Rabbi Elias Lieberman2018-09-04T16:12:58-04:00

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Rabbi Elias J. LiebermanRabbi Elias J. Lieberman was born in Baltimore, MD, in 1953. He attended Vassar College, where he earned his A.B. degree in Drama, cum laude, in 1975.

Rabbi Lieberman was ordained in 1984 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. From 1984 to 1990 he served as Assistant, and then Associate, Rabbi of Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore, Maryland. In July, 1990 he accepted the call to serve the Falmouth Jewish Congregation.

Rabbi Lieberman has been actively involved in many social justice concerns during his rabbinate including freedom for Soviet Jewry, equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people, and furthering understanding between the Jewish and African-American communities. He is active in the effort to combat HIV/AIDS and is an eager participant in a variety of interfaith efforts. In December, 2005 he was appointed as an inaugural member of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission.

Rabbi Lieberman has written:

“Judaism cannot be lived in isolation … to be a Jew is to be part of a community. Those Jews who actively affiliate with a synagogue are already making a significant statement about the importance, in their hearts and minds, of Jewish survival. Mine is the privilege, as rabbi, to encourage and counsel, to inspire, and be inspired by those whose lives intersect my own.”

“It is my fervent desire to see the Falmouth Jewish Congregation become a place where Judaism is enshrined as a vibrant force in our collective lives–a congregation eager to mine the riches of our tradition for inspiration; to fashion innovative interpretations of time-honored rituals to carry us into the future; to build bridges across chasms of alienation and despair; to create a legacy for our children which will nourish their aspirations; to try to find meaning in a world long on material comforts but short on the stuff of the spirit.”

To reach Rabbi Lieberman by e-mail: rebelias@comcast.net

RABBI’S THOUGHTS

Narrow Bridge

Narrow Bridge November, 2020 I began writing this column on Election Day and it is quite possible that this issue will go to press before the results of the presidential election have been resolved. Like many of us, over the past few weeks I have grown increasingly anxious, distracted and worried for the future of our nation. I am [...]

My Father & the Coronavirus

I’ve been thinking of my father, of blessed memory, lately. He was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1911 and died in 1988. Two particular aspects of his childhood captivated me when I was young: the fact that his daily walk to and from school had him pass by the bicycle shop of Orville and Wilbur Wright and his having [...]

God in hiding

Purim, that spring revel-of-a-holiday that is always touched with a suggestion of anarchy, falls on March 9/10 this year. If your memory needs refreshing, Purim brings us the story of an ancient Persian Jewish community that, overnight, finds itself facing a genocidal threat. Scholars are generally of the opinion that the story is not grounded in any real experience; [...]

Chavurah @ FJC

Chavurah @ FJC Whenever I have the opportunity to engage new members of our congregation in conversation and I ask them what led them to join us, I am frequently told that they were attracted to the warmth and vibrancy of our community. Needless to say, it is always gratifying to hear such an affirmation of who we strive [...]

“Beautiful Fool”

As January approaches each year, a song percolates up through my consciousness and I pull up on my computer, and listen to, several recorded versions of it . It is called Beautiful Fool and it was written and recorded by Kathy Mattea. You can hear her recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Iv5Bm0xUGg Martin Luther, who did you think that you were? Appointed [...]

Nechemta (consolation)

The Shabbat following Tisha B’Av, that summer date commemorating the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, is known as “Shabbat Nachamu.” The name is taken from the opening word of the week’s haftarah: Nachamu, nachamu ami—“comfort, comfort My people.” It is with this sentence that we begin the series of seven haftarot known in halachic literature as shiva d’nechemta, [...]

Narrow Bridge

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772 - 1810) was the  great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov. In his short life he became one of the most creative, influential and profound of the Chassidic masters. From his youth, Nachman followed a path of asceticism and prayer. He emphasized living life with joy and happiness. One of his best-known sayings is, "It [...]

We can all use some “hygge”!

OCTOBER Robert Frost O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; Tomorrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day seem to us less brief. Hearts not [...]

The 11th Commandment

Describing Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (z”l), Krista Tippet, host of On Being, writes: “A mystic, a 20th-century religious intellectual, a social change agent, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., famously saying afterwards that he felt his legs were praying.” I have long admired the life, passion and work of Rabbi Heschel and one particular quote [...]

David’s Old Silver Swim

[I am pleased to relinquish my column-space this month to my friend and FJC member Dr. Mike Fishbein, who has an important message to share about another friend and FJC member, Dr. David Garber] The 9th Annual David Swim event is scheduled for August 10th. The swim is a fundraiser for ALS but also a way of honoring a [...]