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My six words for Rosh Hashanah

September 15, 2009

A woman once called a newspaper to put in an obituary that her husband had died. The newspaper representative said, “You have to pay by the word.” The woman answered, “Ok. Write: Max Schwartz died.” They responded, “There is a six word minimum.” She replied, “Ok. Write: Max Schwartz died … Cadillac for sale.”

Why do I tell you this story? Because to me it underscores the changing world in which we live. Every word carries enormous weight … every word counts. In my Kol Nidre sermon I will discuss how words I spoke at Beth Tfiloh found their way through the Internet to readers far away who reacted very differently than the people who heard the words in the synagogue. And the growth of Twitter underscores the difficulty in writing a sermon … how much are people prepared to sit and listen when they now get all the information they need in 140 characters or less.

I have long been a believer that “if you can’t beat them … join them!” And it is in this spirit that I have started a blog which also enables me to “Tweet” (whatever that may mean!). The blog is based on the concept of “what the rabbi is reading.” On most days I will share with you an article that I have found of interest that makes me think. The purpose of the blog and the Tweets is not for me to share my thoughts with you, as much as to help you form your thoughts. I believe that this can help all of us connect as a community and raise the level of discourse on issues confronting the American and Jewish people.

It is easy to sign up! All you need to do is go to twitter.com/rabbiwohlberg, set up a free Twitter account, and click “Follow” on my page. Then every time you login to Twitter you will see my latest posts. If you want to receive a text message everytime I send out a “tweet”, then add your mobile phone as a “device” and turn device updates “ON” for my page. That’s all there is to it.

To start your thinking, attached is an article that contains information that you might not have known and which could have caused damage to your health. (Jerusalem Post – “Resist the urge to kiss your rabbi“). The second article (“Why are the High Holy Days the hottest ticket in town?“) will give you something to think about in preparing for the High Holidays.

Let me conclude with my six words: Best wishes for a good year.

Mitchell Wohlberg

Rabbi Wohlberg at the Beth Tfiloh New Parent Dinner

Rabbi Wohlberg at the Beth Tfiloh New Parent Dinner

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