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Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon

When I was a kid in elementary school I attended a Jewish day school. Every year at this time, our teachers taught us that if you commit a sin against God, you have to ask forgiveness from God directly. That’s why we beat our chests and spend so much time in services today. We were…

This Year We Are Slaves, Next Year We May Be Free

I’m chuckling to myself as I write this article. For many of the past few years, I would sit in my office in NJ, watching the snow piled high, experiencing the cold and darkness of the winter, and pining for spring. I would write the bulletin article for March, hoping that it would be brighter…

Examining Rituals Passed on Through the Generations

Here we are at the beginning of February, about to celebrate one of the most unique of American “holidays.” On February 2nd, we will look to the prognosticator of prognosticators to tell us whether or not there will be six more weeks of winter. Sitting here in Southern California, it might not be as important…

Getting to know our people to properly help them

The following is a story told to me by one of my teachers, Rabbi Elliot Dorff. The first story I heard about Jewish law, in fact, came from my father. My grandparents and their children lived across the street from a large Orthodox synagogue, of which they were members. Because of the proximity, my grandparents…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

In just a matter of days we will begins celebrating the holiday of Chanukah.  Known as The Festival of Lights, the Chanukah story retells the Maccabees rebellion during the time of the Greek Empire. If we look back at history at the Greeks, how are they remembered? Were they such a bad people? The Greeks…