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Archive for February, 2016

SERMON: Facebook or Face to Face

February 29, 2016 Leave a comment

It happened six months ago and was immediately forgotten. And I don’t know why!

In August of 2015, a truly historic event took place. And while it was covered in newspapers and on television, soon thereafter it was like it never happened! We oftentimes refer to the first heart transplant that was performed by South Africa’s Dr. Christian Barnard, but the transplant I have in mind, in many ways, had an even greater consequence for the future. It happened to Patrick Hardison, 41 years of age, on August 14, when doctors performed on him the most extensive face transplant in history! Hardison had been injured 14 years ago while fighting a fire as a volunteer and he was left with disfiguring burns across his face, neck and upper torso. He lost his eyelids, ears, lips, most of his nose as well as his hair, including his eyebrows. On August 12, 2015, David Rodebaugh – a 26 year old – died in a biking accident. His heart, liver, kidneys, eyes and bones were transplanted in several people, but his entire face was transplanted on to Patrick Hardison. The surgery lasted more than 26 hours and involved a medical team of over 70 people. The hospital, New York University’s Langone Medical Center, footed the bill of $1 million. READ MORE

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SERMON: Will You Be My Valentine?

February 16, 2016 Leave a comment

Almost from the day I came to Beth Tfiloh, 38 years ago this month, our great benefactor, Haron Dahan, and I had a very close relationship. We spent much time together; with him making my dreams turn into reality. Our High School and this magnificent sanctuary are examples of this. Working together over so many years, you get to know a person! Haron used to share some of his pearls of wisdom with me, some thoughts and quotes, that made him tick. He oftentimes would say, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” or “Give a man a fish and you give him a dinner, teach a man to fish and you give him a livelihood.” One of his favorite and oft-quoted words was the Talmudic expression, “Tafasta merubah lo tafasta” … loosely translated meaning, “One who grabs too much ends up with nothing.” A Native American version of this tells us: “If you chase two rabbits you will lose them both.” Yes, we should all aim for the stars but keep your feet on the ground. You have to know when to hold, know when to fold, know when enough is enough. This philosophy of “Tafasta merubah lo tafasta” worked for Mr. Dahan. He left a foundation of over $100 million. READ MORE

Categories: Sermons

How Much Would a Mishkan Cost Today?

February 16, 2016 Leave a comment

mishkanOn his blog, Beth Tfiloh’s Rabbi Jonathan Gross asks, how much would a mishkan cost today? Apparently, a lot of people want to know the answer because the Orthodox Union, Matzav.com and TorahMusings.com all picked up this post. See what all the buzz is about!

Categories: Articles

SERMON: Orthodox Terrorists: What do these words mean?

February 8, 2016 Leave a comment

This is the first time I am formally delivering a sermon since I returned from Israel a few weeks ago, so let me begin by asking you: What’s up? That is a simple enough question to ask in English, but as I discovered from an Israeli newspaper, the question is not so simple in Hebrew. You see, in Hebrew you can ask “What’s up?” by saying “Mah hamatsav” or you can say “Mah koreh, ” or you can ask “Mah itcha, ” or if you want, “Mah nishma.” If that doesn’t work, try “Mah ha-inyanim” or “Mah holeich.” Or if all else fails, “Mah nihiyah.”

That is a lot of ways to ask the simple question, “What’s up?” But the question is: are all the phrases the same? Do they all have the same connotation? Can they be used interchangeably? Are all synonyms created equal? READ MORE