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Services (25)

  • Office Hours

    I am typically in my office at Temple Sholom of Ontario on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 am - 1:15 pm. I am typically available unless I have a pre-arranged appointment or commitment.

  • Office Hours

    I am typically in my office at Temple Sholom of Ontario on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:15 am - 1:15 pm. I am typically available unless I have a pre-arranged appointment or commitment.

  • Friday Evening Services שבת מעריב

    Expect to be both inspired and entertained by our modern Friday Evening services as we proceed through Shabbat Ma'ariv. Sermons are designed to integrate the current Torah portion with modern life situations, making the ancient relevant with the modern. We will now be conducting services live in the synagogue, and also via Zoom with Temple Sholom. Services will start on Friday (4/23) evening at 7:30 pm PT until 08:30 pm PT.  We will use the Siddur Hadash and you can also follow along with the Zoom link.

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Events (197)

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Blog Posts (473)

  • Replay of this past Shabbat services (June 11 & 12, 2021)

    Friday Night, Shabbat Ma'ariv (June 11, 2021) Sermon @ 1:02:00 Saturday Morning, Shabbat Shachrit (June 12, 2021) D'var Torah @ 1:28:20

  • This week's 10-Minute Torah (June 19, 2021): "Parashat Hukat" 5781 Parashat Chukat / פרשת חֻקַּת Read on 19 June 2021 (9 Tamuz 5781). Parashat Chukat is the 39th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. Torah Portion: Numbers 19:1-22:1 Parashat Chukat sets out the laws of corpse contamination (tumat hamet) and purification with the water of lustration prepared with the Red Cow (פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה, parah adumah, also called the “Red Heifer”). It also reports the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, the failure of Moses at the Waters of Meribah, and the conquest of Arad, the Amorites, and Bashan. This portion discusses the ritual of the Red Cow. A cow which is completely red, never had a yoke, is burned completely. The ashes are mixed with pure water in a clay vessel to purify anyone who was contaminated by touching a human corpse. The person is contaminated for seven days and is purified on both the third and seventh day. This is a decree, a law for which the rational reason has not been logically discerned. Some believe that the Red Heifer is to atone for the sin of the Golden Calf. This is why the cow was chosen. It is red because that is the color of sin. It is burned completely the same way the gold was burned to be molded into the shape of the Golden Calf. The portion then records the deaths of Miriam and Aaron. Thirty-eight years have passed. First Miriam dies and is buried. The presence of Miriam was responsible for water becoming available every three days. With her death, there was no water. The people of Israel complained to Moses and Aaron. Hashem told Moses to speak to the rock to bring forth water. Moses then struck the rock two times and water burst forth. Hashem told Moses that because he did not sanctify Him in front of the Children of Israel, he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land. Israel came to the land of Esau/Edom. They asked to use their roads but Edom would not allow it. They then had to take a different route. Aaron then went off to die. Hashem told him to take his son Elazar with him to a cave which will be his sepulcher. Aaron took off his priestly garments, dressed Elazar in them as his successor and then died. The people then complained about having unsubstantial food. Hashem sent fiery serpents to attack them. The people then repented, and Hashem had Moses place a fiery serpent on top of his staff. This way, anyone who stared at it was looking upward towards Heaven and thus gazing at Hashem. That way, they would be healed. Israel then came to the lands of Sihon and Og. Those lands would not let them pass, but they battled them and won.

  • Replay of this past Shabbat Services

    Live! From Ontario, California! Kabbalat Shabbat Shelach Friday Evening Service with Rabbi Stephen Epstein June 4, 2021 Sermon @ 44:30 Live!! From Ontario, California! Shabbat Shelach Morning Services with Rabbi Stephen Epstein June 5, 2021 D'var Torah @ 1:06:00

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  • Modern Rabbi | ModernRabbiShmuel | United States

