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Sermons

Torah Study Explained

About fifteen years ago, a group of college students visited Ner Israel. These were students with no religious background whatsoever, and they were being given a tour of the Yeshiva. So to really give them the full experience they were paired up with a couple of us in the Yeshiva and we were instructed to more »

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The First Humanist – Shabbos Chol Hamoed

Today, I’d like to talk about humanism. Humanism is defined by the International Humanist and Ethical Union as: “…a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based more »

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A Jewish View on Wealth and Poverty – Part Two

“In the middle of the 17th century, the Vaad Arba Aratzot, the Council of Four Lands, an all-powerful body of rabbis and lay leaders, governing the Jewish communities of Europe made a decree that the more guests one invited to a festive occasion, the more one had to pay to the community tax collector – more »

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A Jewish Perspective on Wealth and Poverty Part 1

On November 9, 1922, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize for his groundbreaking work in physics. The only problem was that he wasn’t in Stockholm to receive his prize. Einstein had committed to giving some lectures in Japan and he was too much of a mench to cancel them. While in Japan, he stayed more »

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(Not) Too Late Yom Kippur Yizkor

On October 17, 1895, Yechezkel Taub was born in a small Polish town, to a prestigious rabbinic family. His father was a popular Chassidic rebbe, meaning he had a large group of devoted followers. These Chassidim were not the ones we imagine when we think of Eastern European Jews. They were a rather affluent group more »

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Candles for Diamonds Kol Nidrei

I have a confession to make. (I know, I know, wrong religion) My confession is that I really struggle with Kol Nidrei. I am moved by the haunting tune, who isn’t? There’s something magical about all the Sifrei Torah being taken out of the ark. I love that too. It’s the prayer itself that just more »

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The Sound of Silence, the Sound of our Soul Rosh Hashana Drasha Day Two

“Dear Rabbi, Although I was raised in a traditional home, was ‘brissed’ and ‘barmitzvad’ I have never had any faith or “religious” belief. I am now aged 34 and would describe myself as an atheist. I have no wish to be buried in a Jewish cemetery and have married a non-Jew in a civil ceremony.” more »

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The Groisse Yid Parshas Eikev

Have you ever heard of a family breakfast? Neither have I. There’s no such thing. Family dinner? I’m all about that. It’s a chance to catch up, hear about each other’s day, and of course those famous studies that talk about the inverse relationship between family dinner and drug use. But family breakfast is not more »

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Please Join My Book Club!!

Today, after kiddush, Ner Tamid’s Book Club will be getting together for their monthly meeting. They’re doing something that I think is really cool; the book they’ll be discussing is called, The Woman’s Hour and the author of the book, Elaine Weiss, will be joining them for their get-together. Now getting the author to join more »

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Expanding our Spiritual Vocabulary and the Value of Loneliness Parshas Mattos-Masei

“It started about six months ago,” begins Jessica Bennet for the New York Times, “with a smiley face here and there, a sequence of pictograph red hearts when friends would send baby pictures or a string of blown kisses to say good night. I especially liked the face with a toothy, uncomfortable-looking grimace: “Yikes,” it more »

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