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Sermons

Sensitivity to a Sensitive Topic Parshas Eikev

I believe it was ninth or tenth grade, I don’t recall, and it doesn’t really matter. One way or another, I was playing hooky, pretended to be sick, and the school administrator fell for it. The school I attended was quite far from home, there were no busses, and so I had to hitch a more »

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More Than a Matter of Perspective Shabbos Nachamu

What would you say, is the world becoming a safer place to live, a healthier environment, a more tolerant society, or is the opposite true? Is the world becoming a more violent place, disease and illness are rampant, and vitriol hatred is taking the place of civilized discourse? Which one is it? Are we going more »

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Acknowledging Suffering – Tisha B’Av

There is a Gemara in Berachos that relates a story involving two sages; Rav Yochanan, the unofficial leader of the Jewish People, and RavChanina Ben Dosa, a pious scholar.  Rav Chanina ben Dosa went to visit RavYochanan and when he arrived he learned that Rav Yochanan’s son had been deathly ill for quite some time. Rav Chanina ben Dosaimmediately placed his head between his knees in prayer and a moment later, the Talmud tells us, Rav Yochanan’s son was healed.  more »

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The Lakewood Scandal and the Real Shanda – Parshas Chukas

There are no shortage of Yiddish phrases that simply don’t translate into English. “Nachas” – Pride in one’s children? Joy in their success? No single word can capture ‘Nachas.’ No single word can capture “Chutzpah” and that’s why Chutzpah made it into the English language. In 1998 it was even used in a Supreme Court more »

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Sometimes it IS Too Late Parshas Shelach

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” – Berkley Breathed “It is never too late to give up our prejudices.” – Henry David Thoreau There are no shortage of inspiring quotations telling us that no matter what, we can more »

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Our Letter in the Scroll – Yizkor Shavuos

Last Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg was invited to deliver the commencement speech at Harvard University. He began by stating that if he gets through the speech it would be the first time he actually finished something at Harvard. As many of you know, Zuckerberg, the 32 year-old founder of Facebook and one the richest men in more »

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Enough About Ivanka! Parshas Bamidbar

E-NOUGH!!! If I read one more article, hear one more comment, or receive one more questions about who allowed Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to travel on Air Force One last Shabbos, I will hit the roof. And no, it was not me. A week and a half ago, a short article in Politico cited more »

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Jerusalem Our Home Parshas Behar-Bechukosai

There is no tune more haunting and inspiring than Yerushalayim shel Zahav by Naomi Shemer: http://www.shira.net/music/lyrics/yerushalayim-shel-zahav.htm She wrote the song while Jerusalem was indeed desolate from Jews. She wrote it for a May 15th performance. Just about a month later, she joyously added another stanza, celebrating the miraculous victory of the Jewish People, and celebrating more »

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The Pence Factor Parshas Acharei Mos Kedoshim

I will not be the first and certainly not the last to compare and contrast mornings with or without children. With no children at the home, a morning goes something like this – “Good morning honey, how’d you sleep?” “Great. How about you?” “Wonderful! Can I make you a slow-drip espresso with whipped cream, whipped more »

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Positive Extremism Yizkor Pesach

Growing up we had some pretty extreme customs around Pesach time. We never did the cover-the-house-in-tin-foil-thing. (We probably would have but we’re Hungarian, and it just didn’t look right.) However, we would go through every single book on the bookshelf and clean it out from any crumbs – my father by the way had a more »

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