Blog

Torah and Trump

Commentary on Parashat Bo: Exodus 10:1-13:6 Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom Online Jewish Universalist Synagogue January 31, 2017 This week I’ve been reading many commentaries about this parashah trying to find the link between this ancient text and the latest actions of... read more

Preparing for the Holidays in an Multifaith Household

Drash before Chanukah Rabbi Em Mueller Sim Shalom Online Jewish Universalist Synagogue December 20, 2016 Yesterday, my daughter and her wife hung Christmas lights in the kitchen. They’d moved in with us in July — them and their five year old and their three year old... read more

Do Distance and Time Heal Wounds?

Drash on Toldot: Genesis 24:19-28:9 Rabbi Em Mueller Sim Shalom Online Jewish Universalist Synagogue November 29, 2016 How do we learn to get along with other people, especially if we can’t get along with our own literal sisters and brothers? This week’s parashah... read more

Learning from the Past for Today’s World

Drash on Vayeira: Genesis 18:1-22:24 In this week’s Torah reading we move from Abraham and God’s relationships to the multitudes and to the individual: First, God tells Abraham that God is going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gemorrah because they are filled with... read more

Finding the Path

Drash on Lech-lecha We’ve just finished the Days of Awe, filled with introspection, self-examination: Have we been our best selves? Are we following our true path? Then we rejoice in Torah, which is God laying out a path for a meaningful life. And we begin reading the... read more

Up from Enslavement: Moving Toward the Days of Awe

Drash on Elul 3: Leaving Enslavement Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom Online Synagogue September 6, 2016. This month of Elul continues our journey up from the depths of mourning, commemorated on Tisha b’Av – the 9th day of the month of Av. Elul is even more focused... read more

Belief vs Action

Drash on Re’eh: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom Online Synagogue August 30, 2016 I was reminded of the Taliban or ISIS destroying those huge old stone sacred sites in Iraq, and how the world mourned their loss, when I read in this week’s parashah... read more

And you shall love Adonai your God . . . Who???

Drash on Parashat Ekev: Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom Online Synagogue August 23, 2016 This week’s Torah portion encompasses promises both good and bad: “And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully, God will maintain faithfully for... read more

Where is Truth?

Dvar on Va’etchanan – Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom Online Synagogue August 16, 2016 This week’s Torah portion once again gives us the 10 commandments, beginning with “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” Rabbi Reuven Firestone writes... read more

Confronting Contradictions

Drash on Parashat Devarim: Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22 Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom On-line Synagogue August 2016 Two interesting things happen this week: We mourn the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem in 580 BCE and 70 CE, among our many other calamities; and... read more