    Top of Page New Blog Calendar Who Is Mighty? Portfolio My Story Videos Contact Me Services Events Order My Book Shabbat Times Subscribe Instagram Feed NewBlog Rabbi Stephen Epstein a day ago 1 min Replay of this past Shabbat services (June 11 & 12, 2021) 0 Write a comment Rabbi Stephen Epstein a day ago 2 min This week's 10-Minute Torah (June 19, 2021): "Parashat Hukat" 5781 1 Write a comment Rabbi Stephen Epstein Jun 6 1 min Replay of this past Shabbat Services 0 Write a comment Rabbi Stephen Epstein Jun 6 2 min This week's 10-Minute Torah (June 12, 2021): "Parashat Korach" 5781 9 Write a comment Rabbi Stephen Epstein Jun 3 3 min Ashrei: The Connection Between Trust and Happiness 3 Write a comment Rabbi Stephen Epstein Jun 2 3 min Ein Keloheinu: A Blessing Explosion 3 Write a comment Everyone looks for meaning in our lives. Why? Because when we feel we have a life’s work—a place in this world—we are more effective as workers, family members and as people. When we feel we have a purpose in life, we are more effective and become fulfilled. I am an ordained rabbi and I use the medium of Judaism to facilitate a spiritual regeneration that makes people more fulfilled. My work is to not just lead a person through the various course of the Hebrew calendar and life cycle events, but to relate that to your own feelings of self-esteem and self-worth. When we enhance our feelings of self-worth, it gives us more confidence to succeed and we lead a more satisfying life. Please join with me in exploring your inner self. Let’s see how we can use these milestones in life to make you a more self-actualized person who gets more out of life and feels more equipped to handle life’s challenges. Who is Mighty? One who subdues their passions. Proverbs 16:32 Hillel [also] used to say: "If I am not for myself, who is for me? But if I am for my own self [only], what am I? And if not now, when?" Pirkei Avot 1:14 LEARN ABOUT MY STORY Leading Our Community in Worship Ever since I was young, I discovered my strong faith in HaShem and the desire to pursue a life of service to others. As the most esteemed Rabbi in the southwest Riverside County area of Southern California, my religious service offerings were designed to suit everyone’s needs. Whether you’re looking for a certified Rabbi to officiate your next event, or simply want to gain more wisdom and learn about the Divine — I’m your number one source for all your religious needs. Call me today and see what I can do for you. Get In Touch Videos Hamentashen Moses Queen Esther Moses and Esther Conducting Zoom Services for TSO Friday Night Service 6/5/20 Friday Night Services 6/5/20 Friday Night Live Connie Snyder's Funeral Shabbat Across America 5780 Wedding Brit Melah Signing the Ketubah Officiating @ Hanukkiah Lighting Lauren Weisberg Bat Mitzvah 4 Lauren Weisberg Bat Mitzvah 5 Bat Mitzvah young lady (r podium) Baby naming Performing Wedding Rosh HaShannah with student 20170922_114420 Officiating Bar Mitzvah A successful Bat Mitzvah Shabbat on the Lake Explanations during Bat Mitzvah Getting Ordained Ordination Certificate Officiating Bat Mitzvah Leading Sunday morning service CONTACT RABBI STEPHEN Temple Sholom of Ontario Rabbi, Serving Southwest Riverside County and all of Southern California 951-526-4012 Send Your details were sent successfully! Upcoming Events Adult Torah Class Tue, Jun 15 Zoom Jun 15, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM PDT Zoom Discussing the week's Torah sedrah/parashat/portion RSVP Friday Evening Shabbat/Ma'ariv Services מערב שבת Fri, Jun 18 Temple Sholom of Ontario Jun 18, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT Temple Sholom of Ontario, 963 W 6th St, Ontario, CA 91762, USA We are back in the sanctuary conducting live services and will also be online via Zoom with Temple Sholom of Ontario. RSVP Saturday Morning Shabbat Shachrit Services שבת שחרית Sat, Jun 19 Temple Sholom of Ontario Jun 19, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDT Temple Sholom of Ontario, 963 W 6th St, Ontario, CA 91762, USA Services will be live and also conducted via Zoom with Temple Sholom of Ontario. RSVP Miller Introduction to Judaism - Module 10 High Holidays Sun, Jun 20 Zoom Jun 20, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PDT Zoom Judaism 101 Module 10 - High Holidays RSVP Trip to Israel Mon, Oct 04 ModernRabbiStephen Oct 04, 12:00 AM GMT+3 – Oct 30, 12:00 AM GMT+3 ModernRabbiStephen, Israel See the promised land with a group in a guided tour! RSVP My Services To You All Life Cycle Events: -Brit Melah/Baby Naming -B'nai Mitzvot -Weddings -Conversions -Funerals and Memorials -Spiritual Counseling Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Traditional and Non-Traditional Interfaith

