On Shabbat Shekalim, we read that each Israelite was required to contribute a half-shekel as an offering to God. “The half-shekel is about each Israelite having representation and an equal voice,” says Rabbi Shira Gluck. As Jews outside of Israel, we can make our voices heard by voting in the World Zionist Congress elections.
“’Let my people go!’ isn't complete,” says Rabbi Shira Gluck at a special Kabbalat Shabbat in her honor. “The full message that Moses and Aaron delivered to Pharaoh: was, ‘Let my people go that they may worship me.’ Israel is meant to worship together as one. Just as the very first chag l'Adonai was a gathering to celebrate the Eternal, this Shabbat is a celebration of us — and the sacred relationship between rabbi and congregation.”
Hanukkah is a time to ask “How to be a Jew in the world?” says Rabbi Shira Gluck. “Even some of the Maccabees had Greek names. The story of Hanukkah is not as simple as ‘us versus them.’”
Rabbi Shira Gluck delves into the history of Thanksgiving, and encourages us to “not let Thanksgiving be the only thing we know about indigenous Americans!” She enjoins us to acknowledge our historical reality, for “our expressions of thanks are more powerful when we acknowledge what made them possible.”
On Yom Kippur, Rabbi Shira Gluck discussed Parashat Nitzavim, in which Moses called up the Israelites to be “fully present” to affirm their covenant with God. “Nitzavim calls to each one of us to assume our place in the assembly of Israel. As your newest rabbi, I am here to help each of you find your place.”