Stones & Memory: A Yizkor Sermon

The extent of the destruction and loss caused by the hurricanes of the past two months is difficult to fathom and comprehend.  The overwhelming devastation which has ravaged and ransacked islands, towns and cities, destroying personal property, ruining homes, and uprooting tens of thousands of people did not distinguish between rich and poor.  As Sonia …

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Yizkor: The Legacy of Shimon Peres

Not many people can lay claim to being as beloved as Israeli leader Shimon Peres was upon his death.  The funeral of the last of Israel’s founding fathers attracted 100 foreign leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries.  The accolades poured in from around the world.  Bill Clinton said Peres “started off life as Israel’s brightest …

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Elie Wiesel, Madness, the Middle East and the World

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt Kol Nidre October 11, 2016   Writer, master story teller and modern day prophet Elie Wiesel left us earlier this year.  In the words of Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, although Weisel had no institutional base and did not hold office in any major Jewish organization, he was the voice and moral conscience …

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When Life Is Unfair

Yom Kippur September 23, 2015/5776   Laughter, joy and happiness are an essential and integral part of what it means to be Jewish. In fact, in the famous Pew Survey of the American Jewish community, a sense of humor ranked just below caring about Israel as essential to being Jewish. It even rated higher than …

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Who Am I: Confronting Ourselves

Rosh Hashana Day 2 September 15, 2015/5776   Since I spoke last year about Fiddler on the Roof on the High Holidays and why I believe it is the seminal story of our people, I thought it appropriate to open my sermon this year with reference to another one of my favorite Broadway shows.   …

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Memories of Joan Rivers:  Yizkor 2014

Beginning last night, and continuing throughout today we have been saying our Al Het’s, confessing our sins. The prayer is repeated throughout the services on the holiday so that we will focus on our sins and what we need to work on. In the spirit of Yom Kippur, I have a confession to make. And …

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Israel, Us and the Rest of the World

Rosh Hashana Day 2 September 26, 2014   The Yiddish language, rich in so many expressions and nuances, makes an interesting distinction between different kinds of sighs. A wordless expression of sadness is called a “krech.”  A krech comes from deep inside the kishke. Although it usually is just a sound, it may or may …

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