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Sermons

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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Creating our Spiritual Bucket Lists Parshas Vayikra

George, a doctoral candidate at the University of California in 1939, arrived late for his graduate-level statistics class and found two problems written upon the blackboard. He assumed it was a homework assignment, so he jotted them down and a few days later, he solved them. When he finally finished the homework assignment, he brought more »

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Lost In A Crowd Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei

I’d like to warmly welcome the high school students from the Rae Kushner Yeshiva Academy. These young men and women are here in town because they will be spending the next three days in Washington at this year’s AIPAC policy conference. I cannot commend you enough for coming here. The rest of you have to more »

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Anti-Semitism Parshas Terumah

A colleague of mine was once asked what the difference is between an anti-Semite and a self-hating Jew? It’s simple, he said, an anti-Semite will say, “I hate Jews, they’re terrible people. They cheat, they lie, they leech on society and they run all the news outlets.” But then you ask this anti-Semite, “But what more »

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Ignoring Cries, Silent Cries, and Prevented Cries Parshas Mishpatim

This morning I’d like to share with you three stories; the names and details have been changed and you will quickly see why. I received an email from CHANA, Baltimore’s Jewish center for abuse prevention, informing me that February has been designated as abuse awareness month in our community. The email concluded with a request more »

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The Private Life, The Personal Life Parshas Vayechi

Dedicated in the merit of a speedy recovery for Dina Baila bas Perl “Yes, We Did!” was the headline of the New York Times coverage of President Obama’s farewell address. They were referring to his closing words, after reviewing all the change that took place over the course of his eight years in the Oval more »

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Israel, UN, and the Obama Administration: Facts, Fictions, and Feelings Parshas Vayigash

A week and a half ago, a group of us in shul completed a book that we have been studying for almost two years, the Kuzari, a masterpiece written in the 11th century, by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi. Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi is one of the staunchest Zionists to have lived; in his writings he elevates the more »

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Jews Vs. Greeks Revisited Parshas Vayeishev

What would you do in the following scenario? There is a city, a small walled city filled with men, women, and children. Outside those walls, there is an army, a mighty powerful army that is besieging this city. Their plan, very clearly is to break down the walls of the city and rob, pillage, violate, more »

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