Greenblatt is stepping down from the position to allow a rabbi to run the Orthodox...

Rabbi Josef Davidson serves Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the weekly d’var Torah for the Jewish Light.

D’var Torah: A tale of two congregations

By Rabbi Josef Davidson March 11, 2021

Remember when we used to congregate together in our synagogues, at the Jewish Community Center, at restaurants, in movie theaters and in other such meeting places? Remember when people wearing masks were usually about to commit a crime rather than protect...

Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose is the Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Senior Rabbinic Chair at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Rabbi Rose is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association, which coordinates the d’var Torah for the Jewish Light. 

Second chances: Jewish tradition smiles on mulligans

BY RABBI CARNIE SHALOM ROSE March 4, 2021

This week’s parshah, Kee Teesa, contains one of the ugliest transgressions in the long history of the Jewish people: Chet HaEgel, the sin of the forging and worshipping the Golden Calf.Quite honestly, if I had my druthers, and the chutzpah to do so,...

Rabbi Hershey Novack is co-director of the Chabad on Campus Rohr Center for Jewish Life at Washington University.

Improving social ties on Purim

By Rabbi Hershey Novack February 23, 2021

A recent article in The Atlantic (“The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship”) focuses on the decline of interactions among “weak social ties” during the COVID-19 pandemic. This refers to the people we know casually – the people...

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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.