A Rabbi's World

08/23/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

It’s just about at this time of year that I begin thinking in earnest of the topics that I want to address in my High Holiday sermons.  Some years ago, in a fit of preparedness, I wrote my sermons early in July, and then Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin shook hands on the South Lawn of the White House in August and ruined every rabbi’s already-written sermons for that year.  I’ve learned!

08/28/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

It was just two weeks ago that I shared my sadness at the death of Eunice Shriver Kennedy- a great woman whose death impoverished us all.  And now we have learned of the death of her brother, Senator Edward Kennedy, after a valiant struggle with brain cancer.

09/03/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

It’s been so long since I celebrated the High Holidays as a layperson that I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like.  Truth to tell, I miss the chance to have those precious days be cathartic for me personally, as opposed to being focused on making them cathartic for others.  The pressure on rabbis and cantors to “be at their best” during this season is enormous, for all the obvious reasons.  As my nephew would say, “it is what it is.”

09/11/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Without really preparing for it last week - you’d think that I would have known better, being in this line of work and all - I came upon a significant marker in the road, and an unsettling realization.  My childhood is over.  It’s a strange realization to come to now, given that I have four children, and a grandchild to boot.  But it took a moment of reflection during our morning synagogue service for me to get there.

09/24/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In lieu of a regular posting this week, I am sharing with you the message that I delivered in my own congregation in Forest Hills on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

I do so because it speaks to a subject that I think needs to be on our communal agenda, and about which I feel passionately: how and about what we in the Jewish community disagree, and its implications for our relationship with the world as a whole, and particularly with Israel.

I wish you all a g’mar hatimah tovah…

10/02/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The days between Yom Kippur and the beginning of Sukkot offer a welcome opportunity for a change of mood.