Rabbi Yergin's Inspiration Blog


October 2015

When Youth Engagement Works: Teens Lead Younger Students – Rabbi Paul Kipnes


Halloween and the Jews


Joel M. Hoffman, PhD

Jewish Star Jack O'LanternWhen I was 11 years old, a grumpy Israeli teacher told me that good Jews don’t dress up for Halloween because it’s a Christian holiday when Christians persecuted Jews.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

First of all, Halloween began as a Pagan holiday, not Christian. The Celtic Pagan year was divided into two halves. The first half, roughly from spring to fall, was for the world of light, and the second half was for the world of darkness. Holidays marked the transitions from each half to the other.

In spring, Beltane celebrated the spiritual beginning of light-filled summer days and the life-giving force of the sun.

By contrast, Samhain (pronounced “sow-an”), the precursor to Halloween, fell on November 1 and represented summer’s end, winter nights, and, in general, darkness. As is typical of gateways and transitions (which are known technically as “liminal” times), Samhain was regarded with suspicion and…

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The Science of Character

The Making of a Mensch


At World Zionist Congress, Reform stakes its claim in Israel’s future | The Times of Israel

Beliefs of a Progressive

A wonderful glimpse into progressive Judaism by a Reform Rabbi!

Beliefs of a Progressive

“Why I am a Jew”

An incredible video with an amazing message by an inspiring Rabbi.

Why I am a Jew – full article


This is fascinating and enlightening.  This is powerful and devastating.  This is incredible.


My name is Eitan Chitayat. And #IMTHATJEW

This has been simmering with me for a while.
And I’ve been wondering when would be the right time to let it out.

The time is now.

Last year, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre went down in France, radical Islamic terrorists entered a kosher supermarket and gunned down innocent Jewish shoppers who were just out to buy some groceries. They were killed because they were Jewish – no other reason. The world remained largely silent.

And look at anti-Semitism now. It’s 2015 and it’s everywhere you look. In the streets. In the media. In the classroom. It’s practically en vogue.

Is this really what we’ve come to?

Lest any Jew forgets – because of all the violence directed at us, the hatred, the incitement to harm and kill, the vile words, the missiles, the rockets, the knives, the rocks, the deafening silence of the world that we all feel right now – we should be proud of our heritage, accomplishments and spirit. Just like anyone else on this planet. And we shouldn’t be shy about it.

Rise up, speak up and keep your chins up. We’ll get through this because we love life and we’re strong and smart and funny and beautiful and talented and resilient and educated and hard-working and positive and so much more.

We’re okay. In fact, we’re more than okay.
We rock. And here’s a little reminder.

Love and peace to all.


– Bob Dylan
– Elena Kagan
– Richard Dreyfuss
– Jack Black
– Alan Greenspan
– Drake
– Ed Koch
– Gabriel Macht
– Golda Meir
– Randy Savage
– Moses
– Billy Crystal
– Lou Charloff
– Asaf Goren
– Ben Gurion
– Mark Spitz
– Jeremy Piven
– Yael Arad
– Michael Bloomberg
– Sergey Brin
– Larry Page
– Howard Stern
– Sheryl Sandberg
– Shia Labeouf
– Mark Zuckerberg
– Bar Rafaeli
– Rachel Weisz
– Peter Sellers
– Alicia Silverstone
– Billy Joel
– Adam Levine
– Roman Abramovich
– Abba Eban
– Manuel Valls
– Steven Spielberg
– Jesus Christ Superstar
– Bernie Madoff
– Adam Goldberg
– Joan Rivers
– Paul Newman
– Judge Judy
– Menachem Begin
– Yitzhak Rabin
– Sammy Davis Jr.
– Amar’e Stoudemire
– Ben Stiller
– Jeff Goldblum
– Larry King
– Sacha Baron Cohen
– Arthur Miller
– Albert Einstein
– Sigmund Freud
– Ruth Westheimer
– Monica Lewinsky
– Francois Englert
– Carl Sagan
– Ilan Ramon
– Paul Rudd
– Jonah Hill
– Seth Rogan
– Andy Samberg
– Mel Brooks
– Jerry Seinfeld
– Bill Maher
– Larry David
– Scarlet Johansson
– Gal Gadot
– Natalie Portman
– Carrie Fisher
– Haim Topol
– Joseph Gordon-Levitt
– Amy Winehouse
– Ed Milliband
– Bernie Sanders
– Matisyahu
– Stephen Fry
– Sara Hurwitz
– Leonard Cohen
– Leonard Nimoy
– William Shattner
– Daniel Pearl
– Pope Francis
– Dalai Lama
– Sarah Silverman
– Madeleine Albright
– Mark Knopfler
– Yoni Netanyahu
– Yitzhak Rabin
– Families of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel
– Gene Simmons
– Yuri Foreman
– Liev Schreiber
– Eli Weisel
– Shimon Peres
– Coen Brothers
– Harvey Weinstein
– Beastie Boys
– Simon and Garfunkel
– Rina Wertheim
– Lucian Freud
– Ralph Lauren
– Nigella Lawson
– Adam Sandler
– Woody Allen
– Harrison Ford
– Lenny Kravitz
– Madonna
– Dustin Hoffman
– Benjamin Millepied
– Kirk and Michael Douglas
– Jon Stewart
– Gene Wilder
– Pink
– Winston Churchill
– Franklin Roosevelt
– Martin Luther King Jr.
– Jim Henson
– Bill and Melinda Gates
– John Lennon


Special thanks to Dana, Adam, Uri, Hed, Ari, Dina, Shelley, Avi.

***The use of these media materials is protected by the Fair Use Clause of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, which allows for the rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purpose of commentary, criticism and education.***


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