Welcome to Beth El’s Clergy Blog

February 16, 2018 in Rabbi Greg Harris

Finding my expressive ‘voice’ is not an easy undertaking.  I do not mean my voice which emerges through my throat.  I am focused on my expressive voice which arises from my heart.  In this regard, my voice is what makes me or you an interesting conversationalist to some people yet disagreeable to others.  My voice is my ‘take’ on the world and my comfort in letting it shape me as a person.  With the quantity of communication we undertake today, I would have thought the idea of an authentic voice was easy to describe but I was mistaken.

I am not the first to be focused on refining my voice and listening for other’s expressive messages.  In the earliest chapters of the Torah, chapters 3 and 4 of Genesis, the word ‘voice’ (kol) is found five times.  In context, the words refer to: the voice of God, the voice of a wife, the voice of a brother, and the voice of a husband.  The repetition of this single word so many times within just two chapters should raise a flag of interest for a close reader.  Realizing these scenes happen as humanity is evolving may inspire exegesis.  The Torah’s early focus on a diversity of voices, God and human, male and female, is exciting.  While not as complete a listing as we might craft today, the Torah is teaching us to listen to other’s inner voices as well as our own.

This weekly blog will be a channel for sharing the voices of Beth El’s clergy and expose us to other interesting thinkers in the Jewish world. Each week will feature a post by one of the clergy.  We will also include outside thinkers / bloggers whom we feel will add to our communal conversations.

Through this blog, we hope you will be inspired and challenged.  The topics will range from reflections on liturgy, Torah readings and holidays to cultural encounters, theology, and Israel.  As with most undertakings, we expect our efforts to be iterative as we refine this weekly experience.

We hope you enjoy the evolving ideas and voices presented in Reflections Off the Bimah.