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Archive for May, 2017

SERMON: Sleeping or Rejoicing; the Choice is Ours

You know that I’m no big fan of Donald Trump. But after what he did in Israel this week, I’ve really had it with him! It’s not anything he said, it was just his being there! Because he came, I was forced to move from my hotel in Jerusalem for security reasons. The Secret Service said it needed the whole hotel. I tried to explain that back here at Beth Tfiloh, I am part of the Secret Service … my attendance at services is a big secret! But they just did not get it! The truth is, it made no difference. My stay in Israel was one of the most glorious I’ve ever had. As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, I got to hear and meet everyone from the prime minister and president of Israel to Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi and more chief rabbis than there are countries in this world! It was all fabulous! But through it all I kept thinking of one person who wasn’t there, who is not alive, but the picture of him is well known in Israeli culture, and it puts into context all that has unfolded before our eyes. Indeed, it sheds light on why we stay up all night on the eve of Shavuot. READ MORE

SERMON: O’Reilly or Pence: Who Got it Right?

I don’t know how I lived before Wikipedia! There is hardly a class or sermon that I prepare without looking up something on Wikipedia. For those who have been living in a cave, Wikipedia exists on the Internet, and refers to itself as “the free encyclopedia.” It is a collection of over 5 million articles on almost every subject imaginable, and it is incredible to imagine how many of its sites are visited every day – approximately 269,708,074! The only question is: does Wikipedia get it right? Because the site can be edited by anyone –people like me and you – can it be relied on? Most everyone agrees that, for the most part, Wikipedia gets it right. But in preparing for this sermon I discovered that Wikipedia got it wrong … not once, but twice! READ MORE

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