Rabbi Mark Glickman, interim rabbi at Har HaShem since July 1, 2014, is being honored at Shir Aviv: Boulder Spring Music Festival on Sunday, May 3 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm at the Boulder Theater. Musical acts will be Rocky Mountain Jewgrass and Or Zimrah. The evening will feature small plates, drinks and desserts, and a live auction in addition to the concerts. Click here to purchase tickets.
Rabbi Glickman, who has enriched us with his knowledge and sense of humor, reflects on his time in Boulder and at Congregation Har HaShem.
- What do you see as Har HaShem’s strengths? What have you enjoyed about working at Congregation Har HaShem?
That one’s a no-brainer – its people. Har HaShem’s lay-leaders approach their work with thoughtfulness, intelligence, and deep devotion, its staff is astoundingly talented and a joy to work with, and its members are committed to embodying the best of what it means to be a sacred community. That might sound like typical rabbi-talk, but I’ve worked with a lot of synagogues; with Har HaShem, these things are really, really true.
- Har HaShem is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. What would you get Har HaShem as a present?
I think it would simply be my blessings– my blessings for continued love, continued commitment, and continued joy within the context of this sacred community. I share those blessings simply because they are among the greatest blessings that Har Hashem has given me during my short tenure as its rabbi.
- How did you experience life in Colorado?
I loved it! The blue skies energized me, the Flatirons put me in awe, and the hiking is fantastic! Furthermore, here at the foot of the Rockies, Boulder sits at the spot where the traditional structures of the east meet the creative innovations of the west. It’s an exciting place to be.
- What’s surprised you most about your year in Boulder?
What surprised me most – what delighted me most – was the unified diversity of the local Jewish community. Boulder Jewry is incredibly diverse, with Jews of every denomination and organizations representing every facet of Jewish life. At the same time, the community is deeply unified, with all of its various organizations working together closely and more seamlessly than I have ever seen before.
- Are you working on any new book projects you’d like to talk about?
Yes…and I’m glad you asked! My new book, “Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books” will see its official release next February by the Jewish Publication Society. I am also in the preliminary research phase for my next book, tentatively titled “Schmoozing in Babel: Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Krimchak, Judeo-Malayalam, and 32 other Languages of the Jewish People.”
- 2016 Super Bowl: Broncos or Seahawks? Include relevant Torah references.
My home base is in Seattle, and I’d like to keep it that way. So Seahawks it is.
Clearly, of course, this outcome is predicted in the Torah. A seahawk, if you recall, is a bird, and a bronco is a horse. Compare “Let the birds fly over the earth, across the face of the expanse of the sky” (Genesis 1:20) with “Horse and rider [God] has thrown into the sea.” (Exodus 15:1) It’s clearer than Boulder’s view of the Flatirons, dontchya think?
- Any advice for your successor?
Listen to what the staff tells you – they are wise and wonderful. Lead this congregation with wisdom and joy – you’ve got it to offer, and they deserve your many gifts. And be sure to check out Salt Restaurant down on Pearl Street – it’s really, really good.
- Where do you stand on the hamantaschen vs. latke debate?
I’m a latke guy through-and-through. The round shape of the latke represents the eternality of God’s presence in the universe, whereas the three-sided hamantashen is, to be frank, kind of trinitarian, if you ask me.
- What is a highlight of your time in Boulder?
The overwhelming demonstrations of kindness and support I received after I had a heart attack in Chicago last December. At the time, I tried to minimize the importance of that event – and, indeed, medically speaking it could have been far, far worse. But medical-schmedical – it was really scary. The countless emails, good wishes, and thoughtful gifts I received from so many members of Har HaShem when I returned nourished and strengthened me more than words could ever say, and I’ll always be enormously grateful for the kindness.