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Kol Nidrei & Yom Kippur Sermons

October 10, 2011

KOL NIDREI SERMON: THE ISRAEL SITUATION

In January I will be one of the honorees at a dinner for State of Israel Bonds in Boca Raton, FL. I guess they felt that more of our congregants will be there in Boca than here in January. With that event in mind, tonight I am going to ask you to do what you have done for many years now: I am going to ask you to make me look good!

By now I’m sure you know how much Israel means to me. After my family and this congregation, Israel is the love of my life. Every year I visit Israel, every day I read about it, I support it, I breathe it … I totally love it! And so, I can’t help but ask myself: how did Israel get itself into the situation that it finds itself in? READ MORE

YOM KIPPUR SERMON: LESSONS FROM THE DEPRESSION

So, a beggar walks up to a well-dressed woman who was leaving a restaurant on Rodeo Drive and says, “I haven’t eaten anything in three days.” She looks at him and says, “God, I wish I had your self-control!”

This day of Yom Kippur is a day dedicated to self-control as we deny ourselves all food and all physical and material pleasures. This day is always important, but perhaps more important this year for given the financial situation in our country and in our homes, most all of us are being forced to exhibit a bit more self-control than ever before. We are living through tough times. People have lost fortunes. More and more people are living from paycheck to paycheck; grown-up children are moving back home because they can’t make it yet on their own; retirement funds are being dipped into to help make ends meet; and those who thought they could retire are being forced back to work, just at a time when it is hard to find a job. Our country used to export goods but now it seems as if we are exporting jobs! My brother, Saul, turned 70 and last year he had quadruple bypass surgery. He lives alone, so he decided to get one of those electronic monitors … you know, you push the button if you have an emergency, and they immediately call you and send help. He called two companies; the second one that he called was much more expensive. My brother asked why and he was told that the other – when you press the button – they call you … from India … but we call you from the Bronx! READ MORE

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