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Sermons

Scroll/ Don’t Scroll Parshas Zachor

This is usually the Shabbos where we try to keep things light, it’s the Shabbos before Purim, a time of joy and happiness. This year was not supposed to be an exception; I had big plans of going all out today. But as I walked into my office on Friday morning to collect my thoughts, more »

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Reflections (edited) Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei

I’m still flying high from this past weekend. That was a really nice Shabbos, no? My favorite part? I didn’t have to speak. But to make up for it, today, I’d like to share with you, not one, but three different ideas. They’re actually reflections from this past weekend that I’ve been thinking about all more »

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An Open Letter to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Parshas Tetzaveh

Over the past few weeks, there has been a number of “unfortunate” remarks made by new members of Congress. Most recently, Ilhan Omar, a congresswoman representing Minnesota’s 5th district, retweeted a comment by Glenn Greenwald, a consistent critic of the State of Israel. Greenwald had criticized American politicians for caring more about Israel than the more »

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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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