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Archive for April, 2010

Obama and Israel; Does He have a Problem? Do We?

My sermon, “Obama and Israel; Does He have a Problem? Do We?”, received a standing ovation in shul last Shabbat.

Here’s what I said:

I must begin by telling you that I was uncomfortable writing this sermon. I wondered whether it was too harsh or not harsh enough. I asked myself if I should be delivering it or if I should have delivered it two years ago. So I’ll leave it to you to decide.

This week Israel celebrates the 62nd anniversary of its rebirth … the greatest event in modern Jewish history. You know by now how much Israel means to me. From my perspective, an Israel comes along once every 2000 years so it is to be cherished, protected and loved. In two weeks I will make my annual visit to that beautiful country, taking along my entire family, which means that for my oldest granddaughter – who is 7 years old – this will be her fourth visit but for my youngest granddaughter it will be her first. We are all excited for her! Israel is at the very heart of my family’s existence.

It was with this feeling uppermost in my mind that I chose not to vote for Barack Obama for President. Although I felt he offered a measure of hope for our country, and although I felt the election of a black man as President of the United States would be one of the most positive and remarkable events to take place during my lifetime, and although I agreed with many parts of his domestic policies … it was his foreign policy views that concerned me and proved decisive. I have a much more hawkish view than he does on foreign policy. I have always considered myself what is called a “Jackson Democrat” and I was genuinely concerned about Obama’s perspective on Israel. My feeling was based on something he had said and something he didn’t say.

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MAN-O-MANISCHEWITZ

PESACH SERMON – SHABBAT CHOL-HAMOED
APRIL 3, 2010
RABBI MITCHELL WOHLBERG

MAN-O-MANISCHEWITZ

No sermon today, just a story … a true story. A story of a man who changed the way we celebrate Pesach; a man who had a profound affect on the American Jewish community; a man who may rightfully be called “the Henry Ford of the Jewish people.” I’m not going to tell you his name just yet, but this I can tell you: when you hear his name you are all going to say “Man-o-Manischewitz!” READ MORE

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The Fifth Son

PESACH SERMON – 1ST DAY
MARCH 30, 2010
RABBI MITCHELL WOHLBERG

The Fifth Son

“K’neged arbaah vanim dibra Torah … regarding four children does the Torah speak. One is wise, one is wicked, one is simple and one who does not know how to ask.” We Jews have been saying those immortal lines at the Pesach Seder for thousands of years. But this year is different … this year there is a new child – a fifth child – one who is not wise or wicked or simple or knows not how to ask … but one who is just plain stupid – the fifth child. READ MORE

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