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Showing posts from October, 2014

For The Spiritual But Not Religious...and The Religious But Not Spiritual©

For The Spiritual But Not Religious...and The Religious But Not Spiritual©   Kol Nidre, 5775/2014 Rabbi David Baum
Tonight, we cancelled out all Nedarim, all vows, that we will take this year, but I want to tell you the story of a Neder, a vow, that I took 18 years ago.
At the time, I was a college student at the University of Florida.I was very active in Jewish life in high school, some might say, I was a Super Jew, but I thought that I wanted to take a break from it for a year, and take a break I did!My Beit Knesset, place of gathering, became house parties, night clubs, and the football stadium.One Friday night, I was approached by a friend of mine in the dorms asking me if I wanted to go to Hillel with her.I looked at her, in a condescending way and said, “No thank you, I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious.”
So where did I go instead of Hillel that Friday night for my spiritual journey.An Ashram?Lake Alice to meditate?The Hare Krishna house?
No, I went to a night club, I mean, it…

Being The Giver and The Receiver – Yom Kippur 5775

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Being The Giver and The Receiver© – Yom Kippur 5775/2014 Rabbi David Baum 
How many people in here have lost someone close to them? I am sure you have experienced immense pain from these losses. How many people would want me to take away your pain? Here’s the catch – the only way I can do it, is to take away your memories. Do you still want me to take the pain away? Every year, we make this choice – do we choose the pain of memory, or the comfort of forgetting?Do we choose the joys of love but along with it the pain of heartbreak; or do we choose a life free from pain, but devoid of feeling and connection?Do we choose brokenness or what seems like perfection? This is the premise of the book, the Giver, written by Lois Lowry in 1992 and adapted to a movie, that has become a favorite for teens for some time now.

The movie offers a possible future scenario.A society strives to eliminate war, bloodshed, violence, and all pain, but in order to achieve this; they have to eliminate certain …