For almost 12 years, Lucy traveled each day to University Synagogue in Brentwood with her owner, Rabbi Allen I. Freehling, then the synagogue's senior rabbi. The golden retriever mix soon became one of the most popular members of the Reform congregation.
Even if the reader is a person who does not regularly attend Shabbat worship services when the Torah is read, the text of Nitzavim will be somewhat familiar, inasmuch as it is offered not only as a reading during the Sabbath we are about to observe, but it is also presented as the Torah text in the midst of the morning of Yom Kippur. So, even the least observant among us, when wending their way to a synagogue to observe the High Holidays, ought to find this material from Deuteronomy to be not at all strange.
A chapter is about to close for the Reform movement. After 30 years, Rabbi Allen Freehling is retiring from University Synagogue. As of June 30, Freehling, 70, will turn over the Brentwood synagogue's spiritual leadership to incoming Rabbi Morley Feinstein from Temple Beth El in South Bend, Ind.
As Rabbi Allen Freehling of University Synagogue in West Los Angeles and a bus load of bishops and rabbis left the Rome airport for their hotel near the Vatican, one of the bishops read aloud a document that would soon spark a firestorm of controversy around the world: the Vatican's March 16 statement on the Holocaust, released just hours before. The group had just flown in from Israel, where they had spent a week worshiping together, learning about each other's histories, and beginning to understand, as only true friends can, what the other believes.