Showing posts from December 22, 2016

From Jacob to Tevye to Today - We Are All Fiddler's On the Roof©

From Jacob to Tevye to Today - We Are All Fiddler's On the Roof© Rabbi David Baum, Parashat Vayishlach

A fiddler on the roof.... Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask, why do we stay up there if it’s so dangerous? Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word! Tradition!(Fiddler on the Roof, act 1, scene 1)
Who in here is not instantly transformed to a different place when you hear this line?
Fiddler on the Roof opened up on Broadway on August 26, 1964 – it’s hard to believe, but Fiddler is 52 years old.American Jews in the 1960’s until today have flocked to this famous play, an adaptation of a story from the famous Yiddish writer, Shalom Aleichem.But it’s not just in America that people flock to Fiddler – the show has been translated into ma…

Parashat Va-yetzei – The Purpose of Our Lives©

Parashat Va-yetzei – The Purpose of Our Lives© Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
Have you ever asked yourself, what's the purpose of my life?

There's a famous story of Adam HaRishon, the very first human, who wondered this same thing.  It actually came out of a little know creation story.
The first animal that God created was the dog and said to the dog:  'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.'  The dog said: 'That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?'
So God agreed.
Then God created the monkey and said: 'Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span.'  The monkey said: 'Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?'
And God agreed.
Then God …