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Archive for February, 2012

IRAN: To Bomb or Not to Bomb … That is the Question

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

You tell me what you think, and I’ll tell you what I think … by a show of hands, how many of you think that Israel and/or the United States will bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities? And how many of you do not think so? I have long felt that there is absolutely no doubt that Israel will, in fact, bomb the facilities. The way I see it, it is part of a basic Israeli doctrine known as “the Begin doctrine” … the doctrine which led Menachim Begin to go against world opinion and bomb Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. Begin’s basic philosophy was that, given the hostility and the nature of Israel’s enemies, Israel could not allow its enemies to possess weapons of mass destruction. It was this doctrine that was implemented once again in 2007 when Israel bombed the facility in Syria which that country was using to produce nuclear weapons. It is as simple as that! For one of Israel’s enemies to be in a position to destroy Israel is just unacceptable, even if the bomb was not to be used, just its possession would change the entire equation in the Middle East. Every future decision and policy of Israel would have to be made with the shadow of a nuclear Iran hanging over its head. And if you don’t think that shadow – in and of itself – doesn’t make a difference, just look to Libya … if Libya’s Khadafi had gone ahead and developed a nuclear bomb, NATO would not have been freeing his country. Just look at Pakistan … time and again Pakistan has spit in the face of the U.S. harboring, arming and supporting terrorists. We put up with them. You know why? Because it is estimated they have 100 atom bombs. Just ask Iraq … if Saddam Hussein had had an atomic bomb, he would still be sitting pretty in a palace in Kuwait. READ MORE

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Categories: Sermons Tags: , , ,

Judaism and Organ Donation

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Interesting article from the New York Times about Jewish organ donation:

A new law will take effect this year—”if two patients have identical medical needs for an organ transplant, priority will be given to the patient who has signed a donor card, or whose family member has donated an organ in the past,” sparking a public relations campaign “countering the perception that Jewish law forbids donation,”
In Israel, a New Approach to Organ Donation.

We Jews are in favor of organ donation.  If you want more information check out the Halachic Organ Donor Society (HODS).

Two Lessons from a Donkey: Help Your Enemy and Get a Job!

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Today I’m being forced to do something that does not come naturally to me but, because of some Jews, as a rabbi I am forced to do it.  Today I rise to defend President Barack Obama.

As most of you know, I am not one of Mr. Obama’s supporters.  And I’m not the only American Jew who feels this way!  While Mr. Obama won close to 80% of the Jewish vote in 2008, most political commentators agree that he will still win a strong majority of the American Jewish vote this year, the percentage of Jews voting for him may not be as high.  Some disagree with his domestic policies; some disagree with his foreign policies.  And some of us disagree with both.  But some of us, in our disagreement, have gone too far.  And that is why I have to rise to defend him.

At the end of January, Rabbi Dov Lior, who is a Religious Zionist leader in Israel and currently the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba in Chevron – one of the holiest spots on earth for the Jewish people – delivered a speech in which he compared President Obama to Haman – the enemy of the Jews in the Book of Esther.  And he went on to describe our President as a “kushi” – a derogatory term used in the same way the “N” word is used here in America. READ MORE

What Rabbis do

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Tomorrow I’ll be doing what my congregation thinks I do: delivering a sermon having to do with Barack Obama and the Chareidim.

Categories: Sermons

Should Tim Tebow Wear His Tzitsis Out?

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

For football fans the season is now officially over! Of course, for Ravens fans the season ended on Jan 21st … for Jets fans – like me – the season ended sometime in October! And yet, with the Giants Super Bowl win bringing an end to the football season, the football story of the year is still being discussed, and will be discussed for quite a while. It was the football story that moved from the sports pages to the religious pages to the front pages … that moved from the stadium to the church and synagogue … the story that raised not simply an athletic question but a theological question. The question? Tim Tebow or not to bow?

The Tim Tebow story is quite a story. For those of you who spend your days and nights simply learning Torah, let me give you a background on Tebow. Tim Tebow is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. He is not considered a very talented quarterback, and yet, game after game he seemed to keep winning, which some considered to be miraculous. They thought this because Tebow is a devout Christian; he preaches the gospel and after a significant play, he kneels on the field to express gratitude to God. And now, many children emulate him by doing the “Tebow!” His wondrous powers achieved their greatest heights when he led his team to victory in a playoff game against the favored Pittsburgh Steelers (may their names be blotted out). READ MORE