Baruch Ha-Ba! Welcome!
I'm delighted that you stopped by to visit this virtual extension of my temple office!
The rabbis of old taught us that there were shivim panim la'torah - seventy faces of the Torah....A multiplicity of readings and interpretations....and a plethora of Jewish identities that both grow out of, and reflect back onto, the text itself. Their assertion is startling. Unlike other religious traditions, Judaism has never been univocal. We have always encouraged discussion and debate. And most importantly: we have always questioned.
As Rabbi Elliot Dorff, one of the most pre-eminent scholars of our time, has written: "Seeing multiple meanings in the text of the Torah may not always produce agreement, but it at least should make one aware that those who disagree with you may be just as smart and moral as you are and that they may have a point that you should consider, even if it does not ultimately change your mind. That is, the seventy faces of the Torah should induce in us a certain sense of epistemological humility and, with that, an openness to learning from others and to living with pluralism."
"Epistemological" "Humility": the sense that while we may passionately believe in a particular view of the world, we cannot know with any objective certainty that that view is better, or more accurate, than the worldview of those who are different from us. I can't think of two words that better summarize the very essence of what Reform Judaism, my rabbinate, and Scarsdale Synagogue are all about.
If you are curious about how to make your life more Jewishly meaningful in that context, then read on. I hope that the content you find on this website both challenges you and invites you to join our 3,000 year old conversation. There are avenues aplenty to do that through this website. From here, you'll be able to follow my periodic blog postings, get to know me a little better, get a taste of the kind of things I like to read online by way of my Twitter feed, and follow along with all of the latest news headlines from America, Israel, and the rest of the Jewish world.
If you like what you've read, or have questions about your own spiritual journey, then I want to personally invite you to join the conversation "in person." The doors of Scarsdale Synagogue are open to everyone!
To reach me directly, do drop me an email at RabbiBrown@sstte.org, or reach me by phone at (914) 725-5175. I'd love to sit down with you and begin to get to know you.
And for information about all of the worship services, classes, and events that fill the calendar of Scarsdale Synagogue, please visit the temple's website at www.sstte.org.
With blessings of health and fulfillment for you and your loved ones,
Rabbi, Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El