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Rabbi Akiva Males

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Rabbi Akiva Males serves as the rabbi of the Young Israel of Memphis

Memorial Day Memories: A Visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center

May 29, 2022, by

As a congregational rabbi, I often visit people in hospitals and other health care facilities. While each building may look different, with the exception of one hospital I vividly remember visiting, those differences are rather minute. In April of 2009, while living in Harrisburg, PA, I spent a day visiting patients at Walter Reed Army

Davening With Conflicting Emotions and Sefer Ezra: On the Return to Minyan

June 11, 2020, by

On Thursday, 6/4/20, Young Israel of Memphis (YIOM) held its first minyan since the coronavirus pandemic forced us to suspend all minyanim on Sunday, 3/15/20. Davening at this minyan was a powerful experience for all participants. YIOM thanks the hard-working committee that prepared protocols for this occasion. Of course, it’s impossible to plan for every

Young Israel of Memphis and Local Firefighters: A Thanksgiving Tradition

November 25, 2019, by

Thanksgiving is a wonderful and obvious time to stop and say “Thank You” to some very important people whom we don’t often recognize — our local firefighters. After all, rather than spending Thanksgiving at home with family and friends, those hard-working heroes spend that day on duty keeping our neighborhood safe.       Sharing

Singing the Hadassim Blues in Memphis

October 10, 2019, by

With Sukkot on the horizon, one of my rabbinic tasks was making sure that the Young Israel of Memphis’s aravot (willow) and hadassim (myrtle) gardens were getting all the TLC they need. This year my concern grew after my wife, Layala, pointed out that while our aravot were thriving, many of the leaves of our

Memphis Yeshiva Students Take Part In Hurricane Relief Effort

December 4, 2018, by

In addition to my role at the Young Israel of Memphis, each morning, I’m also privileged to teach Torah at the Cooper Yeshiva High School for Boys (CYHSB). On Wednesday, November 14th, I joined the Yeshiva’s 9th-10th graders to take part in a hands-on Chessed (kindness) mission that none of us will soon forget. Less than a month

Enhance Your Shul with an Aravos Garden

October 9, 2018, by

Over the course of the past month and a half, Jews around the world took part in an action-packed journey.  Waking up early for Selichos prayers in the days leading up to Rosh Hashana; experiencing the awesome nature of Rosh Hashana itself for two full days; reconnecting with G-d during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah (Ten Days

Power Saws and Pesach Preparations

March 23, 2018, by

With Pesach (Passover) just around the corner, there is much that needs to be done to prepare for the yom tov (holiday). Today (Thursday, 3/22/18) was a beautiful sunny day, and as I used a power saw to cut up two wooden shipping pallets, I smiled to myself as I considered the Jewish significance of

HBG Jewish Community-Wide Mission to Help Hurricane Victims In NY

November 16, 2012, by

As we are aware, countless families in the NY/NJ area recently lost their homes and possessions to Hurricane Sandy. A lack of power, bad weather, and the sheer volume of the damage has severely impaired many families’ efforts at cleaning out their homes, and beginning the process of rebuilding their lives. In a wonderful statement of