Fifty Years After the Six Day War

June 10, 2017 When I was younger, fifty years earlier seemed like an eternity.  It felt distant, like ancient time, an antiquated past to which I could not relate.  The world fifty years earlier was very different from the one I inhabited.  When I was 14 years old, in June of 1967, just finishing 9th …

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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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My Talk at the JNF National Conference

I want to speak to you today about a love affair, a love affair that may very well be the longest, most continuous love affair in history.  Like most love stories, it entails a pledge to be loyal to each other forever, through good times and bad.   Only it is the story, not of …

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“Everyone Has a Name”

June 11, 2016   This morning’s Torah reading contains the census and includes names of the leaders and members of tribes in the wilderness. Hearing the recitation of names reminds me of the poem by one of Israel’s most popular and beloved poets, Zelda Schneurson Mishkovksy, known simply as Zelda. She wrote a poem widely …

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Iran, the Speech and the Deal

In reflecting upon Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech before Congress and the issues he raised, I realized one of the reasons we are all feeling so uncomfortable is because no one likes tension.  The antics of the relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu feels like when parents fight and quarrel. As …

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Je Suis Juif

I am tempted to deliver my sermon today in French to convey solidarity with the victims of the massacre in Paris. People in France and around the world people have lifted up their pens and held high placards that proclaim, “Je suis Charlie”, I am Charlie as an act of identification with the members of …

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Massacre in a Jerusalem Synagogue

On Shabbat when I reflect on the previous week, I sometimes wonder and think — How has our world changed, and what do we know that we did not know a week ago?  Our world is different this Shabbat because, among other things, our family, the family of the Jewish people lost four tzadikim, four …

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Solidarity Mission to Israel

Whenever I return from Israel, especially after the kind of trip I just led, which was a solidarity mission, or after a trying period, as was the case in that we traveled shortly after the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, upon my return I am asked, “What is the mood of the country”?   It …

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