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Posts Tagged ‘Yom Kippur’

SERMON: Yom Kippur Yizkor – LOVE the TIME of Your LIFE

October 14, 2016 Leave a comment

I am going to talk to you today about three brothers, three “tens” and three four-letter words. But first I want to focus on two people!

A few years back Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sachs, was scheduled to speak in our synagogue. Beforehand I received a call from his assistant telling me that Chief Rabbi Lord Sachs and Lady Sachs would be pleased to have lunch with me and my wife. I immediately replied that I was available but that I would have to check with Lady Wohlberg! Today I want to tell you about Lady Wohlberg and I and a question I asked myself this year. It’s a question I suspect many of you have asked at some point in your life: should I have stayed or gone? READ MORE

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SERMON: Kol Nidre – Trump and Clinton, You and Me

October 14, 2016 Leave a comment

For all of us as Jews, hinei baw yom hadin – behold the Day of Judgment has arrived. But for all of us as Americans there is another day of judgment this year: Nov. 8th, when we choose the next president of the U.S. So, who are you going to vote for? Knowing my interest in politics and my concerns for the security of Israel, I don’t remember a time when more congregants have asked me that question than this year.

This year the choice we all confront is choosing a candidate who the majority of American people don’t like. On July 29th, William Ziegler died in New Orleans. His family put the following death notice in the local newspaper: “William Ziegler escaped this mortal realm on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the age of 69. We think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election.” In fact, in a Public Policy Poll when voters were asked if they would rather have Clinton, Trump or a meteor strike the earth, 13 percent chose the meteor; 7 percent were undecided! READ MORE

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SERMON: Groupthink

October 5, 2016 Leave a comment

The days and weeks leading up to the High Holy Days are quite hectic and stressful for a rabbi. Traditionally we refer to the High Holy Days as “Yamim Noraim – the Days of Awe,” but my father used to say that for rabbis the better translation was: “Awful Days.” There is a lot of pressure and tension leading up to these days as a rabbi prepares. What can a rabbi do for a few hours that will take his mind off the High Holy Day pressure? Well, I can’t tell you what other rabbis do, but I can tell you what I did. A week ago I took my boys to Philadelphia to see AC/DC! Now, I know that to some of you, AC/DC refers to “electrical current” … AC – alternating current and DC – direct current. But for those of us in the know, AC/DC is an iconic, classic rock band … one of the favorites of my youth. And to this day, I have an AC/DC poster in my office at home and my ringtone on my iPhone is AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” … a common one amongst rabbis! READ MORE

SERMON: Yom Kippur Yizkor

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Before I deliver my sermon, I ask your forgiveness. I ask your forgiveness for the story I am about to tell. The story is inappropriate to tell publicly and even worse for a rabbi to be telling it in a synagogue … worse than that, to be telling it on Yom Kippur–the holiest day of the year. And worst of all to be telling it in these sacred moments before Yizkor. But I have to tell the story because it’s the only way I can fully relate to you my physical condition and state of mind as I am about to celebrate my 70th birthday. READ MORE

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SERMON: Kol Nidre

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

We have heard enough bad news in the past year, so on this, the holiest night of the year, I bring you good news. Earlier this year the Anti-Defamation League conducted the largest ever world-wide survey of anti-Semitism. The survey covered over 100 countries around the globe containing about 85% of the world’s population. According to the results of the survey, 26% – or a little over one billion people in this world – have anti-Semitic attitudes. That’s the good news! What makes this news good are several factors: it’s only 26% … it’s only one billion people! But there was something else about the survey that, for me, was really good news. Of those one billion with anti-Semitic beliefs, 70% had never actually met a Jew! In Spain, for example, a country filled with anti-Semites, 20% of them could not even give a reason why they hate Jews! For me, all this was great news. READ MORE

Things You Never Knew About Yom Kippur

October 2, 2014 Leave a comment

I hope you have an easy fast and if you are in the neighborhood, feel free to stop in at Beth Tfiloh Congregation for our most moving and inspiring Neilah service at 6 PM on Saturday afternoon.

My sermon topics are:

  • Kol Nidre: “Are they all out to get us?”
  • Yom Kippur: “My Bucket List”

In the meantime, here are a few things you never knew about Yom Kippur.

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The Big Day is Almost Here

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Time to get ready for the Big Day! Read The science of Yom Kippur fasting.

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