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Articles written by glen pickus, temple beth or

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Reconfirming a commitment to Judaism

Confirmation is 200 years old, yet it is among the youngest of Judaism’s life-cycle events. The Confirmation ritual originated in the Reform movement and now is almost universally practiced in Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues. Even some... Full story


Resistance is not futile

When faced with annihilation there are few options. Such was the case in 1933 for Europe’s Jews when the Nazis seized power in Germany and began to implement their “final solution” – a plan to rid Europe of all Jews. The first step of the... Full story


Jewish forced to deal with the December Dilemma

For many Snohomish County Jews the holiday season means having to deal with the “December Dilemma.” Even for those of us who have developed effective coping strategies, December still gives rise to a certain amount of uneasiness. For many of us... Full story


We’re helping to eradicate family homelessness

Nowhere in America can a minimum-wage, full-time worker earn enough to afford the fair market value rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Nowhere. Not even in Mukilteo and Snohomish County. Given that, it’s no surprise that homelessness is a...


The flavor of Judaism

Judaism offers a myriad of ways to connect with God. Upon waking up in the morning, our liturgy offers a litany of blessings thanking God for everything from opening our eyes to allowing all of our body parts to work correctly. Upon death, the Jewish... Full story


We must never forget

The education of Jewish youth always includes learning “never forget” about the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is observed on the 27th of Nissan on the Jewish calendar (this year, April 18-19) as a memorial day for those...


Sign up to learn Hebrew

Hebrew is the universal language connecting all Jews. I could walk into a synagogue anywhere in the world and be able to join them in prayer (despite the fact my Hebrew skills are very limited). Similarly, a Jew from anywhere in the world visiting...


Repairing the world

When we choose a place of worship many factors come into play. Of course, the primary factor is faith – does our faith and that of the institution match? But what if faith wasn’t part of the equation. On what basis would you choose a... Full story


What is the right way to pray?

Trick question. At least at Temple Beth Or, where there is no “right” way to pray. Some members come to services and use song and music to help them meet their spiritual needs, while others may not utter a single word aloud during the...


Choosing to be Jewish

Judaism has many traditions, but proselytizing isn’t one of them. This is partly because Judaism respects the integrity of other religious beliefs as well as the convictions of those who opt for no religion. At the same time, though, Judaism... Full story


Ancient religion with modern observances

Judaism is ancient. At about 3,500 years old, it is the longest surviving monotheistic religion on Earth. Yet some of its widespread and common observances originated less than 75 years ago. Yom HaShoah, which is May 1 this year, is one of those new...


Sometimes silly is suitable

Temple Beth Or members and friends will be using the stage in Mukilteo’s new Rosehill Community Center to its fullest advantage one evening in March – by being silly. Why by being silly? After all, Temple Beth Or is a Reform Jewish...


The strengths of interfaith relationships

The task facing parents of different faiths in raising their children is significantly different from that of parents who share the same religion. Given the hurdles, can an interfaith marriage really be successful? Religious organizations typically... Full story


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