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Sermons

The Sound of Silence, the Sound of our Soul Rosh Hashana Drasha Day Two

“Dear Rabbi, Although I was raised in a traditional home, was ‘brissed’ and ‘barmitzvad’ I have never had any faith or “religious” belief. I am now aged 34 and would describe myself as an atheist. I have no wish to be buried in a Jewish cemetery and have married a non-Jew in a civil ceremony.” more »

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The Groisse Yid Parshas Eikev

Have you ever heard of a family breakfast? Neither have I. There’s no such thing. Family dinner? I’m all about that. It’s a chance to catch up, hear about each other’s day, and of course those famous studies that talk about the inverse relationship between family dinner and drug use. But family breakfast is not more »

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Please Join My Book Club!!

Today, after kiddush, Ner Tamid’s Book Club will be getting together for their monthly meeting. They’re doing something that I think is really cool; the book they’ll be discussing is called, The Woman’s Hour and the author of the book, Elaine Weiss, will be joining them for their get-together. Now getting the author to join more »

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Expanding our Spiritual Vocabulary and the Value of Loneliness Parshas Mattos-Masei

“It started about six months ago,” begins Jessica Bennet for the New York Times, “with a smiley face here and there, a sequence of pictograph red hearts when friends would send baby pictures or a string of blown kisses to say good night. I especially liked the face with a toothy, uncomfortable-looking grimace: “Yikes,” it more »

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Coloring in the Lines: Models of Hashgacha Pratis Parshas Pinchas

Last week I decided to mix things up a little bit for the summer, and instead of a classic sermon, I started a three-part mini-series on the topic of suffering in Jewish tradition. As I said then, there are so many misconceptions with terrible ramifications and there’s no better time of the year than the more »

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The Fallacy of Happy Endings Parshas Balak

I have good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?   The truth is, I don’t have either, but I was curious which one you would choose. And that’s because Daniel Pink, in his latest book titled, Now, cites study after study indicating that people like things to finish on more »

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Humblebrags, Not-So-Humblebrags, and Internal Brags Parshas Korach

The pursuit of honor, in our tradition, traces itself back to the second Biblical tale – that of Cain and Abel; a story that revolves around Kayin’s jealousy of the honor and recognition bestowed upon his younger brother, Hevel. It’s a cautionary tale of how dangerous this quest for honor can be; ultimately it leads more »

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#METOO and Faith Yizkor Shavuos

I’d like to begin by reading to you a short piece by Wendy Langer: “My father had been gone for months. Across oceans, I imagined him walking beaches in leather strap sandals, sipping black coffee in a glass, thinking of us when he passed a payphone. He was far away from everything that tied him more »

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Yom Yerushalayim – Transforming Emotion into Action

On May 2nd, Mahmoud Abbas, in a rambling speech, suggested that the Holocaust was caused by the Jewish People; specifically the Jewish money-lenders and bankers, and the Holocaust had nothing to do with the Nazis racial and anti-Semitic views. Talk about blaming the victim.    I don’t know about you, but I did not find more »

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Between Cheerleaders and Blurred Faces: A Nuanced Look at Chumras Parshas Tazria Metzora

I’d like to begin by reading to you an article from this week’s USA Today: “The Houston Texans aren’t even bothering with the pretense. On their website is a photo gallery of the finalists from last weekend’s cheerleader tryouts, and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorites. Are these action shots of the women more »

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