In today’s episode, Rabbi Alan Cook shares information and insight about different types of Judaism and Jewish practices including fasting, kosher food and Sabbath rules, and weekly readings of the Torah.
One of the things that are so special about the Jewish faith is the strong ties to family and community. Deeds of social action and care for relationships help move the world towards God’s vision of wholeness. Rabbi Alan shares stories of participating in summer camp, writing puns and poetry, and responding to social justice issues in the community and the nation. A sense of mindfulness and gratitude toward those he interacts with shows up in it all.
Rabbi Alan believes that each of us plays a collective part in harmony with everything and every person in the world. He shares stories of building relationships between the Muslim and Jewish communities in Champaign-Urbana and bringing together different faith communities and leaders under the Interfaith Alliance.
Don’t miss his original poem/blessing inspired by one of the weekly Torah portions at the end of the episode!
Meet Rabbi Alan
Rabbi Alan Cook was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003. After serving congregations in Denver and Seattle, he came to Champaign in 2013 to serve as the rabbi of Sinai Temple. Rabbi Alan is married to Rabbi Jody Cook, Sinai Temple’s director of education, and they have three children. In 2014, Rabbi Alan helped to reorganize the Interfaith Alliance of Champaign County and served as chair of the reconstituted organization for the first three years. Rabbi Alan has served as a board member of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and currently is on the board of Faith In Place. He enjoys writing, reading, and cooking.
Resources We Mention
- What is Reform Judaism?
- Thanks a Thousand and A Year of Biblical Living by AJ Jacobs
- The Red Heifer
- Simchat Torah: A celebration of completing the annual reading of the Torah
- The Heart of the Torah
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day by Judith Viorst
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