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Sermons

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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Facing Our Challenges_Parshas Vayishlach

Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov! What a joyous day! We have an upcoming wedding between Adam Miller and Devorah Drebin, Mazel Tov! And Gabe Heyman’s Bar Mitzvah – Gabe, you did a wonderful job up there! Mazel Tov to your proud parents, Andrea and Bill, and proud grandparents, Teresa, Stanley, and Marilyn. At the conclusion of more »

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Jewish Naivite Revisited Parshas Toldos

In March 13, 1976, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm delivered a sermon titled, The Jewish Naiveté: A Purim Story All Year. Many of the ideas below are based on that sermon. All I’ve really added is an update. I’d like to warmly welcome the middle school girls of Berman Academy to our shul, it’s great to more »

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Reflection on the Election – Parshas Lech Lecha

This past Wednesday, at services in Ner Tamid, there was some heated debate. After speaking to colleagues, I found out that the same debate took place in shuls all over the country. After the silent Amidah, some argued that we should recite Hallel in thanksgiving for a Trump victory. Others argued that we should say more »

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Contradictions and Non-Contradictions: Science and Torah and UNESCO’s Outlandish Statement

All of us at some point in our lives are faced with contradictions. We firmly believe something to be true, we’ve been taught a certain way our whole life, and one day we’re confronted with something that seems to entirely discredit what we thought we knew. It’s a disconcerting experience and for the intellectually honest, more »

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A Jewish View on Tolerance Sukkos Day One

Highway 61 Revisited was the sixth and possibly most influential album produced by Bob Dylan. The title song, Highway 61 Revisited opens with G-d asking Abram to kill his son, Isaac on Highway 61. All Along the Watchtower, another one of the most popular and reproduced Dylan songs is loosely based on a passage of more »

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The Small Things Yizkor Yom Kippur

At the height of the first Intifada, an Israeli soldier, named Gadi Rimon was shot by a terrorist outside the town of Ramallah. His shooter, seeing the soldier lying in a pool of blood, left him for dead. A few moments later, a young man by the name of Shlomo Bergman drove by, saw the more »

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Shehechiyanu Kol Nidrei

About two years ago, one Shabbos morning, I was getting ready to leave shul with my family. I was loading my son Shlomo into his stroller right through those doors and as he was getting into his seat, he looked up at the big picture of Rabbi Leibowitz, and said, “Abba, who is that?” I more »

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