Rabbi’s Sermons

2016 Presidential Election

A week or two ago when I was anticipating what I thought was the most remote possibility of standing here at this moment in the aftermath of a victory by Donald Trump in the presidential election of 2016, there were at least two points I knew I would want to make.

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2016 Yom Kippur

Clearly, everywhere we look, all around us, today is not only Wednesday, but Yom Kippur.

As much as we might want today not to be Yom Kippur, we can’t change it. And I for one, do not want to change it.

Because believe it or not, Yom Kippur is my favorite holiday of the year. When I shared this notion with a colleague last spring, he was very surprised.

My colleague wondered how Yom Kippur could be my favorite holiday when there is so much attention that must be placed on all the services.

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2016 Kol Nidre

Who is Karl Becker?

Did you watch the debate on Sunday night? Karl Becker is the uncommitted voter who took the mic for the final question of Sunday night’s presidential debate and asked the question which seemed to have the greatest impact of the evening: an impact on both the candidates and on the audience.

The question he asked was: “Would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”

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2016 Rosh Hashanah – Second Day

Nine year old Joey, was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school.

"Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then he used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved."

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2016 Rosh Hashanah – First Day

A frum looking man was traveling on El Al, when his seat mate asked what he did for a living.

"I'm a rabbi."

“Well,” said the man condescendingly, “I was born Jewish. I don't know much about it, but I presume you could sum it up in one sentence: ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’"

The rabbi smiled, then said, "And what do you do for a living?"

"I’m an astrophysicist,” he replied smugly.

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In Memory of Elie Weisel, July 9, 2016

I have been sad all week long.

Last Saturday night, when I retrieved my email messages after the end of Shabbat, I learned that Elie Wiesel passed away at the age of 87.

Since then, I realize that my sadness reflects not only the death of an individual, but in many ways, the death of a generation.

Elie Wiesel was a journalist, an author, a lecturer, a defender of human rights, but most of all, he became a face and the spokesman for Holocaust survivors.

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