  • Forum | modernrabbistephen

    To see this working, head to your live site. Forum Search Forum Explore your forum below to see what you can do, or head to Settings to start managing your Categories. Create New Post General Discussions Share stories, ideas, pictures and more! Posts 2 Follow Israel Media Media that gives an accurate and true story of what's happening in Israel Posts 10 Follow New Posts Rabbi Stephen Epstein 3h Bill Maher: Hamas negotiation demands are, 'You all die' Discussion Comedian Bill Maher hits back after Israel is accused of 'apartheid,' 'war crimes.' 'Hamas's charter just says they want to wipe out Israel.' Comedian Bill Maher REUTERS/Danny Moloshok "Real Time" host Bill Maher on Friday night defended Israel's actions during the recent Operation Guardian of the Walls, Fox News reported. "One of the frustrations I had while I was off is that I was watching this war go on in Israel … and it was frustrating to me because there was no one on liberal media to defend Israel, really," Maher, 65, said at a panel discussion. "We've become this country now that we're kind of one-sided on this issue. And I'd also like to say off the bat I don't think kids understand -- and when I say kids I mean the younger generations – you can't learn history from Instagram. "There's just not enough space." Responding to The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's claim that Israel committed "possible war crimes," Maher said: "Well, Gaza fired 4,000 rockets into Israel. What would you say Israel should have done instead of what they did?" Hamas, Maher pointed out, "purposely put the rockets in civilian places. That's their strategy." Maher also added that, "The Jews have been in that area of the world since about 1200 B.C., way before the first Muslim or Arab walked the earth." "I mean, Jerusalem was their capital. So if it's who got there first, it's not even close. The Jews were the ones who were occupied by everybody; the Romans took over at some point and then the Persians and the Byzantines and then the Ottomans. So yes, there was colonization going on there. Beginning in the 19th century, they started to return to Palestine, which was never an Arab country. There was never a country called Palestine that was a distinct Arab country." According to Fox News , Maher then pointed out that under the proposed 1947 plan, the Arabs would have had a "good part of the country," calling the Arabs "the people who rejected the half a loaf and continue to attack." "Hamas's charter says they just want to wipe out Israel. Their negotiation position is 'You all die.' The two-state solution has been on the table a number of times. There could be an Arab capital in East Jerusalem now if Yasser Arafat had accepted that in 2003. He did not. "I mean, they have rejected this and went to war time and time again," he emphasized, "And, you know, as far as Gaza goes, it's amazing to me that the progressives think that they're being progressive by taking that side of it, the Bella Hadids of the world, these influencers. "I just want to say in February of this year, a Hamas court ruled that a unmarried woman cannot travel in Gaza without the permission of a male guardian. Really? That's where the progressives are? Bella Hadid and her friends would run screaming to Tel Aviv if they had to live in Gaza for one day." Maher also noted that neither Britain nor Holland had any claim to South Africa, while in Israel the situation is different, Fox News said. "The Israelis, they have made mistakes, but it's an ‘apartheid’ state because they keep getting attacked! If they don't keep a tight lid on this s---, they get killed! That seems like something different!" he said. 0 comments 0 0 Rabbi Stephen Epstein 1d Responses to media contention about recent Israel conflict Discussion by Gene Trosper If you think the recent attacks on Israel was about land for peace, you are dead wrong. Israel was founded in 1948 and literally hours after Israel declared independence, all surrounding Arab nations attacked Israel with the goal of driving out the Jewish inhabitants. In fact, many of the Arabs living in Israel voluntarily left their homes, hoping they would return to a land free of Jewish presence. Of course, that didn't happen. Too many people focus on a timeline that begins with 1948, but when you go back before Israel's founding, numerous examples of genocidal behavior on the part of Arabs can be found, which destroys the popular narrative of poor, oppressed Palestinians who only want "their" land back. Try the 1834 looting of Safed. Just before the event took place, local Muslim cleric Muhammad Damoor said: "true believers would rise up in just wrath against the Jews, and despoil them of their gold and their