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Chatting with Rabbi Mike

Chatting with Rabbi Mike

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Chatting with Rabbi Mike
Chatting with Rabbi Mike

Chatting with Rabbi Mike

Chatting with Rabbi Mike

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About Us

Rabbi Michael E. Harvey of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2015. He earned a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion & a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University. Throughout his tenure at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Harvey served congregations, small & large, in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, & Texas.Certified as a Prepare & Enrich marital & pre-marital counselor, Rabbi Harvey served as a chaplain at both Norton Hospital & Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. He is committed to interfaith education & social justice, locally & nationally. His dedication to both these areas can be seen in the work he has done with The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education, the American Jewish World Service, The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, & The Chautauqua Institution. Rabbi Harvey sits as a board member for the United Way of the Virgin Islands, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, Advisory Board of the UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality & Professionalism, & Downtown Revitalization Faith Group. He also serves on the Development Committee for the Family Resource Center & is the founder & president of the newly formed Interfaith Council of the Caribbean. Plus, he proudly serves as a member of The Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise, as part of Rotary International. Additionally, he is a member of the rabbinic advisory council for the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, “The B’nai Ya’akov Council.” Rabbi Harvey lives happily in St. Thomas with his wife, Barrie, and his son, Asher.

Latest Episodes

Counting of the Omer, An Important Verbal Counting of 49 Days

Counting of the Omer (Hebrew: Sefirat HaOmer, sometimes abbreviated as Sefira or the Omer) is an important verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot as stated in the Hebrew Bible: Leviticus 23:15–16. This mitzvah ("commandment") derives from the Torah commandment to count forty-nine days beginning from the day on which the Omer, a sacrifice containing an omer-measure of barley, was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, up until the day before an offering of wheat was brought to the Temple on Shavuot. The Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) for Rabbinic Jews (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), and after the weekly Shabbat during Passover for Karaite Jews, and ends the day before the holiday of Shavuot, the 'fiftieth day.' The idea of counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah which was given by God on Mount Sinai at the beginning of the ...

32 MIN2017 MAY 17
Comments
Counting of the Omer, An Important Verbal Counting of 49 Days

Israel’s Independence Day as Celebrated in the United States

Many Jewish Americans in the US remember Israel’s Independence Day, also known as Yom Ha’Atzmaut (or Yom HaAtzmaut). Celebrations are annually held on or around the 5th day of the month of Iyar, according to the Jewish calendar. Many Jewish organizations, including community centers, university student groups, & some schools, organize events to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Many of these events are open to the general public and include entertainment such as: Kosher pizza dinners, Singing, music & dance performances, Face painting, Flag-making activities, Barbecues, Special rides, including camel rides. Some Jewish communities also celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with benefit concerts featuring bands from Israel, & local bands. A variety of music is usually offered, ranging from traditional music with a rock twist to modern music from Israel. Various art & craft activities for children & young teenagers are also incorporated into events that celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, which is n...

32 MIN2017 MAY 2
Comments
Israel’s Independence Day as Celebrated in the United States

Passover: A Festival of Freedom

What is Passover?Passover is a festival of freedom that commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, & their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first 2 nightof the holiday. It's a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories & song & the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah &maror(bitter herbs). The seder’s rituals & other readings are outlined in the Haggadah. What are some Passover practices?The central Passover practice is a set of intense dietary changes, mainly the absence of hametz, or foods with leaven. (Ashkenazi Jews also avoidkitniyot, a category of food that includes legumes.)In recent years, many Jews have compensated for the lack of grain by cooking with quinoa, although not all recognize it as kosher for Passover. The ecstatic cycle of psalms called Hallel is recited both at night & day (during the seder & morning prayers). Additionally, Passover commences a 49-day p...

32 MIN2017 APR 12
Comments
Passover: A Festival of Freedom

Jewish Ethics: Some Basic Concepts and Impressions

Most subsequent Jewish ethical claims may be traced back to the texts, themes, and teachings of the written Torah. In early rabbinic Judaism, the oral Torah both interpreted the Hebrew Bible and engaged in novel topics. Ethics is a key aspect of this legal literature, known as the literature of halakhah. Jewish ethics is the moral philosophy particular to one or both of the Jewish religion and peoples. Serving as a convergence of Judaism and the Western philosophical tradition of ethics, the diverse literature of Jewish ethics' broad range of moral concern classifies it as a type of normative ethics. For two millennia, Jewish thought has focused on the interplay of ethics with the rule of law. The tradition of rabbinic religious law - Halakhah - addresses several problems associated with ethics, including its semi-permeable relation with duties that are usually not punished under thelaw. Jewish ethics may be said to originate with the Hebrew Bible, its broad legal injunctions, advis...

