Sermon, Song Erase Politics from Israel for a Moment

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It was a moment of awe, a moment I will never forget. It was a moment about Israel, not about the political tumult that often divides Jews, but about love for a country – and community.

On Erev Rosh Roshanah, the associate rabbi at our temple gave a sermon about the need for us – no matter where we stand politically – to find a way to connect to Israel. Maybe, she suggested, we could connect to its food, its culture, music, or dance. As the sermon ended, the cantor walked to … Continue reading

Rabbi’s Yom Kippur Lesson: It’s Ok to Stumble in Prayer

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Yizkor at Yom Kippur can be one of the most powerful moments of the High Holy Days and one of the most terrifying. High Holy Days often draw the largest crowds, and mourners in different stages of grief may be nervous about displaying their personal sorrow among hundreds.

Today, I thank Rabbi David Stern, the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, for teaching me about the beauty, power, and even the angst of yizkor. I left Dallas for Boston in 2004, but Rabbi Stern’s lesson of a decade ago remains with … Continue reading