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The 42nd Annual MLK Parade

01/10/2020 11:42:50 AM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

The 42nd Annual MLK Parade
Marching with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the Houston Jewish Alliance for Civil Rights
Monday, January 20, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM.  In celebration of Dr. King’s legacy of civil rights, the Houston Jewish community will be participating and marching in the 42nd Annual MLK Day...Read more...

A Happy and Meaningful Hanukkah

12/20/2019 12:02:31 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

On Hanukkah, we ponder the light of the candles. After the ritual candle lighting, we traditionally recite "Hanerot Halalu," which contains the words, “We don’t use these lights, we only gaze upon them”. We are prohibited to use the candle light for anything but meditative, sacred purpose. Why?

As we gaze upon the Hanukkah lights, we have the opportunity to absorb their soulful, inner wisdom. Rebbe Nahman of...Read more...

Becoming More You

09/25/2019 11:12:57 AM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Delivered on Shabbat Morning
September 14, 2019

I pray that we all have bad habits that we want to break. I pray that none of us feel that we are perfect human beings. Human beings are not designed to be perfect. Yes, we are all deserving of love, affirmation and respect, just the way we are. But, I pray that we all have the ability and humility to self-reflect and grow. I pray that we all have at least...Read more...

KOLOT: Celebrating the Plurality of Jewish Voices

09/17/2019 01:42:17 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

The fourth volume in the KOLOT: Celebrating the Plurality of Jewish Voices thought journal includes an essay/sermon by Rabbi Teller.

This volume centers around the theme of "Living Jewish Values on a Daily Basis." This edition features commentary and interviews from academics, cultural critics, rabbis, and more! A valuable addition to any Jewish...Read more...

Wearing White on Yom Kippur

09/11/2019 08:55:41 AM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

The clothes we wear orient us and influence our behavior. When we wear business attire, we’re oriented toward work. When we wear jeans and a t-shirt, we’re oriented toward relaxation. When we wear athletic gear, we’re oriented toward exercise. Sometimes, when I’m lacking motivation to exercise, I put on athletic gear, which dramatically raises the likelihood of exercising. It works. Clothing orients and influences us.

On Yom...

High Holy Day Prep with Rabbi Teller

09/04/2019 02:49:09 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom Friends,

Join us for the first of three Havdalah Song Sessions for the Soul this Saturday night at 8:00 PM as we begin the process of transformation and renewal.

This week begins the month of Elul, the run-up to the High Holy Days. This is the time to start our process of renewal.

Take note of your happiness quotient. What’s going right in your life? What’s not going right? Realize that you can grow and...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom From Jerusalem

07/26/2019 01:00:46 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom from Jerusalem,

I’m in Israel spending the week at a rabbinic seminar at Yad Vashem. It is the first program of its kind, designed to expose rabbis to the depth of scholarship and research in the Yad Vashem archives, and provide pulpit rabbis with pedagogical strategies. There are 15 rabbis in the group, mostly Orthodox, a few Conservative, one Reform, and several from Chabad.

We are delving deeply into Holocaust...

Nexus of Theater and Worship

05/30/2019 09:39:48 AM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

A few years back, Brith Shalom put on a play entitled "Bart’s Wedding." I was selected to play the role of Bart’s rabbi. We hired a director and stage manager to help create a meaningful, quality production. The professional team brought in extra stage lights, directed the players, blocked the movements, enhanced the sound, and generally assisted with the production. I struggled with the irony.  All of these...Read more...

A Simple Seder Suggestion

04/15/2019 01:28:35 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

The Talmud teaches that the seder should begin in pain and move toward praise. Toward the beginning of the seder, around the dipping of the karpas in saltwater, share a difficult moment that you experienced this year. Then, ask people to share a difficult moment of their own. Toward the middle of the seder, around Dayeinu, share a wonderful moment that you experienced this year. Then, ask people to share a wonderful moment of their...Read more...

Morning Minyan

03/27/2019 03:09:23 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom friends,

Our 7am morning minyan needs our support. As a Conservative synagogue, we value daily communal prayer and the tradition of saying kaddish for our loved ones on the yahrzeit anniversary of their passing. Recently, our minyan has come up short of the quorum of ten. As a traditional congregation, this shortfall means that we can’t say kaddish for those we love.

If you are able, please come and help us make a...Read more...

Mishpatim 5779/2019

02/08/2019 02:03:12 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller


I learned a spiritual metaphor this week that has already helped me in number of ways, and I’d like to share it with you. It sounds a bit light-hearted at first, but I’ll try to connect the term with some deeper, practical wisdom. The term is “a spiritual trampoline.”