33 MIN2017 APR 4
Comments
Jewish Ethics: Some Basic Concepts and Impressions

Rise of Antisemitism, Bomb Threats at the JCC's, Violations at Cemeteries

A series of coordinated bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the United States have threatened children, many of them preschoolers, and theirparents,causing repeated evacuations and creating a sense of anxiety some are finding hard to shake. The FBI is investigating at least 54 bomb threats at JCCs in 27 states, with 11 new threats called in Monday, February 6th. Over the weekend, gravesites at a Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri, were vandalized. One JCC in Birmingham, Alabama, has been forced to evacuate its school and preschool twice in the past month. "If the intention was to scare us, these bomb threats have failed," David Posner of the Jewish Community Center Association told NBC News. Some parents, however, are certainly shaken by the continued threatened violence against their children. The threats started January 9, when theJewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported16 JCCs in the Northeast and Southeast received recorded messages threatening them ...

32 MIN2017 FEB 28
Comments
Rise of Antisemitism, Bomb Threats at the JCC's, Violations at Cemeteries

Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family

As Trump bars refugees & Muslim immigrants from coming to this country, it’s worth remembering the Jews who were shut out the last time we closed our borders—like Jared Kushner’s grandmother. By Lizzy Ratner, a Senior Editor at www.TheNation.com Oszcar Ratowzer, also known as Osher, was my grandfather. The manifest lists him as being 16, but my family believes he was closer to 19 or 20 when he boarded the Aquitania in Southampton, England, on Oct. 23, 1920, & began his 3rd-class voyage across the Atlantic. The journey took 7 days, finally depositing ? him at Ellis Island, America’s “Golden Door,” the gateway to a world without pogroms or hunger or the horror of world war. There, he would almost certainly have been met by an assembly line of doctors & inspectors, who would have poked & peered at him, pried & questioned until, content with what they’d found, they would send him on his way with a landing card & a new identity: Harry Ratner. A pogrom is a violent riot aimed at th...

31 MIN2017 JAN 31
Comments
Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family

Special MLK Event, the Interfaith Council, Civil Rights, and the Holocaust

AARP Virgin Islands is very pleased to be joining with Interfaith Council of the Caribbean (ICC) to present a special Martin Luther King event featuring Reverend Otis Moss and Andrew Sternberg on Sunday, January 22nd in the Administrative Conference Room on University of the Virgin Islands Campus on St. Thomas from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and again on Monday, January 23rd, in the Cardiac Center adjacent to the Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix from 4:00p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reverend Moss worked and marched with Dr. King and has personal knowledge to share about the life and philosophy of the man. Mr. Sternberg is a survivor from the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II and will also be providing a presentation on his experiences. Both men have a wealth of inspiring information and understanding to share about the how peace in the world can be achieved, despite overwhelming odds. On behalf of AARP VI and the Interfaith Council of the Caribbean we sincerely hope that you will ...

32 MIN2017 JAN 17
Comments
Special MLK Event, the Interfaith Council, Civil Rights, and the Holocaust

Annual Shabbat Awards Service Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

African Americans & American Jews have interacted throughout much of the history of the United States. This relationship has included widely publicized cooperation & conflict.Cooperation during the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68) was strategic & significant, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the relationship has also been marred by conflict & controversy related to such topics as the role of a small number of American Jews, among a large number of other Americans & others, in the Atlantic slave trade. The summer of 1964 was designated the Freedom Summer, & many northern Jews traveled south to participate in a concentrated voter registration effort. Two Jewish activists, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, & 1 black activist, James Chaney, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Mississippi, as a result of their participation. Their deaths were considered martyrdom by some, & temporarily strengthened black-Jewish relations. Martin Luthe...

28 MIN2017 JAN 12
Comments
Annual Shabbat Awards Service Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

The Difference of Languages within Hebrew and Its Evolution into Spoken Hebrew

Hebrew is a language native to Israel, spoken by over 9 million people worldwide, of which over 5 million are in Israel. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afro-asiatic language family. Modern Hebrew is one of the 2 official languages of the State of Israel (the other being Modern Standard Arabic), while premodern Hebrew is used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world today. Ancient Hebrew is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Arabic is their vernacular. As a foreign language, it is studied mostly by Jews and students of Judaism and Israel, and by archaeologists and linguists specializing in the Middle East and its civilizations, as well as by theologians in Christian seminaries. The...

