If you leave synagogue the same person you were when you entered, you may as well have not come in.” // Moredechai Kaplan

Sometimes we hear something in shul that sticks with us. A meaningful perspective, a moving story, a promise of closure. But, as we return to our frantic lives, these messages can be lost. Here are some of the insights on the Torah that IKAR rabbis have shared with the community.

The Big Idea:

David Hartman was right when he said a shul should be judged not by the number of people sitting in its pews, but by the power of the ideas it communicates.  IKAR’s mission is to bring some imagination and creativity into a very old idea – the idea that human beings ought to live in full dignity, driven by a profound sense of purpose and grounded in holy community.  I am motivated every day by a desire to reanimate Jewish ritual, tradition and learning and make them accessible and inspiring people on all sides of the religious spectrum – from the Jewishly unschooled to the jaded insiders to the diehards.  To my mind, Jewish spiritual and ritual depth is wed inextricably to social responsibility and the mandate for social change – so my davening on Friday night is directly linked to our ability (or inability) to pass decent gun laws that Wednesday.  And I consider a fluid and experimental culture to be essential to the future of our organizations and synagogues, and critical to the spiritual vitality of our religious leadership.

               – Rabbi Sharon Brous

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