silver and their jewels." Synagogues were burned, Jewish residents had everything stolen from them, and many were beaten, some to death. How about the 1929 Hebron massacre that saw 67 Jews killed in an unprovoked attack. Or maybe the 1938 Tiberias massacre which saw an Arab attack that resulted in 19 Jews killed, 11 of which were children? I can go on, but to continue the LIE that this is about land and NOT about genocidal Jew hatred is to be a party to evil. 0 comments 0 0 Rabbi Stephen Epstein 5d ISRAELPeople are accusing Israel of genocide. These human rights lawyers beg to differ. Discussion BY BEN SALES MAY 26, 20215:26 PM ( JTA ) — When actor Mark Ruffalo apologized on Monday for posts that “suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide,’” it wasn’t clear what comments of his own he was speaking about. But he drew attention to a loaded word that has leapt into public discourse in the past two weeks, during and after the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Accusations that Israel has been committing genocide in Gaza have flown freely, from seasoned activists to the Palestinian foreign minister to people wading into the Israeli-Palestinian issue for the first time on social media. Tweets with the words “Israel” and “genocide” appeared as often as thousands of times per hour on Twitter during the 11-day conflict, in which more than 250 Palestinians and a dozen Israelis were killed. But even human rights lawyers who have been deeply critical of Israeli policy and actions in Gaza and the West Bank say the genocide term doesn’t apply. As some Palestinian advocates are newly making the case that Israeli policy in Gaza fits some definitions of genocide, Jewish and Israeli human rights lawyers across the political spectrum use words like “ridiculous” and “baseless” to describe the accusation. Israel’s policy “doesn’t even begin to meet the threshold of what genocide is, and I think it cheapens the very important and grave concept of genocide,” said Michael Sfard, a prominent Israeli human rights attorney who wrote a legal opinion last year arguing that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid in the West Bank. Meanwhile, some Jews say that hearing the country be accused of genocide feels like a special affront given its connection to the Holocaust, the Nazi genocide against Jews that gave rise to the term. “Specifically picking the crime the Jewish people have suffered, perhaps more than any other people in history, is not only to accuse us of a great crime but to negate our suffering as a people,” said Eugene Kontorovich, an international law scholar who has defended Israel’s wartime conduct. According to an analysis provided to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by the Network Contagion Research Institute, which studies the spread of hate online, tweets including the words “Israel” and “genocide” were posted hundreds of times per hour throughout the fighting. At one point on May 14, tweets with those two words were shared more than 2,000 times per hour. One tweet about “the ongoing Israeli genocide in Palestine” was shared more than 3,700 times. The genocide charge was far from the only criticism of Israel that went viral during this period. But it was perhaps the most extreme — and widely disputed. “First and foremost, in order to commit the crime of genocide, one needs to have an intention to exterminate, in whole or in part, a group,” Sfard said. “And in the 30 years of my activism and more than 20 years of litigation, I haven’t seen a shred of evidence that Israeli officials and decision makers hold such an intention.” According to the United Nations , “genocide” consists of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” That can include killing members of the group, inflicting serious bodily harm on them, preventing births, forcibly transferring their children or creating “conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” Some Palestinian advocates say that definition applies in Gaza. Noura Erakat, a human rights lawyer and assistant professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, wrote a Twitter thread to her 108,000 followers last week explaining why she believes Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians and trying “to eliminate their presence & destroy their nation.” “The whole world stays silent and turns a blind eye to the genocide of whole Palestinian families,” Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki said at the United Nations last week. Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan walked out of Al-Maliki’s speech. Huwaida Arraf, a Palestinian-American international human rights attorney, told JTA that she used to avoid describing Israeli actions as genocide because when she did, some people “will automatically just have this visceral reaction that shuts you out instead of actually listening to you” because the word is so strong and because, for Jews, it evokes the Holocaust. Now, however, she is reconsidering. Arraf said that given the ongoing Israeli oppression of Palestinians that she observes, the question of whether Israel is committing genocide deserves to be investigated. “I don’t think it’s a secret that Israel does not want the Palestinian people there,” she said. “The actions are so vicious and brutal that it’s almost wrong to shy away from calling it what it seems like it is now. It might cause some people to close it off or blow it off or become just defensive, but I’m not sure that that’s necessarily a sufficient reason to hold back from calling it what it looks like.” Pro-Palestinian activists have accused Israel of genocide before — and sparked backlash from Jewish groups and others. During the 2014 Gaza War, Steven Salaita, a Palestinian-American professor, lost a tenured position he had been hired for at the University of Illinois following a series of critical tweets about Israel, including one that said, “The word ‘genocide’ is more germane the more news we hear.” And in 2016, the Movement for Black Lives put out a detailed policy platform that condemned “the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.” The platform led a range of Jewish organizations to distance themselves from the larger Black Lives Matter movement, a loose network of which the Movement for Black Lives is one group. During the racial justice protests in 2020, hundreds of Jewish organizations, including some that had voiced criticism in 2016, signed a statement supporting Black Lives Matter. This month, the spike in genocide accusations comes amid a rise in antisemitism around the world. In the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents rose 75% during the second week of the Israel-Gaza conflict compared to the week before it began. According to the ADL, the week starting May 17 saw 124 reported incidents of antisemitic harassment, vandalism or assault, compared to 68 two weeks earlier. The Secure Community Network, a Jewish security group, reported that antisemitism increased 80% in the past month. “Connecting invective that we’re seeing in online spaces to the real-world violence that we’ve seen is difficult to gauge,” said Oren Segal, the director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism. But, he added, “When you portray your opponents as those who are engaging in the worst types of crimes against a people, you’re going to create anger against those people you are accusing of doing that.” Sari Bashi, a human rights lawyer and prominent activist for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, said Israel’s military conduct in Gaza was “wrong and unlawful” — but not genocide. (She also said that Hamas committed war crimes by firing rockets at Israeli civilian populations but not “terrorism,” politically motivated violence usually perpetrated outside the confines of an armed conflict.) Bashi said the increase in accusations of genocide is a function of people trying to find strong language to register their outrage at Israel’s actions in Gaza. “There’s a tendency for people to take words that are strong and to use them to describe actions they find objectionable, whether or not they fit,” she said. “I think people often throw around strong terms. I don’t think you hear international lawyers or human rights groups issuing reports analyzing why it’s genocide because it’s not.” 0 comments 0 0

  • Useful Judaica Links | modernrabbistephen

    Sefaria Jewish Virtual Library

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Forum Posts (15)

  • Torah, Tanakh, Chumash

    A follow up from yesterday's class: This morning, it struck me that the Torah, in a written book format, is called a Chumash. The scroll is a Sefer Torah. Yet, the Tanakh acronym includes "Torah." So, since the Tanakh is not a scroll, I'm curious as to why it's Tanakh, instead of something like "Chnakh" ( or whatever the proper grammatical convention would dictate). Any insight would be appreciated!

  • Torah, Tanakh, Chumash

    Ok. That makes sense. Thank you!

  • Torah, Tanakh, Chumash

    Well, the Torah is a scroll because that was the original format. I always thought of a Chumash as, yes, a book, but more of containing the English translation and commentary. I don't know how the early Tanakhim were written, as various scrolls or what. Consider the Dead Sea scrolls where they found various parts of the Tanakh as scrolls. These days, if course, book format is easier.

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