Wikipedia reports that the first trampoline was built by George Nissen and Larry Griswold in 1936 at the University of...Read more...

Cantor Mark Levine’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations at Brith Shalom

12/14/2018 02:05:04 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

Cantor Levine is a blessing in our Brith Shalom community. When he arrived 10 years ago, we knew that our community would be blessed with an expert Jewish educator. Since then, the blessings have multiplied exponentially. We now also know about his true mastery of professional skills, the intensity of his passion, and the depth of his commitment. As a community, we have presented Cantor Levine with many new challenges...Read more...

Alternative Davening Experiences

11/30/2018 02:16:35 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

In the weeks and months to come, you will have the opportunity to experience alternative davening experiences. As we continue to strengthen our traditional services, we are also experimenting with more progressive modes of prayer. If these experiments in davening work, we’ll consider continuing them as alternative options to our traditional davening. We are not attempting to replace our traditional davening. Rather, we...Read more...

Soul Session - Judaism

11/28/2018 11:12:21 AM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Rabbi Teller's “soul sessions” interview at Lone Star College with Professors Cory Colby and Margaret Jelinek Lewis.

This was part of a discussion series to create understanding about faith communities that each compose less than 3% of the U.S. population. The discussion series was hosted by Professor Cory Colby and Dr. Margaret Jelinek-Lewis, and was sponsored by Lone Star College - Tomball Center for Civic Engagement, the Office of Student Life, and the Center for International Studies.

Happy GivingThanks

11/18/2018 02:17:47 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are called to cultivate our gratitude. Yes, there is brokenness in the world in need of repair. Yes, we all have opportunities for growth and areas of concern.

So, how do we cultivate gratitude in a landscape of brokenness, lack, and concern? Start from the bottom up with 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Appreciate life.

If you are reading this email, it means that you are...Read more...

Words Matter

11/09/2018 02:19:41 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Words Matter
A Poem in Response to the Tragedy in Pittsburgh
Rabbi Ranon Teller

Words have power to inflame. Words have power to comfort.

Words matter.

As survivors and mourners search for meaning, some are finding meaning in the power of words.

Words matter.

We console each other with words. We sing our songs to You, Adonai.

Words matter.

We Bless...

Rabbi's Yom Kippur Sermon: Learning and Integrating Resilience

09/20/2018 02:21:29 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

Thank you for an incredibly meaningful and uplifting High Holy Days. Please send me your reflections on cultivating resilience. I will compile our collective wisdom to offer as spiritual resources for my colleagues in North Carolina as they pastor to their communities…in addition to the material resources.

Blessings and love,

Rabbi Teller

Learning and Integrating...

Rabbi's Rosh Hashana Sermon: The Jewish Value of Politics

09/12/2018 02:23:13 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

The Jewish Value of Politics
Rosh Hashana 5779
Rabbi Ranon Teller
Congregation Brith Shalom, Bellaire, TX

This year, I didn’t have to choose the topic for my sermon. This year, the topic presented itself to me. This year, it’s clear what’s on our minds and our hearts. This year it’s clear what’s weighting heavily our collective soul…politics. We are all immersed in politics – each...Read more...

Rabbi's Erev Rosh Hashana Sermon: Actualizing Metaphors of the Machzor

09/11/2018 02:25:25 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Actualizing Metaphors of the Machzor
Erev Rosh Hashanna 5779
Rabbi Ranon Teller
Congregation Brith Shalom, Bellaire, TX

Tonight, we begin our High Holy Day journey. Tonight, we allow ourselves to be transported and lifted into transcendent, High Holy Day space. We are presented with an opportunity – the opportunity to use our religious images and our metaphysical metaphors to do our soul-work....Read more...

Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later

08/14/2018 02:26:59 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

Friday, August 25 marks the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Texas. A year later, we’re still in recovery from the devastation and loss.

Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. Possessions were washed away. Families and communities were traumatized.Interfaith Ministries is providing a prayer ritual for us to recite in our houses of worship and in our homes entitled “The Work of the...Read more...

Experimenting With Prayer

05/11/2018 02:30:44 PM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

Shalom all,

Next year, we’ll be experimenting with a few different services and learning opportunities. The goal is to offer a diverse menu of Shabbat services to help you connect to your Judaism and your Jewish soul on a regular basis.You are travelling on your own unique Jewish Journey with your own unique set of Jewish needs, tastes, and styles. The diversification we are offering will make it easier for you to find your...Read more...

Tue, January 28 2020 2 Shevat 5780