October 8, 2019

What do you think is the most important day in the Jewish calendar? Some will answer Yom Kippur, since we fast for 25 hours and plead to God to forgive our sins. Some will answer Shabbat. Some will answer Passover. I submit to you that while these are excellent answers, I offer a different one: the day after Yom Kippur. “The day after?” you inquire. What is so special about the day after Yom Kippur?

We will have spent the better part of 25 hours not only fasting, but engaged in prayer, beseeching God to forgive our sins, as well as seeking forgiveness from those that we have wronged. As one leaves the synagogue after the shofar has sounded announcing the conclusion, there is a feeling of renewal, of spiritual refreshment, of recharge. It is enervating and uplifting, despite the absence of food and water for the entire fast. My big question to you is: How do you reflect this the following day?

If you are unchanged in any way, then why were you in services and why did you fast? One must le...

October 3, 2019

I have been asked to share with you my sermon, which I most humbly offer now:

As promised yesterday, today I’m going to talk about “it”.  What a year it has been.  In some respects, I feel like a lifetime has passed since last RH.  Alas, massacres have not ceased, and we have regrettably welcomed new cities into our club that no one wants to join.  I cannot say that I’m pleased to share this with you, but the cities of Dayton and El Paso have both been helped by the knowledge that we have gained and shared.  It is comforting to learn that we help comfort others in their time of need, just as Parkland, Charleston, Orlando, Newtown and Oak Park continue to comfort us.

It would be easy to surrender to despair, as the massacres pile up with no end in sight.  I won’t let that happen, for if it would, then purveyors of H speech win.  You’ve heard me say more than once: not on my watch!  I have come to learn that I cannot rely on our elected leaders in Washington, DC, to act...

October 3, 2019

I was asked by many to share my sermon, of which I most humbly do now:

Why are all of you here today?  Most will answer “because it is RH.” So what!  It’s RH.  Very nice. But why are you here?  Is it the sound of the shofar, the Jewish cattle call herding everyone here today?  Is it a pre-programmed part of our DNA that we silently arrive, in a sort of Stepford wives-like trance?

          Today is the day that we celebrate the birthday of the world.  NO cake, no flowers, no card.  Sitting and praying.  Gee, what a celebration!  As I pray, I’ve also been watching you pray, or rather, try to pray.  As Ringo Starr sings, “It don’t come easy”.  You fidget, keep looking at your watch, text anyone who will listen to you, wonder if Nearly-Headless Nick’s half-cousin, Half-Headless Hershel, will come wafting down the aisle wishing everyone a gut yontiff, play Smart phone games, text anyone who will respond, and...

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October 8, 2019