32 MIN2016 NOV 29
Comments
The Difference of Languages within Hebrew and Its Evolution into Spoken Hebrew

Rabbi Mike Escorted Students for a Life Experience in Israel

Rabbi Mike willshare the landmarks thatstudents from the Montessori School on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands visited during theirtrip to Israel & Jordan. The Liberty Bell Park and Surroundings, one of Jerusalem’s largest, created in 1976 in honor of the US bicentennial. The Weitzmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institutions in the natural & exact sciences. Shabbat at the Kotel:According to Jewish tradition, the Western Wall is the holiest place on earth. It is never holier than on the holiest day of the week, Shabbat. The Dead Sea,bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan,is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400 meters below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. The Old Citycovers roughly 220 acres). The surrounding walls date to the rule of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman, the Magnificent (1520-1566). Al Khazneh,one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient Arab Nabatean Kingdom city of Petra. Jerusalem, a Middle Easter...

33 MIN2016 NOV 24
Comments
Rabbi Mike Escorted Students for a Life Experience in Israel

Latest Episodes

Counting of the Omer, An Important Verbal Counting of 49 Days

Counting of the Omer (Hebrew: Sefirat HaOmer, sometimes abbreviated as Sefira or the Omer) is an important verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot as stated in the Hebrew Bible: Leviticus 23:15–16. This mitzvah ("commandment") derives from the Torah commandment to count forty-nine days beginning from the day on which the Omer, a sacrifice containing an omer-measure of barley, was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, up until the day before an offering of wheat was brought to the Temple on Shavuot. The Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) for Rabbinic Jews (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), and after the weekly Shabbat during Passover for Karaite Jews, and ends the day before the holiday of Shavuot, the 'fiftieth day.' The idea of counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah which was given by God on Mount Sinai at the beginning of the ...

32 MIN2017 MAY 17
Comments
Counting of the Omer, An Important Verbal Counting of 49 Days

Israel’s Independence Day as Celebrated in the United States

Many Jewish Americans in the US remember Israel’s Independence Day, also known as Yom Ha’Atzmaut (or Yom HaAtzmaut). Celebrations are annually held on or around the 5th day of the month of Iyar, according to the Jewish calendar. Many Jewish organizations, including community centers, university student groups, & some schools, organize events to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Many of these events are open to the general public and include entertainment such as: Kosher pizza dinners, Singing, music & dance performances, Face painting, Flag-making activities, Barbecues, Special rides, including camel rides. Some Jewish communities also celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with benefit concerts featuring bands from Israel, & local bands. A variety of music is usually offered, ranging from traditional music with a rock twist to modern music from Israel. Various art & craft activities for children & young teenagers are also incorporated into events that celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, which is n...

32 MIN2017 MAY 2
Comments
Israel’s Independence Day as Celebrated in the United States

Passover: A Festival of Freedom

What is Passover?Passover is a festival of freedom that commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, & their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first 2 nightof the holiday. It's a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories & song & the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah &maror(bitter herbs). The seder’s rituals & other readings are outlined in the Haggadah. What are some Passover practices?The central Passover practice is a set of intense dietary changes, mainly the absence of hametz, or foods with leaven. (Ashkenazi Jews also avoidkitniyot, a category of food that includes legumes.)In recent years, many Jews have compensated for the lack of grain by cooking with quinoa, although not all recognize it as kosher for Passover. The ecstatic cycle of psalms called Hallel is recited both at night & day (during the seder & morning prayers). Additionally, Passover commences a 49-day p...

32 MIN2017 APR 12
Comments
Passover: A Festival of Freedom

Jewish Ethics: Some Basic Concepts and Impressions

Most subsequent Jewish ethical claims may be traced back to the texts, themes, and teachings of the written Torah. In early rabbinic Judaism, the oral Torah both interpreted the Hebrew Bible and engaged in novel topics. Ethics is a key aspect of this legal literature, known as the literature of halakhah. Jewish ethics is the moral philosophy particular to one or both of the Jewish religion and peoples. Serving as a convergence of Judaism and the Western philosophical tradition of ethics, the diverse literature of Jewish ethics' broad range of moral concern classifies it as a type of normative ethics. For two millennia, Jewish thought has focused on the interplay of ethics with the rule of law. The tradition of rabbinic religious law - Halakhah - addresses several problems associated with ethics, including its semi-permeable relation with duties that are usually not punished under thelaw. Jewish ethics may be said to originate with the Hebrew Bible, its broad legal injunctions, advis...

33 MIN2017 APR 4
Comments
Jewish Ethics: Some Basic Concepts and Impressions

Rise of Antisemitism, Bomb Threats at the JCC's, Violations at Cemeteries

A series of coordinated bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the United States have threatened children, many of them preschoolers, and theirparents,causing repeated evacuations and creating a sense of anxiety some are finding hard to shake. The FBI is investigating at least 54 bomb threats at JCCs in 27 states, with 11 new threats called in Monday, February 6th. Over the weekend, gravesites at a Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri, were vandalized. One JCC in Birmingham, Alabama, has been forced to evacuate its school and preschool twice in the past month. "If the intention was to scare us, these bomb threats have failed," David Posner of the Jewish Community Center Association told NBC News. Some parents, however, are certainly shaken by the continued threatened violence against their children. The threats started January 9, when theJewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported16 JCCs in the Northeast and Southeast received recorded messages threatening them ...

