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Acharei Mot 5771

Acharei Mot 5771 Shabbat HaGadol

If an alien came down from space and spoke to you, if he spoke perfect English and wanted you to explain life on Earth to him, what would you tell him? If you wanted to explain the United States of America, what would you say?…

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Sh’mini 2010

Shmini 2010

Newton’s third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We move forward by pushing back. We climb up by pushing down. Usually the the things we push down on are bigger and heavier than we are, so they do not move.…

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Vaera 5773

Last week, Susannah Silverman stood on this bimah and led services for the first time as a Jewish adult. The services were particularly moving. I also really enjoyed her explanation of her Torah portion.

If you missed it for some reason, or you have lost your memory from being pummeled in the head by fruit gel candies, let me remind you.…

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Vayigash 5773

Vayigash 5773

 

I opened the newspaper the other day, and it seemed that almost every article on the first five pages was about someone getting shot. We had barely finished hearing about the previous mass shooting, when the news arrived about the next mass shooting.…

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Lech L’cha 5773

Lech L’cha 5773

What’s in a name? As Shakespeare famously indicated, not much. It doesn’t really matter what we call things, what matters is what the things are. But what are they, if they don’t have names?
Parasha Lech L’cha seems to feel that there is a great deal to names.…

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Noach 5772

Noach 5773
When I was in high school, my friend Chris and I were once mugged by a group of six kids, who were caught and arrested. Two of the six kids were brothers. When my mother heard that, she said to me, “See, why don’t you and your brother do things together?”
What does a parent want for her child?…

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Second Day Rosh Hashanah, 5773

The Storm

 

A friend of mine in New York used to speak scornfully of rabbis who complained about being pressured to write their High Holiday sermons in time. “Didn’t they know that there were going to be High Holidays this year?” my friend would say.…

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Ki Teitzei 5772

Ki Teitzei 5772

Shabbat shalom. It has been an interesting week, in the sense of interesting that we find in the the Chinese curse, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ The wind has blown and the rain has fallen, and, thank Gd, we are still here.…

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D’varim 5772

D’varim 5772

בן בג בג אומר, הפך בה והפך בה, דכלא בה ובה תחזי וסיב ובלה בהּ ומנה לא תזועַשאין לך מדה טובה הימנה Ben Bag Bag says “Turn it and turn it, for all is in it. Look deeply into it, and grow old with it, and spend time over it, and do not stir from it, because there is no greater portion.” (Avot 5:22) Every time I come back to the Torah and read it again, I get something new from it.…

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Mattot/Mas’ei 5772

Mattot/Mas’ei 5772

 

In either corner of the stained glass doors behind me there is a flag. The existence in this sanctuary of these flags is extremely interesting. They are there, mute, almost unnoticed, but they both have a story to tell.…

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