Rabbi’s Sermons

Tetzaveh: February 24, 2018

  • Posted on February 26, 2018
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Shabbat Shalom. This week’s Parsha is a fascinating look at the world of fashion design. Perhaps this is the result of the earliest edition of “Project Runway” as the design of the uniform of the High Priest and the uniforms of the other priests are described in great detail. The robes are designed with dignity […] Read More »

Mishpatim: February 10, 2018

  • Posted on February 12, 2018
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Shabbat Shalom. When you start to study Talmud, the classic text of Jewish Law, the first thing you need to learn is how to think like a Talmud scholar. The logic of the Talmud is explained by the following story. Two men fall down a chimney. One emerges with a dirty face and one emerges […] Read More »

Vaera: January 13, 2018

  • Posted on January 15, 2018
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Shabbat Shalom “Who is the Lord that I should heed him? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go!” These words, spoken by Pharaoh in Egypt to Moses at the end of the parsha last week, set the stage for all that we will read in the Torah this week […] Read More »

Shemot: January 6, 2018

  • Posted on January 8, 2018
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Shabbat Shalom The Book of Bereshit/Genesis closes with the family of Jacob reunited and ready to face the future. The Book of Shemot/Exodus lets us know that this future is not going to all be wine and roses. A new Pharaoh arises who did not know Joseph and this new king begins a process that […] Read More »

Vayechi: December 30, 2017

  • Posted on January 2, 2018
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Shabbat Shalom One of the things we learn when we study the Bible is that any Parsha that has in its name “Chai”, “Life”, usually means that someone in the Parsha will die. The Torah wants to keep the lessons upbeat; but death is also a part of life, so Torah also teaches us how […] Read More »

Vayigash: December 23, 2017

  • Posted on December 26, 2017
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Shabbat Shalom. There is a story that I have often told of a man who was late for services on his father’s Yahrtzeit. The only open seat was in the middle of the row and he was in a hurry because it was almost time for saying Kaddish. In his haste to get to his […] Read More »

Miketz: December 16, 2017

  • Posted on December 18, 2017
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Shabbat Shalom and Hag Urim Sameach, a Happy Festival of Lights. I was reminded this week, in an email from the Jewish Theological Seminary, about a very strange passage in the Babylonian Talmud. Avodah Zarah 8a When the first human being saw that the days were getting shorter and shorter, he said: “Oy! Woe is me; […] Read More »

Vayishlach & Jack Libow Bar Mitzvah: December 2, 2017

  • Posted on December 4, 2017
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Shabbat Shalom Jack, there is a famous story, told in many different ways, about a man named Itzik who lived in Cracow, Poland. He kept having a dream of a castle, a river and a bridge. The voice in the dream said that the river is the Vistula, the castle is in Budapest and under […] Read More »

Noach & Bat Mitzvah of Jordana Benblatt: October 21, 2017

  • Posted on October 23, 2017
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Shabbat Shalom. Jordana, the story of Noah and the flood is a very complicated story. The two principle characters, God and Noah, leave us deeply unhappy with the way the story unfolds. I am not sure there is any effective way to tell this story of humanity’s failure, God’s remorse and Noah as the improbable […] Read More »

Bereshit: October 14, 2017

  • Posted on October 17, 2017
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Shabbat Shalom. Last year, my son and his wife refused to attend a family party in Florida that was being arranged by my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law was so angry that they would not attend. My son said that they were afraid of the Zika virus that was now common in South Florida. My sister-in-law thought […] Read More »

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