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long road

September 25, 2014 by mrblu5   Comments (0)

New, convert, judaism, help, friends

I feel a lot of work ahead and I'm being sent to a higher purpose in life..and need some help finding my way... friends welcome
thanks also gets lonely ...I don't have a religious group, but I'm religious thinking of Judaism as an interest for change.

long road

September 25, 2014 by mrblu5   Comments (0)

New, convert, judaism, help, friends

I feel a lot of work ahead and I'm being sent to a higher purpose in life..and need some help finding my way... friends welcome
thanks also gets lonely ...I don't have a religious group, but I'm religious thinking of Judaism as an interest for change.

Tallis on a Chuppah

September 22, 2014 by Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein   Comments (0)

When Grandpa died before the three young men married, the son who was the father of the three boys, decided to take action. He decided, since he was talented with his hands and building things, he would build each son a chuppah but dangle his father's tallis from a corner. Why he was asked? It had been his father's dream to see his grandsons married and the grandfather wasn't able to be there. Five years later, a tallis dangled for the third and last time from the family built chuppah. It was a powerful statement for this family. Each son had intermarried and yet each daughter-in-law accepted and supported the tallis dangling from the chuppah. It meant so much to each participant. It spoke volumes, as it fluttered in the breeze. Grandpa would have approved. The proud father nodded as the tallis billowed.

The chuppah tallis sitting on my shelf

September 20, 2014 by Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein   Comments (0)

chuppah tallis

Here's to marrying my children off Jewish. 30 Israeli vendors were brought into our part of the country to sell their wares right after Operation Protective Edge. I selected a tallis that I want to use at my children's Jewish weddings for their chuppah. I didn't ask, nor did I tell them that I was buying this tallis. I just went and did it. I need to believe that they will choose the right person for themselves when the time comes for them to marry. I need to believe that I will be able to marry them under the chuppah in keeping with our Jewish faith. I can pray.

The 4-6 minute wedding ceremony

September 20, 2014 by Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein   Comments (0)

shortened wedding ceremony

How does one divide up a wedding service so that it is shared equally between two officiants? It can't be done. I noticed that each of us were to be given 12 parts to the ceremony but I backed out of one of them. I had been asked to ask the congregation if it was OK to marry the couple, I explained to the bride and groom that Rabbis don't ask. It is a matter between them and G-d, not the congregation. The couple were taken a back. I think that they have watched too many movies and not attended enough Jewish weddings.
So my part in the service is now a full 4 minutes, possibly a bit longer, if I sing a few lines to a blessing.
One wonders why does an officiant have to go on and on at the ceremony when we know that a Jewish ceremony needs to last tops 15 minutes? What is accomplished by saying more when people want to hear less?
It will be interesting for me to experience a drawn out wedding ceremony and read the audience at its conclusion.
It's a shame that we don't have a dress rehearsal with wedding ceremonies in life. There is only one shot. Here is hoping that we are putting our best foot forward.

Working for G-d, Yah, Aylah, Eloha,

September 20, 2014 by Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein   Comments (0)

working for G-d, working with G-d

"And Here's God" was my introduction and I shirked. I explained, "I work for G-d, I am not G-d. I speak for G-d when I am asked and directed to. Sometimes I speak because the spirit moves me. But I am NOT G-d. " I was officiating at a wedding and I was asked to step in to speak for G-d, insinuating that G-d was there at the podium.
One wonders how often is that character projected unto the officiant at the wedding and assumed that G-d is stepping into conducting the wedding or other life event.
I am inspired by G-d, or however one describes G-d but I certainly can't view myself as G-d or G-d official designated spokesperson for all times and all occassions.
I am quite comfortable to invite G-d into our midst and welcome the opportunity to have G-d join in with us during the celebration. I hope for G-d's approval and wish the family well, with a life overflowing with blessings.
I can only speak for me and the inspired me at best. I pray to G-d like the best and worst of us. Please remember that I am human and work for G-d with gusto.

Like Minds Marrying in 2014

September 19, 2014 by Rabbi Claire Ginsburg Goldstein   Comments (0)

interfaith marriages work, right choices, clarifying choices, choosing the right religion

