The Importance of Israel

Yom Kippur October 13, 2005   Last summer the national body of the Presbyterian Church at its biennial convention passed several resolutions of concern to Jews which have had an adverse impact on our relationship. One endorsed the outreach work of a “Jews for Jesus” evangelical church, masquerading in Philadelphia as a synagogue under the …

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Israel: The Power of Courage and Conviction

Kol Nidre September 24, 2004   It has become my custom on Yom Kippur to address significant issues of importance to the Jewish people or to assess developments and mega-trends in the Jewish world. It is appropriate on this day when we gather together as a community to consider these matters as they pertain to …

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Why I Speak So Much About Israel

Yom Kippur October 6, 2003   When I applied for the position of rabbi in a previous congregation, the search committee asked me what subjects I like to discuss in my sermons. I answered, “I like to speak about a wide range of topics, and I try not to address them all in the same …

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A Bus Ride in Israel

Erev Rosh Hashana September 6, 2002   I want to ask you an unusual question this evening. Have you ever ridden on a public bus?   As a child, I used to take the number 5 bus from Franklin Junior High School in Reisterstown, Maryland to mid-week Hebrew school. And I would sometimes take the …

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After the Ashes and the Attack: Anger

Rosh Hashana September 19, 2001   We have just heard, and shall hear again more fully, during the musaf service the sound of the shofar blasts. Maimonides explains in the Mishneh Torah that the blasts are meant to summon us to arise from our slumber, so that we may search our deeds and repent.  Its …

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Israel: All Alone, Again

Rosh Hashana September 18, 2001 I spoke yesterday about the tragedy that befell our nation last week, introducing my sermon by commenting on how the sound of the shofar parallels and evokes the sound of the sirens which have become all too commonplace, first in Israel, and now in America.   And again, today, as I …

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Israel: The Threat to Her Existence

Kol Nidre October 8, 2000   My friends, I have a heavy heart tonight, as I am sure, many of you do as well.   We join our fellow Jews around the world this evening, in prayer.   But we also join with a sense of anxiety, concern and anguish over recent events in the Middle …

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