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Archive for September, 2016

SERMON: The Tallit and the Flag … the Apple and the Honey

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

In recent weeks I delivered a series of sermons on “learning” … Last week was what WE must learn. This week we had entitled, “Let’s Learn.” So with the coming of the High Holy Days, today you’re not going to believe how much you’re going to learn! You’re going to learn why Jewish kings were anointed by a spring; why we eat carrots on Rosh Hashanah and our challah is made round; what are the two stripes on the flag of Israel and why we beat our breasts on Yom Kippur. We are also going to learn whether Donald Trump should wear a tallit and if Colin Kaepernick should sit while the flag is displayed and the national anthem is played. So buckle your seat belts … here we go! READ MORE

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SERMON: Black Lives Matter

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

omran-daqneeshIt is said that one picture is worth a thousand words. Well, here was a picture that spoke to millions. It was a picture that we all saw and it couldn’t help but touch our hearts. You may not know the name of the person in the picture, but you know who he is … and you know what has happened. It was a picture of Omran Daqneesh, five years old, after he was pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria on August 17. Omran lived with his parents and three siblings in a rebel-held neighborhood in Syria, which on August 17 was bombed by either Russian or Syrian forces. He was pulled from the rubble and put on a seat in the back of an ambulance where the picture was taken. Part of his head was covered in blood, his legs were bruised, his thick hair was filled with smoke and dust. And he just sat there … the ambulance was not moving … it would not move until it filled with more children … and he just sat there all alone. Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal, pointed out that he wasn’t even crying. Children would naturally cry under such circumstances; a cry would bring attention and comfort. But what Omran has learned over the past five years is that, if you’re living in Syria, no one brings comfort and attention. You are all alone. READ MORE

SERMON: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: What Was She Thinking?

September 12, 2016 Leave a comment

I have spoken about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Both share something in common: more than half of America dislikes them. This week I speak of someone that the majority of American people genuinely respect and admire. For us, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has given her people – the Jewish people – nothing but nachas … genuine Yiddishe nachas. She was the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the U.S. and she publicly takes pride in her Jewish upbringing and background. Shortly after her appointment she addressed the American Jewish Committee and said, “I am a judge, born, raised and proud of being a Jew. The demand for justice runs through the entirety of the Jewish tradition.”

But, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has not only been a source of pride to the Jewish people, she has also been a source of pride to the American people. She’s acknowledged as having been at the forefront of women’s rights for equality. Indeed, she is so iconic that Tumblr has a site entitled: “Notorious RBG,” and now there is a book bearing that name as well. READ MORE

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