I have just begun performing interfaith marriages. I have been surprised, in a good way, by the people who have sought me out and I will tell you why. I am all for continuing on in our faith and preserving our culture. I think that for those of our people who are not going to observe being Jewish in an Orthodox way, intermarriage offers a positive choice for many people. I would never have said this a few years ago but I have noticed several of the people who I have met are genuinely enthusiastic about supporting our faith and living a Jewish life style. For whatever reasons, the non-Jewish partner has not converted according to the Orthodox way or not converted. Yet, many claim to know more about being Jewish than many Jews do and know. I have seen this time and time again. I have married several who are all for forgoing on their past religions and observing what they can of the Jewish faith. It might be buying challah on Friday afternoon to observing Rosh Hashanah besides Passover or Chanukah. It might be not observing but not observing Christian holiday observances. There are many people out there who have embraced living Jewish in their own ways. One man told me that he has lived with Jews now over 35 years and feels more oonnected to Judaism than he does to his religion. One woman began to convert but was turned off by the Rabbi who was teaching her. She stopped learning but she didn't stop practicing. She is waiting for the right Rabbi to come along. One young man told me that he would do whatever his wife wants Jewishly.
There are those who tell one another that they will figure it out when their children begin to come of age. I worry about the children. I don't think that it is fair to expect children to choose at such a young age what religion will fit them the best. What happens is a Jewish-Catholic version of living that has taken over where all holidays get observed and no one knows why. It resembles a Messianic Jewish lifestyle and that is not what these couples are saying that they want. They know what they don't want. They just don't know what they want exactly.
I am hoping to teach these couples as I meet more of them that there is a Jewish way to figure this out. Our tradition teaches us how to live, if we just give it a chance. In this week's Torah portion we learn that Moses taught us. Joshua taught us. It is up to us.
What we may want in life fits us know, but what about in ten or twenty years from now? It seems to me that we need more people to step up like the ones that I have met and define what living Jewish means to each of them and how we can make these interfaith marriages work. I know that they can work. I have seen it. It is trying to help this younger generation see what they need to clarify and need a vision of what their religious life will look like in the future, when life changes.
I am here to assist those couples who may be struggling with making their future choices. I have now met those who have made it work. I can share from those like minded people's experiences.

Metal roofing: pros and cons

May 22, 2014 by luwehazcu   Comments (0)

metal roofing, roofing contractor, roofing materials, roof replacement, reroofing, roofing company, roof installation

Deciding on your next roof can be extremely difficult. That is because it is a decision you will probably have to live with for many years to come. Also, there is a lot of factors to keep in mind when deciding on a roofing material. First there is the cost you have to keep in mind; prices can vary widely from one roofing material to the next. Then there is the question of how long you want your new roof to last. Asphalt shingles might last 20 years but other roofing options can last a lifetime. Then there is the question of maintaining your roof over the years. Finally, you cannot ignore the aesthetic qualities of a roofing choice. Each material has its own distinct look.

Let us look at one roofing material you probably overlooked: metal roofing.


Metal roofing is growing in popularity across the nation. And for good reason. There are a lot of advantages to a metal roof. Here are a few of them

*Longevity. A properly installed metal roof can last up to fifty years, about twice as long as an asphalt shingle roof

*Maintenance free. Metal roofing is the most low maintenance roof you can have installed. Metal is impervious to anything short of golf ball sized hail and tornadoes. A protective coating protects the metal roofing from rust. With a metal roof you don not have to worry about mold or damaged shingles

*Style. Believe it or not metal roofing does not have to be the bland sheets of aluminum you might see on some commercial buildings. Metal roofing can be made to look like wood, slate, or even asphalt shingles. In comes in a variety of colors and styles to complement virtually any home


As you might expect of a roof with so many great advantages, the only real con is the price. Expect to pay a lot more for a metal roof than you would for a traditional asphalt shingle roof. If you can afford a metal roof however, it is a great long term investment because you will be benefiting from it for years to come.

Other considerations

Roofers use different techniques when installing different types of roofs. Just because a roofer has a lot of experience installing asphalt shingle roofs or tile roofs does not mean that roofer has the experience and training to install a metal roof. Make sure you choose the right contractor for the job. Finally, if you belong to a homeowners association, make sure a metal roof is allowed.

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University Teaching

May 7, 2014 by ravsandy   Comments (0)

Judaic Studies, University of Central Florida, Hebrew Language and Culture

In the 2014 Spring semester I taught two courses in Hebrew Language and Culture at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. I had Jewish, Christian and other non-Jewish students in my classes. In the 2014 Fall semester I will be teaching three courses in Hebrew Language and Culture at UCF. You can read about these courses and other Judaic Studies offerings at

My Pesakh Seder

April 23, 2014 by REB ALIZA ERBER   Comments (0)

To all who have a Passover Seder:
Well I finally passed on the preparations for a Seder to my adult children. Both daughters are in Interfaith marriages and I always had the Seder at my home. So, my daughter Lori volunteered to shift the entire evening to her apartment in Manhattan. Now Lori, director and screen writer of the film 'A Place At The Table' is married to 'Top Chef' Tom Colicchio. Tom prepared the Pesakh feast for us and it was the most remarkable meal. I wish you could have all been there:-)
Rabbi Aliza

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