Sermons Category

Crowns and a Small Aleph

It is not just the stories and laws and words of the Torah that have meaning. We are taught that each-and-every letter, each crown or tagin on the letter, of the Torah is significant. “Rabbi Yehuda, quoting Rav, said: `When Moses ascended to receive the Torah he found God sitting and tying crowns to the […]

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Installation Sermon: Har Sinai Congregation

Our Shabbat bridges a borderline between Torah tales. Morning will speak the story of Jacob. Last week, Jacob sights angels ascending and descending a ladder at a place he names Beth-El.  This week, at the transit-point of Jabbok, he struggles with a “being”, and transitions in name from Jacob, “the heel” – to Israel, “one […]

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Truth

Our Cantor just sang the beautiful words of Psalm 34 with a melody I had not heard since my teenage years. Mi Ha’ish… Whoever of you who loves life and desires to see many good days/ Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies/ Turn from evil and do good, seek peace […]

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Ha’azinu – Rock and Roll to Peace

  In an interpretation of our tradition it is said that on Har Sinai, Moses received all of Torah. Torah past and Torah future. He wrote down Bereshit the first Torah portion, and he wrote down V’Zot HaBracha, the last Torah portion. I imagine that when Moses chanted the words of Ha’azinu, the beautiful biblical […]

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The Meanings of Elul

  Elul. Aleph. Lamed. Vav. Lamed. Elul. This month is our soul time. This is the time that the hard work begins. A time of self-examination and accounting in preparation for the High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Selichot prayers, prayers for forgiveness are traditionally recited daily, in the hope that our […]

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Angels At A Distance

Our service begins with welcoming. We welcome each other with a Shabbat Shalom. We welcome the Shabbat bride as we rise with respect with a bow left and right. We welcome the Shabbat angels into our presence. Shalom Aleichem – Welcome Malachei Hasharet -Angels of God’s squad Malachei Elyon – Angels from High We ask […]

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The Kotel Decision: The Parties at the Table

  I remember going to visit Judy Chicago’s art installation “The Dinner Party” long ago at the Brooklyn Museum. This iconic feminist art piece sits in a mood-lit room, in the middle a triangular table upon which are 39 place settings, using mixed media, to highlight thirty-nine women: goddesses, historical figures, and women of importance […]

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THE 4TH JULY DREAM

“An uninterpreted dream is like a letter that is not opened” says the Talmud[i]. We Jews have long been dream interpreters. From my famous namesake Joseph who dreamed of his rise from the depths of a pit to a high command in Egypt, and who was able to interpret the dreams of his guards and […]

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On the Journey for Justice

How is this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze, like a sheep? Hm. Perhaps I am racing ahead a bit… Let me tell you a true story. Last Monday I literally ran out of the office. I had spent the whole day calendaring with our Interim Educator  and I was late, very late, for a very […]

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