Showing posts from February, 2016

The Priest's Clothes and The Judge's Robe©

The Priest's Clothes and The Judge's Robe© Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh February 20, 2016 – Parashat Tetzaveh

Last Shabbat as we all now know, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Justice Anthony Scalia was a controversial figure but no one could deny his brilliance almost unparalleled in the history of the court.
What ensued almost immediately after his death was an interesting bi-product of our democracy. The questions started emerging: who will be the next judge? Who will appoint this judge, the current president there are many things we don't know like who will appoint who will this be? Will this person be male or female? What part of the country will they come from? Will they be Harvard or Yale educated like the recent justices? These are all the questions I’ve seen online, but here’s one question I haven’t seen: what will this court justice wear. Did you know that there are no rules for wardrobe as to how a Supreme Court justice may dress? …

The Torah's Choice For President© Parashat Mishpatim/President's Day 5776/2016

The Torah's Choice For President© Parashat Mishpatim/President's Day 5776/2016 Rabbi David Baum

What are the top character traits you are looking for in your next president?
One survey I read suggested this answer:The top ideal quality picks are a candidate’s honesty and willingness to talk about the challenges affecting the nation.
This week’s parashah, Mishpatim, contains 53 separate commandments.Perhaps the most difficult one to follow might be contained within these commandments:
“You shall not revile God, nor curse a leader (Nassi) among your people. ” (Exodus 22:27)
The word for leader used here is Nassi, which we translate today as President.Can you imagine if this law was enforced here in America?Chances are we’d all be in jail!
Of course, there were no presidents back then, but there were kings.Ibn Ezra says that the Nassi, the leader that the Torah is referring to is none other than the king in Deuteronomy 17:14-20.
It seems as if the 2016 presidential election has …

Shabbat: the Cure for Our 'Affliction' - Yitro 5776/2016

Shabbat: the Cure for Our 'Affliction'© - Yitro 5776/2016 Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh

I received a call yesterday close to noon from a friend asking if I wanted to go to the Pearl Jam concert with him.But guess when it was?Friday night.I told him I couldn’t because of Shabbat.It was then he said to me, you know, I kind of feel bad for you.You have this life that is so restrictive, you can’t go out to bars and spend money on Friday nights, you can’t cook on Saturday, you can’t go to concerts.You waste a whole day at home when you could be out doing things!You miss out on so much!How do you live this?And I know, some of you might be thinking the same thing about me.
And then, there’s another story, a conversation I had with a younger family member, a young person in their 20’s.This family member confessed that she can’t sit and do just one thing anymore.I am so tied to my phone, the internet and constant communication that I can’t focus on anything.So I gave her a…