Friday May 05, 2023

Rabbi Steve Leder: A Shadow is Actually Proof of Light

Author and Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Steve Leder joins Scott to discuss his book For You When I Am Gone; Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story. Scott asks Rabbi Leder about his path to becoming a Rabbi, his personal struggles with mental health, and how he points people to the light when they are in the valley of shadows.

Listener advisory: this episode touches on topics that may be sensitive to some including attempted suicide. We can all help prevent suicide. Free and confidential emotional support is available from the National Suicide & Crisis website (, or simply dial 988 in the U.S.

In My Homily Opinion (IMHO):

Have you got regrets? Scott has a few. On this week’s IMHO Scott asks if we can bridge the gap between aspiration and action. 

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Steve Leder currently serves as the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a prestigious synagogue in Los Angeles with three campuses and 2,700 families. He is a regular contributor and guest on The Today Show, writes regularly for TIME, Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, Woman’s Day Magazine, contributed a chapter to Charles Barkley’s book Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man?, and has published essays in Town and Country, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal where his Torah commentaries were read weekly by over 50,000 people.  His sermon on capital punishment was included in an award winning episode of The West Wing.  He regularly appears on the Today Show, CNN, NPR and weekly on Spectrum 1 News.  Rabbi Leder received the Louis Rappaport Award for Excellence in Commentary from the American Jewish Press Association and the Kovler Award from the Religious Action Center in Washington D.C. for his work in African American/Jewish dialogue and in 2012 presented twice at the Aspen Ideas Festival. He is the author of four books including More Beautiful Than Before; How Suffering Transforms Us and the recently published For You When I Am Gone; Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story. Newsweek Magazine twice named him one of the ten most influential rabbis in America but most important to Steve is being Betsy’s husband and Aaron and Hannah’s dad.  He is also a Jew who likes to fish. Go figure.

Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios in association with Dossie Media. Special thanks to Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services and other fun stuff provided by Podbean. Music licensed via Epidemic Sound.

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