This is the time of year when pundits make predictions for the future. I am definitely not going to do that! Who would have predicted at this time last year that the so-called “civilized world” would stand by when hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians were being gassed and bombed? Who ever imagined that Britain would vote to pull out of the European Union? And then, of course, there’s Donald Trump. Many still can’t believe it! We are living in a world in turmoil, and there is really no way of predicting what the future may bring. I, for one, can do little – if anything – to set the world straight. But I can do something regarding the Jewish people! I can have an effect on the future. Not by predicting it – even I don’t claim to be a prophet – but by correcting some of the mistakes that our people have made in the past year in the hope that it won’t happen again in the year ahead. READ MORE
It’s beginning to look a lot like ____________. You fill in the blank! Tonight, Jews usher in Chanukah and Christians usher in Christmas. That has only happened four times in the last 100 years! It’s good when it happens because things seem to be easier and work out better when these two holidays come out at the same time. The children in our day school can be told they have no school during the last week in December because it’s Chanukah. We are singing when Christians are singing. We are giving gifts when they are giving gifts. We can celebrate when they are celebrating!
That is the good side of when the two holidays come out at the same time. The flip side is that when they come together people tend to mix them up, thinking that they are both basically the same. I remember once reading of a service available for Jewish children at this time of year to write Bubbie and Zaide in the North Pole asking for Chanukah presents! Why Bubbie and Zaide are in the North Pole and not Miami Beach at this time of year is beyond me! The fact is, while Chanukah and Christmas are very different, Chanukah does have a unique meaning to Christians … while Christmas, over the centuries, had a special meaning for Jews. READ MORE
I know you will love this story and I know you’ll find this story hard to believe. But it appeared on two of the most popular Orthodox websites, Yeshiva World News and Matzav, and was referred to in numerous other Jewish blogs, because, if nothing else, it made Orthodox Jews look good. The story goes as follows:
Mr. Sol Werdiger, CEO of Outerstuff, a company that produces sports apparel, received a phone call from Mr. Oh Joon, the South Korean UN Ambassador, asking to meet him for lunch at a kosher restaurant in Manhattan. Although Sol did not know the purpose of the meeting he agreed to meet with Mr. Joon. READ MORE
I am about to make two brief statements that, in my wildest dreams, or worst nightmares, I never thought I would say. The first is: God bless Donald Trump. The second is: I want to talk to you today about the genius of Donald Trump.
I say “God bless Donald Trump” because he has given me a treasure trove of topics to discuss in my sermons. I speak of the “genius” of Donald Trump because we welcome our guests who are participating in the Weiner Tournament, and I feel that Trump has a lesson for all of them, and you, to learn. READ MORE
The Academy Awards are still several months away but, from my perspective, the Oscar given for the best performance by an actor has been narrowed down to two names: Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Their award-winning performance took place on Nov. 10th in the Oval Office of the White House when these two sat there together with smiles on their faces. Obama warmly welcomed Trump, saying, “We are now going to do everything we can to help you succeed.” And Trump referred to Obama as “a good man” and said their meeting was “a great honor.” For all of us this had to be a performance of a lifetime! Just think of what the two of them had previously said about each other. READ MORE
It still looks as if Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the U.S. and there are a lot of people who are having a problem accepting that. I am not referring to those who have gone out into the streets to protest. What are they protesting? That the election was rigged? That’s what HE said! And who are they protesting against? The American people? The majority of American people voted against Donald Trump! If 100,000 votes could be re-arranged, Hillary Clinton would have won Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan and would have been the next President of the United States! The fact of the matter is, new gun control laws and raising the minimum wage was passed in states we have come to refer to as “Red” America. So what’s with the protest? If they want to protest, I’ll them what they should do – they should go to the home of Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, who in protest against America’s racial issues refuses to stand for the Star Spangled Banner. Do you know who Kaepernick voted for? He didn’t vote! He thinks he can change America by sitting on his backside. It’s people like him the protestors should be crying out against! READ MORE
On this day, obviously, there is only one thing on my mind, and one thing for me to talk about … and that is emunah. But not THAT Emuna, although I could talk about her for hours! This morning I want to talk to you about the emunah that is so much a part of our tradition and which many of us, as Americans and Jews, have lost. In the authoritative Alcalay Hebrew dictionary the definition of emunah is “confidence, consciousness, honesty, religion, faith, doctrine, creed, belief and trust.” Any way you look at it, our country is going through a serious crisis of emunah. READ MORE