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Shabbat to Shabbat: Laughter, Community and Purim

03/09/2017 04:35:20 PM


Rabbi Bradley G. Levenberg

It was my first introduction to Temple Sinai.

I recall vividly that it was in February, 2006, and I was gathering information about different congregations at which I was going to be interviewing. Well, Rebecca and I were both doing the research: I was checking on the clergy team and Rebecca was perusing congregational websites. I was in the middle of a class and my cell phone rang. Sending it to voicemail, I refocused on the class, only to hear it ring again and then again. I excused myself and took the call when it came in again: it was Rebecca, telling me that I needed to leave right after class and meet her for coffee.

I admit to being nervous, but when we met and sat down, she pulled out a folder that said, “Placement.” In the folder was information about each of the congregations in consideration but she fixated upon the information she learned about Temple Sinai. She uttered phrases like, “Brad, they do a ton of programming, which is what you want.” and “Brad, they just renovated and expanded their building – it’s brand new!.” But what sold me was the next sentence:

“Brad,” she said, “they do their own adults-only Purim Shpiel.”


How delighted I was to get an interview with Rabbi Ron and Scott Zucker, then chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee. And how wonderful it was when, on March 9, I received an invitation from Rabbi Ron to come to Atlanta and interview (a date that I recall because it was his birthday! BTW, Happy Birthday, Rabbi Ron!). And how fantastic it was when I managed to time my visit to coincide with the Adults Only Purim Shpiel.

I loved the irreverence. I loved the crowd, the songs, the dance, the fun and the funny. I loved the inappropriate. I fell in love with Sinai that day and now, 11 years later, I get to grin as I get to once again experience the show that brought me to this community in the first place.

I can tell you it is going to be a great night when we hold our Adults Only Purim Shpiel this Sunday evening. I know from experience how fun it is to sit in the crowd and laugh and celebrate the festival of Purim the way it was intended. And I can assure you: it is just as much fun11 years later as it was when we first said, “Shalom.”

See you this weekend for Shabbat, or on Sunday morning for the Purimpalooza events, or (or perhaps AND) on Sunday night for the Shpiel.

Shabbat Shalom,



Mon, July 13 2020 21 Tammuz 5780