Home > Sermons > SERMON: JFK’s 50th Yahrzeit: A Matter of Chance

SERMON: JFK’s 50th Yahrzeit: A Matter of Chance

November 27, 2013

It was 50 years ago yesterday that America changed … never to be the same again. November 22, 1963 – a date that none of us who were alive then will ever forget. The fact of the matter is, most Americans alive today were not alive then and it is impossible for them to comprehend or even imagine what our country was like when news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated was announced. That weekend it was as if the entire country sat shiva. No one knew what to say … what was there to say? No one knew what to do … what was there to do? So we sat glued to our radios and televisions and that was the first major event that television covered. And so, our entire nation was seeing the same thing at the same time, feeling the same way: grieving, mourning, lost in our own thoughts.

John F. Kennedy was my introduction to my lifelong interest in politics. Until 1960 I was a typical American teenager with the usual teenage interests: sports, rock and roll and I was beginning to discover that there were girls in this world! In the summer of 1960, when I was 16 years old, I developed Rheumatic fever. For three weeks I was hospitalized and then spent the rest of the summer home in bed. My iPad wasn’t working well then, so my mother bought me a record player and she told my brother, Saul, to buy me records to listen to. So he went and bought opera records for HIM to listen to! So, that was the summer I learned to love opera! But then my mother pushed a TV set into my bedroom … and that was the summer of the Democratic Convention that nominated John F. Kennedy to run for President of the United States. I so wanted to vote for him but I was too young to vote. Everything about him spoke to the post-war generation; his war record, his magnetic personality, his youthful dynamism, his beautiful wife, his rugged brothers; it was a New Frontier – it was all too good to be true. And then, with one bullet, it all came to an end. And nothing was ever the same. READ MORE

This Shabbat…I will explore Thanksgivingkah or Chanugiving…Whatever it is, it was!

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