Purim Carnival March 17

Sermons

The Process (The Value of Volunteerism) Parshas Yisro

Dedicated to all the wonderful volunteers of Ner Tamid In 1818, German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that life swings like a pendulum between boredom and pain. He was known by his colleagues to be a bit of a pessimist… What he meant, was that if and when we achieve our goals in life, then we more »

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Lessons in Communal Change: A Case Study Parshas Bo

Today, I’d like to share with you a good story. It’s a case-study, a real live one, that’s taking place as we speak. It’s about conflict resolution and making lasting and meaningful change in a community. It’s a story about our community, and I think our representatives in Washington would probably do well in taking more »

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Change and Creativity_Parshas Vayigash

I know you’re going to find this hard to believe but this past week I was inspired by Michael Cohen. Yes, that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney who this past week, pleaded guilty to, among other things, tax evasion, unlawful campaign contributions, and lying to Congress. Allow me read to you the final statement more »

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Chanukah: The Most Relevant Holiday

The Gemara in Meseches Shabbos begins an in-depth discussion of Chanukah with the words, Mai Chanukah? What is Chanukah? This question is not asked about any other holiday, and for good reason. We know what Pesach is, we know what Purim is, we even know what Lag B’omer is, but Chanukah is far more complicated. more »

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Friendsgiving with Framily Parshas Vayeitzei

I learned about a new holiday this past week – Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is Thanksgiving, but for friends. In the past five years, Friendsgiving has gone from a fringe holiday, celebrated by a few people who couldn’t make it home for the holiday, to a rather common in-addition-to-Thanksgiving event. Instagram has about a million posts about more »

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Eulogy for Max Jacob a’h

  Next week’s parsha begins with the words, vayeitzei Yaakov miBe’er Sheva, vayeilech Charana, and Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, and he went to Charan. Rashi famously asks, why does the Torah mention where Yaakov was leaving from? If he went to Charan, he most certainly left Be’er Sheva? Why does the Torah emphasize that Yaakov more »

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Ger V’toshav Anochi

In the early 18th century, one of the great Polish poskim, Halachic authorities, was a man by the name of Rabbi Dovid HaLevi Segal, otherwise known as the Taz, an abbreviation of his seminal work on Jewish Law, the Turei Zahav. The Taz was married to the daughter of Rav Yoel Sirkis, another leading Halachic more »

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What’s Next? The Complexities of Judgment Parshas Vayeira

About a year ago, I delivered a sermon on the topic of abuse. There were two points I was trying to convey: The first being to make yourself, as a parent and as a friend, the type of person who your child, family member or friend would be comfortable speaking to if they are G-d more »

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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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