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Showing posts from September 17, 2015

Israel Chooses Life© Day 2 Rosh Hashanah 5776/2015

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Israel Chooses Life© Day 2 Rosh Hashanah 5776/2015 Rabbi David Baum Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
A new rabbi was once hired by a congregation.His predecessor was a divisive fellow, and unfortunately, through many of his sermons, he hurt many.So the leadership of this congregation wanted to set their rabbi up for success, to talk to him about his sermons.They asked him, “Rabbi, what are you going to speak about on the high holidays?”“Well, he answers, I wanted to start off by talking about the value of Shabbat in our lives, how it’s central to what it means to be a Jew.”The leaders looked at each other with terror, “Rabbi, if you do that, then you will alienate our many congregants who don’t keep Shabbat.“Ok, well, my second day Rosh Hashanah sermon is about kashruth.I believe that kashurth is the central, no, the essential element to what it means to be a Jew.”A look of even greater terror came upon their faces – “Rabbi, for heaven’s sake, don’t talk about kashruth.Our treasurer owns …

Becoming Whole: Jewish Unity in 5776© Rosh Hashanah Day 2 - Rabbi David Baum

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Becoming Whole:  Jewish Unity in 5776© Rosh Hashanah Day 2 - Rabbi David Baum Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
Do you remember where you were last summer when you heard about the kidnapping of the three Jewish teens in Israel?
I was at Camp Ramah Darom, surrounded by Jewish kids, of all ages.I quickly came to a realization, they weren't Israeli boys, they weren’t Orthodox boys, they were our boys.
Immediately after the boys were taken, the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys began and the whole Jewish world united.After the news came to us, that all three boys had been murdered by Hamas terrorists, our hearts broke, but after all the heart break, we realized something:WE NEED EACH OTHER TO BE MORE WHOLE.We need this message now even more this year after the summer we had – the summer where we debated the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Last year, there was a real battle, between Israel and Hamas.Yossi Klein HaLevi, the famous Israeli writer and thinker said to us (hundreds of rabbis gathering together to study…