Local Rabbis

The End of Civility

By Rabbi Sam Yolen, Congregation Beth Israel (Lebanon)

Every society has cultural norms upon which common behavior is built. Times and standards may have changed, but along the way we enforce legal codes. In public we wear clothes, in cars we buckle our seatbelts, and with respect to halakh…

RamBaN, Defending Jewish Honor, and Outstanding Young Jews Today

By Rabbi Sam Yolen, Congregation Beth Israel (Lebanon)

For our ancestors who lived in Christian lands during the Middle Ages, there were few scarier moments in time than when Jewish leaders were summoned for public disputations. These were semi-regularly scheduled debates where the entire J…

Jewish Parallels Guide The Mandalorian

By Rabbi Sam Yolen, Congregation Beth Israel, Lebanon

After seeing too many “Baby Yoda” plushies to count, and hearing many rave reviews of Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian, I decided to watch the first two seasons of the hit show. I found the mythology of the “Mandalore,” to be paral…

Society in the Eyes of Spiritual Leaders

By Rabbi Sam Yolen, Congregation Beth Israel, Lebanon

A very well-known origin story of a spiritual leader begins in this common way. There is a young person who grows up sheltered within the walls of a palace. This youngster learns the ins and outs of courtly life and is protected from the…

Is There A Blessing for the Metaverse?

By Rabbi Sam Yolen, Congregation Beth Israel

Recently Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new rebranding campaign. Henceforth, Facebook shall be known as “Meta,” short for “Metaverse,” which is the culmination of decades of augmented reality technology and digitized human relatio…