Archive

Archive for March, 2013

All a Twitter About “A Tweetin’ Pesach”

“Rabbi Wohlberg…understands that people’s attention spans are short and that they only want as much information as possible in 140 characters or less,” says the Baltimore Jewish Times about my “A Tweetin’ Pesach” in this article: http: bit.ly/15vSWet.

DOWNLOAD “A Tweetin’ Pesach” now! http://bit.ly/WNrZ6H

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A Special Pesach Message from My Aunt Sophie

PLUS: 10 PLAGUES, 10 COMMANDMENTS: 10 QUESTIONS FOR THE PESACH SEDER – 2013

1. In the Kiddush we speak of God as having “chosen us from all the nations.” Did He/She? And if so, why? For what? For us to be blamed for everything?

2. We begin the Seder with the invitation, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” What should our country do – cut support for the poor or raise taxes for the rich? Both? Neither?

3. There are many new food items for Pesach: kosher l’Pesach pizza – perhaps to commemorate the exodus of the Jews from Sicily! But now there is kosher l’Pesach bagels! Is this going too far? Are we “watering down” the holiday’s meaning?

4. Is there an “unpardonable” sin that would make you bar a member of the family from the Seder?

5. A well known Jewish leader and philanthropist, Edgar Bronfman, published his own Haggadah this year. Instead of the word “God” he uses the word “energy.” Do you really think it was “energy” that took us out of Egypt? Do you believe in God? Really?

6. The Hagaddah speaks of the four children. In the New American Haggadah we are told: “Some scholars believe there are four kinds of parents as well.” Which one are you?

7. The Egyptians feared the Jews because “the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly and multiplied …and the land was filled with them.” Statistics indicate that while most Jewish families are comprised of two children, ultra-Orthodox families are comprised by more than six children. Will ultra-Orthodox Jews one day make up the majority of American Jews? How do you feel about that?

8. Our tradition teaches: “It was in the merit of Jewish women that our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.” 17% of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are women. 20% of the members of the U.S. Senate are women. But 22.5% of the members of Israel’s Knesset are women. Are you surprised to hear that? How do you explain it? Does Judaism consider women equal to men?

9. The most jarring note in the Haggadah is when we call upon God to “Pour out Thy rath upon the nations that know Thee not.” Some believe that this section is added in response to the Christian “Blood libel.” Now we have a new Pope who has a record of friendship with the Jewish people. Have times really changed?

10. At every Seder we proclaim those immortal words: “Next year in Jerusalem.” This year President Obama fulfilled those words. Did you? Will you? If not, why not? If not now, when?

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SERMON: Women of the Wall

It is one of my favorite photographs … so much so that I have it framed and it is placed in my office, because it reminds me that I’m not crazy!

You know by now that as an Orthodox rabbi I frequently go against the prevailing mindset. I am an Orthodox rabbi who sees no problem in a woman becoming a rabbi. I am an Orthodox rabbi who sees the increased involvement of women in learning Torah, carrying the Torah, conducting a women’s tefillah, reading the Megillah and all other recent innovations that are halachically permitted, as being one of the most positive developments on the American Jewish scene. I am an Orthodox rabbi who sees no problem in a woman putting on a tallit and tefillin (I’m definitely not going to get into an altercation with Leba Diamond!). I am an Orthodox rabbi who is upset and totally opposed to the domination that the ultra-Orthodox community has established in Israel. READ MORE

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Aunt Sophie’s Favorite Pesach Recipes

Aunt Sophie's favorite Pesach recipes!

Aunt Sophie’s favorite Pesach recipes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a special treat for you…my Aunt Sophie’s favorite Pesach recipes, presented by my wife, Sherry, at a recent pre-Pesach cooking program presented by The Mercaz Dahan Center of Jewish Life and Learning at Beth Tfiloh! > Download Aunt Sophies recipes

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EULOGY: Haron Dahan

The Talmud tells us: “Shelosha shutfin hein l’adam Ha-kadosh boruch hu, aviv v’imo – A person has three partners: God, one’s father and mother.” I was blessed to have four partners. For half my life Aharon Dahan was my partner in all my dreams and accomplishments. Now he is gone … and I and all of us at Beth Tfiloh echo the words of Jeremiah: “Yesomim hayenu v’ein av – we have become orphans with the loss of our father.” For half of my life he has been the moving force in my life … always there for me and my family, for the Beth Tfiloh family and indeed, for k’lal Yisroel. For me and for most all of us, it can truly be said: we’ve never seen one like him before and I guess we’ll never see one like him again. He was one-of-a-kind. “M’shichmo vomaalo govoa mikol ha-am – he was head and shoulders above his people.” READ MORE

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SERMON: Kosher L’Pesach Bagels?

Pesach is coming!  These are tough times for us men.  There are now only 12 shopping days left before Pesach and there’s a lot of cleaning and scrubbing and koshering and cooking to be done.  It’s rough on us men … and on some women as well!  This is nothing new!  They tell a story from our East European days of a Jewish community living in isolation in Russia where the ruling authorities had prohibited any Jewish observance.  But then one year, when spring came, a new ruler came to the fore who told the Jews that they could now once again observe all of their rituals.  One Jew joyously came home and told this to his wife.  And her immediate response was: “Couldn’t the ruler wait until after Pesach!”

Well, we can’t wait.  Pesach is here with new products specifically stamped “Kosher for Pesach.”  Today I want to talk to you about two such products; two which represent a contemporary mindset … one meant to make Pesach easier and the other ends up making Pesach more difficult. READ MORE

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