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Sermons

Judaism and Racism

Racism and Judaism is an important topic and therefore one that I would like to address honestly. Now, of course you should expect all topics that I discuss to be addressed honestly, but after perusing the world wide web, I think it’s safe to say that much of the Jewish treatment of this topic is more »

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Decreasing Light/ Increasing Light

There is a well-known debate in the Talmud between the schools of Hillel and Shammai about how to light the Chanukah candles. Shammai suggests that on the first night we should light eight candles, on the second night we should light seven, on the third night six, etc. etc. Hillel argues. He takes the view more »

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Jerusalem: How a Jew should Read the News Parshas Vayeishev

Everywhere I’ve gone over the past three days, shiva houses, hospitals, home visits, conversations with friends and conversations with strangers, I’ve received the same question over and over again: What do you think about the news? What do you make of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem being the eternal capital of the State of Israel? Ill-timed? more »

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Jewish Patriotism Parshas Chayei Sarah

I’d like to begin by acknowledging and thanking all the Veterans in this room. Words cannot convey the debt of gratitude that we have to those who have bravely protected us, allowing us to enjoy the freedoms that this great country stands for. Thank you. I believe that Veterans are not only important for what more »

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Politics, Politicians, and Judaism Parshas Vayera

This Wednesday, November 8, will mark the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States of America. I’ve shied away from even mentioning politics for the past little while as I thought we all needed a break – I certainly did. But today, I’d like to take a few moments more »

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Belief in G-d: What it Means and what it Takes Parshas Lech Lecha

“If somehow you knew, for a fact, that G-d does not exist, would you still be an observant Jew?”   This was a question posed to me by one of my students last week. And without any hesitation I answered that if I somehow knew for a fact that G-d does not exist, I would more »

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Tough Love: Holding On Yom Kippur Yizkor

Yom Kippur, 1929, Louis Fleisher, Harry Fleisher, and Henry Shorr attended services at B’nai David, an Orthodox Congregation in Northwest Detroit. The three men, decked in their Yom Tov finest, taleisim over their heads, were leading members of the Purple Gang, Detroit’s mostly Jewish mob. They had plenty to atone for. The Purple Gang controlled more »

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Vulnerability: Letting Love In Kol Nidrei

In 1856, just five years before the Civil War broke out, a Virginian slave-owner wrote the following to his wife: “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages.” more »

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Passion: the Key to Jewish Continuity (A Response to ‘A Jewish Father’) Rosh Hashana Day Two

Do not send your children to a Jewish Day School. Better yet, boycott Jewish Day Schools. That was the takeaway from an op-ed written last week, titled, “I can ‘do Jewish’ on just $40,000 a year.’ The anonymous author argues that Jewish life, especially sending one’s children to Jewish schools, is way too expensive and more »

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Judaism’s Message in the 21st Century: Restraint Rosh Hashana Day One

“There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet…. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, more »

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