SERMON: Wohlberg’s Man of the Year

January 7, 2019 Leave a comment

2019 man of the year

Although Time Magazine is no longer the powerhouse that it was in the 20th century, its
annual selection of “Man of the Year,” or what is now called “Person of the Year,” still becomes a topic of discussion. This year the choice was Jamal Khashoggi and other journalists, who gave their lives to help the world know the truth. The choice was certainly worthwhile. But I would have to say that Time Magazine’s description of what goes into its choice for “Person of the Year” as being the person who, “for better or for worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year” … I think there is someone much more fitting of that description. What this man has done almost defies description! READ MORE

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SERMON: Money Talks

January 2, 2019 Leave a comment

money talks

You know, you have to feel bad for Donald Trump! I really mean it! How much criticism can one man take? I don’t mean from his critics. I am talking about his supporters! Lately, most everything he says and does has turned people against him, from Syria to Saudi Arabia, from Paris to Washington, from Wall Street to the wall along Mexico border… everything he does seems to cause an outcry. Again, not from the usual suspects like me, but from people ranging from Laura Ingraham to Lindsay Graham, from media outlets ranging from Fox News to Rush Limbaugh. There is no other word to describe it than to say this is a rachmonis. Someone’s got to come to his defense, so today, let it be noble me. I can’t defend everything Trump has said, but let me focus on one. Donald Trump recently said something for which he was criticized even by many of his supporters and members of his own party. Although, as you will see, the critics might be right and indeed, Jewish tradition, as you will see, might feel that what he did was wrong, I still feel the need to say something nice about what he did because what he did, opponents of his, like me, claim he rarely does! He told the truth! And his words made me feel good! READ MORE

SERMON: Taylor Swift and the Story of Chanukah

December 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Do you know who I want to be when I grow up? I want to be Taylor Swift! For those who don’t know, Taylor Swift is one of the world’s leading recording artists and song writers of our time. She is all of 29 years old and in 2016 Swift made $80 million … which I don’t make in three years! She is one of the bestselling music artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums … which is more than the combined sales of my book of sermons and my Haggadah. But all that is not why I want to be like her. She’s got something that every rabbi, priest and minister yearns for: when Taylor Swift speaks, people listen! READ MORE

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December 5, 2018 Leave a comment

word of the yearThis Shabbat of our Weiner Tournament is always one of the most exciting weekends here at Beth Tfiloh. The enthusiasm and vibrancy that these Jewish teenagers bring from across the country always challenges me to make my sermon relevant to a new generation. So today, I address all of them – and all of you – by pointing out what the Oxford Dictionary chose as the “word of the year.” The word they chose is “toxic.” READ MORE

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SERMON: Sunday the Rabbi is Going to Church; A View from Left and Right, Black and White, Germany and America

November 19, 2018 Leave a comment

You all know that in my sermons I try to avoid discussing issues which are controversial and divide us.  But today I must do just that because tomorrow I am going to church!

Let me ask you: on which side of the divide you stand, the divide that very much separates us.  The question is: “Which is the greater threat we face … from the left or from the right?”  From the left, there is the anti-Semitism of BDS, of Louis Farrakhan, of elements in Black Lives Matter.  On the right, there are the white supremacists, the alt-right, the Alex Jones conspirators, and elements in the anti-Globalists.  So which is it?  Think about it: Is the greater threat from the left … or the threat from the right?


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SERMON: Pittsburgh

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

It’s hard to believe … it’s hard to believe that along with Masada and York, England and Chevron and Warsaw, Poland and Babi Yar in the Ukraine, and Munich, Germany and Maalot and Kiryat Shemona and countless others … we now have to add the city of Pittsburgh as being one of those places that become a part of our people’s history, with the eleven Jews that were massacred there for no other reason than being Jewish.

It’s hard to believe, and yet we all know that it’s true. So what is there to say? There is so much to say and it feels as if there is nothing to say. But something has to be said! From my perspective what we, as Jews, have experienced this week shows us four things: there is something wrong with the Jewish people and there is something wrong with America … there is something right about the Jewish people, and there is something right about America. READ MORE

SERMON: Immigrants, Enemies and Hospitality

October 30, 2018 Leave a comment

He’s back … and he is already upsetting me!  You know how there are some people whom you just hear their name, and it makes you feel nauseous?  There are very few who can do that to me.  But this man does!  His name is Stephen Miller, and he’s back … worse than ever! Our country has an immigration problem.  No question about it!  We can’t just open our borders and allow caravans of people into our country!  Similarly, most every European country has an immigration problem.  There is no question about it, and there’s no question on how to handle it is one of the most divisive issues of our time. READ MORE

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