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Showing posts from April, 2013

How Long Will We Stand By?© Words of Torah About Gun Violence

I gave this dvar torah to my congregation after I returned from a trip to D.C. with 80 clergy from different faith groups from around our great country.  This sermon was published in the book, Peace in Our Cities:  Rabbis Against  Gun Violence.  It has been a couple of months since that moving trip, and now, we sit in a different place.  I felt I had to post this again because our voices must be heard, despite what happened yesterday in the Senate.  This is what I just posted on Facebook:  
As I sat in my office yesterday, and the update came on my phone about the defeat of the bi-partisan bill to expand background checks, my heart sank. I know that some of my Facebook friends might disagree with me on these issues, but I cannot remain silent. Why I must speak has nothing to do with politics - this is much beyond politics for me. In this week's parashah, we read the Holiness Code in the book of Leviticus; a code that attempts to lift up our people and humanity up to be better and …

A Brit Milah On Yom HaShoah U'Gevurah

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Yom HaShoah U'Gevurah began last night and ends at sundown tonight.

I am sure that there was a debate amongst rabbis and leaders in Israel (and around the world), do we add the observance of the Shoah to Tisha B'Av among the other tragedies that have befallen our people?  The answer was no, it was given its own holiday, but given a new name, Yom HaShoah U'Gevurah - not just a day to remember those that were lost, but to remember the heroes of the resistance to the Nazis.  This day was instituted in 1953 by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Hashoah)

There are many ways that we observe the holiday.  In Israel, melancholy music is played on the radio, television programs are dedicated to the Holocaust, and people gather together to mourn at public Holocaust tekasim (programs).  In the U.S., the most common way has been to hear testimony from survivors at ceremonies.  On the eve of this Yom HaShoah U'Gevurah, I observed in a different way …