32 MIN2017 FEB 28
Comments
Rise of Antisemitism, Bomb Threats at the JCC's, Violations at Cemeteries

Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family

As Trump bars refugees & Muslim immigrants from coming to this country, it’s worth remembering the Jews who were shut out the last time we closed our borders—like Jared Kushner’s grandmother. By Lizzy Ratner, a Senior Editor at www.TheNation.com Oszcar Ratowzer, also known as Osher, was my grandfather. The manifest lists him as being 16, but my family believes he was closer to 19 or 20 when he boarded the Aquitania in Southampton, England, on Oct. 23, 1920, & began his 3rd-class voyage across the Atlantic. The journey took 7 days, finally depositing ? him at Ellis Island, America’s “Golden Door,” the gateway to a world without pogroms or hunger or the horror of world war. There, he would almost certainly have been met by an assembly line of doctors & inspectors, who would have poked & peered at him, pried & questioned until, content with what they’d found, they would send him on his way with a landing card & a new identity: Harry Ratner. A pogrom is a violent riot aimed at th...

31 MIN2017 JAN 31
Comments
Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family

Special MLK Event, the Interfaith Council, Civil Rights, and the Holocaust

AARP Virgin Islands is very pleased to be joining with Interfaith Council of the Caribbean (ICC) to present a special Martin Luther King event featuring Reverend Otis Moss and Andrew Sternberg on Sunday, January 22nd in the Administrative Conference Room on University of the Virgin Islands Campus on St. Thomas from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and again on Monday, January 23rd, in the Cardiac Center adjacent to the Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix from 4:00p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reverend Moss worked and marched with Dr. King and has personal knowledge to share about the life and philosophy of the man. Mr. Sternberg is a survivor from the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II and will also be providing a presentation on his experiences. Both men have a wealth of inspiring information and understanding to share about the how peace in the world can be achieved, despite overwhelming odds. On behalf of AARP VI and the Interfaith Council of the Caribbean we sincerely hope that you will ...

32 MIN2017 JAN 17
Comments
Special MLK Event, the Interfaith Council, Civil Rights, and the Holocaust

Annual Shabbat Awards Service Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

African Americans & American Jews have interacted throughout much of the history of the United States. This relationship has included widely publicized cooperation & conflict.Cooperation during the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68) was strategic & significant, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the relationship has also been marred by conflict & controversy related to such topics as the role of a small number of American Jews, among a large number of other Americans & others, in the Atlantic slave trade. The summer of 1964 was designated the Freedom Summer, & many northern Jews traveled south to participate in a concentrated voter registration effort. Two Jewish activists, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, & 1 black activist, James Chaney, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Mississippi, as a result of their participation. Their deaths were considered martyrdom by some, & temporarily strengthened black-Jewish relations. Martin Luthe...

28 MIN2017 JAN 12
Comments
Annual Shabbat Awards Service Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

The Difference of Languages within Hebrew and Its Evolution into Spoken Hebrew

Hebrew is a language native to Israel, spoken by over 9 million people worldwide, of which over 5 million are in Israel. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afro-asiatic language family. Modern Hebrew is one of the 2 official languages of the State of Israel (the other being Modern Standard Arabic), while premodern Hebrew is used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world today. Ancient Hebrew is also the liturgical tongue of the Samaritans, while modern Hebrew or Arabic is their vernacular. As a foreign language, it is studied mostly by Jews and students of Judaism and Israel, and by archaeologists and linguists specializing in the Middle East and its civilizations, as well as by theologians in Christian seminaries. The...

32 MIN2016 NOV 29
Comments
The Difference of Languages within Hebrew and Its Evolution into Spoken Hebrew

Rabbi Mike Escorted Students for a Life Experience in Israel

Rabbi Mike willshare the landmarks thatstudents from the Montessori School on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands visited during theirtrip to Israel & Jordan. The Liberty Bell Park and Surroundings, one of Jerusalem’s largest, created in 1976 in honor of the US bicentennial. The Weitzmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institutions in the natural & exact sciences. Shabbat at the Kotel:According to Jewish tradition, the Western Wall is the holiest place on earth. It is never holier than on the holiest day of the week, Shabbat. The Dead Sea,bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan,is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400 meters below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. The Old Citycovers roughly 220 acres). The surrounding walls date to the rule of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman, the Magnificent (1520-1566). Al Khazneh,one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient Arab Nabatean Kingdom city of Petra. Jerusalem, a Middle Easter...

33 MIN2016 NOV 24
Comments
Rabbi Mike Escorted Students for a Life Experience in Israel