Posts Tagged ‘Har Sinai’

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: A Torah for All Jews

My colleague, Rabbi Chai Posner, wants to know…where were YOU during matan Torah?

Every generation has its monumental moments when people remember exactly where they were when a particular event occurred. For many, the Kennedy assassination is one of those moments (I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to remember where I was when that happened).

I do remember where I was when we found out on a Saturday night that Yizchak Rabin had been assassinated. I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened. I was actually in Israel.

These moments are memorable because of their tragic nature. But our Sages took this a step further when it came to a joyous event – the giving of the Torah. According to the Midrash our sages insist that not just do all Jews remember where they were when the Torah was given, but all Jews were actually in the same place. They were all at Sinai receiving the Torah.

Now, that’s no big deal. But our sages take it even a step further. Not just were all Jews of that generation at Har Sinai when the Torah was given, but the souls of all Jews of future generations were present as well. READ MORE