Posts Tagged ‘America’

SERMON: Women, Guns and the Slippery Slope

slippery slopes

Today I want to talk to you about the slippery slope. The slippery slope is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “a course of action that seems to lead inevitably from one action or result to another with unintended consequences.” Jewish tradition describes it a bit differently, with the classic story about the man who, before his wedding, goes and asks the rabbis just what is permissible between him and his soon-to-be wife. “Go ahead, ask, ask,” the rabbi said. The man asked question upon question, about whether one thing or another was okay. To each inquiry the rabbi responded, “Yes, that is fine, between a man and his wife, it’s all fine.” The man was relieved and so he asked about more and more erotic things; about each, the rabbi said it was fine. It was all fine until the man mentioned one last thing that he assumed would be fine like all the previous questions he asked. But, surprisingly, the rabbi said: “No, halachically that is forbidden!” “Tell me, rabbi, why is this last thing not permissible if all the other things were?” The rabbi replied, “That last one is no good because it can lead to mixed dancing!” READ MORE

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SERMON: Zachor – Poland and the Holocaust

February 27, 2018 Leave a comment

Today is a special Sabbath in the Jewish calendar–the Shabbat before Purim is noted as Shabbat Zachor – the Shabbat on which we are commanded to zachor – remember – what our archenemy, Amalek, did to us. So important is this that the same paragraph that starts with the commandment for us to “zachor – remember” concluded with the words, “lo tishkach – don’t forget.”

This morning I want to tell you three stories. After you hear them, you might have a better understanding of what the difference is between “remembering” and “not forgetting,” while also understanding the mistake the Polish government recently made regarding the Holocaust, and why we, American Jews, today must both “remember” and “not forget.” READ MORE

SERMON: Best Wishes for a Positive New Year

September 26, 2017 Leave a comment

With a full heart I welcome all of you as we usher in this New Year by asking you a question: What do climate change, terrorism, Brexit, ISIS, North Korea, Neo-Nazis, Obamacare, Russian collusion and Donald Trump all have in common? Answer: I’m not going to talk about any of them! You can sit back and relax! We have all heard enough! It has been pointed out that the purpose of a sermon is either to disturb the comfortable or comfort the disturbed! It feels as if we have heard enough disturbing news and events in the past year to last us a lifetime! So today I want to help comfort you … and it’s not going to be easy! Political analysts and sociologists have started calling us “the anxious generation.” We have switched from Prozac for depression to Xanax for anxiety. READ MORE

SERMON: Post-Obama, Pre-Trump: Lessons for American Jews

January 10, 2017 Leave a comment

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

SERMON: EMUNAH: Believe it or not …

November 15, 2016 Leave a comment

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

SERMON: President Donald Trump: Now What?

November 15, 2016 Leave a comment

I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news? The sermon I wrote earlier this week, the one with the opening words: “Mazel tov … it’s a girl! The only thing is, she is not a girl anymore. She’s now a woman and not just any woman! She is now president of the United States … which means that the most powerful man on earth is a woman!” Well, to quote Gilda Radner, “NEVER MIND!” Here’s the good news, with the Trump victory I’m going to have plenty of sermonic material for the next four years! READ MORE

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SERMON: Liar, Liar … Pants on Fire

November 1, 2016 Leave a comment

There’s this family that lives on a farm in America. The father calls his three sons, Anthony, Louis and Nick, into the kitchen. He says to his sons, “Which one of you pushed the outhouse into the river?” “Not I,” replied Anthony. “Nor me,” Louis said. “It wasn’t me either, father,” said Nick. So the father says “I want to tell you a story about George Washington. One day George Washington’s father gave him a hatchet. Then, George Washington chopped down his father’s favorite cherry tree. George Washington’s father said, ‘George, who chopped down my favorite cherry tree?’ George Washington said, ‘Father, I cannot tell a lie, it was me.’ So George Washington’s father hugged and kissed his son for being honest with him.” Then Anthony said, “Father, I, like George Washington, cannot tell a lie, I pushed the outhouse into the river.” The father takes off his belt and starts beating him. After he got the beating Anthony says, “But father, I was honest like George Washington.” The father replies, “But George Washington’s father wasn’t in the cherry tree when he chopped it down.” READ MORE