A Rabbi's World

10/12/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

 

Over the years, I’ve had what must be tens of thousands of conversations with congregants, and strangers that I’ve met in the context of my work.  I couldn’t begin to count the number of times those conversations began with the words “Rabbi, can I ask you a silly question?” 

The good teacher — or should I say the wise teacher -— will tell you that there are no silly questions.  There are silly answers, to be sure, but very few if any silly questions.

10/06/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
What follows below is a very slightly edited version of the sermon I delivered on the first day of Rosh Hashanah in my own synagogue.  It was as much a personal statement about my own quest to invest life with meaning as it was a conventional sermon, but upon reflection... if that isn't legitimate fodder for a sermon, I'm not sure what is.

 
I hope that you find it meaningful, and I wish you all a G'mar Hatima Tovah-
 
09/22/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

 

 

 

“’Twas the week before Rosh Hashanah…”

At this time of year, I am often greeted by friends and congregants with some version of “this is your busy season, isn’t it?” Accountants like to say that this is “The rabbi’s April.” The teller at my bank this morning, an Indian woman, said benignly, “you have some holidays coming up, don’t you?’

09/15/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Some years ago, as I recuperated from serious orthopedic surgery on my ankle, I went to the surgeon’s office for a follow-up appointment. My recovery was in that awkward stage where I was no longer in a cast or on crutches, but clearly not foot loose and fancy free, either. I remember asking the doctor something along the lines of “how much is too much?” Should I be walking more or less if it hurts? Should I be pushing this recovery along, or would pushing it slow down my overall progress?

09/08/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Taking Israel’s existential temperature right now and diagnosing exactly how to interpret what is going on there is no simple task.

08/24/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

 

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,

And the Catholics hate the Protestants,

And the Hindus hate the Moslems,

And everybody hates the Jews.

Tom Lehrer’s not around for me to ask him how he would feel about my playing with his lyrics. I wish he were. We could use his biting humor these days. But I think that, given where America and the world are at right now, if we were to change the last word of his refrain to “Israelis” instead of Jews, we’d have ourselves a reborn classic.