Fly Them To The Moon

In holiday sermons, rabbis use the story of the recently departed Neil Armstrong and other news events to start Jewish conversations.
09/10/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

‘One small step for man,” one giant metaphor for rabbis.

When it comes to detecting where the cultural and religious winds are blowing in the Jewish community, there’s no better barometer than the Rosh HaShanah sermon, the one time of the year when the faithful (and even the not so faithful) pack the pews and when rabbis try out their purplest prose in a bid for relevance.

Space for him in rabbis’ sermons: Neil Armstrong will be the subject of many High Holy Days pulpit remarks this year. Getty Imag

High Holiday Sermon Roundup

10/05/2014 - 20:00
Web Editor

In their days and in our days, the High Holidays have always been and still are an occasion f or Jews to take to the road, to visit family and friends in other communities. In this way, we encounter customs, melodies and thoughts that are new to us, and have the chance to bring them home.

What we can't do, of course, is be in two places at once. So the traveller listening to the sermon in a synagogue that's not her own must miss her own rabbi's talk, and those of any number of other rabbis whose sermons she would like to hear.

It Never Gets Old

09/12/2012 - 20:00

I was walking my dog late one night this week when I encountered a neighbor from down the block, past whose house my dog and I invariably pass on this evening ritual. As most people will say to me in one form or another at this time of year, my neighbor offered the following greeting: “So, you’re entering into your busy season, yes?  Must be a lot of pressure.”

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Rabbis, Thank Your Teachers! And Read Telushkin

Me, I’m a simple Yid. A rabbinical school dropout, even: JTS ’99-’00.

I don’t have the text skills of my classmates who finished the program. I don’t pray as fluently as I would like. But I am not entirely without resources, and one of my favorites is Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s "The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-By-Day Guide to Ethical Living."

For a better world, cite your sources.
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