Showing posts from January, 2018

The Plague of Darkness and Addiction© – Parashat Bo

The Plague of Darkness and Addiction© – Parashat Bo Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh

Who in here is proud of the term the Chosen People – what does it mean to you?

There's an old joke in Fiddler on the Roof, as they are being kicked out of Anatekva, Tevya looks up and says to God, Tevye: “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?”

The Chosen People – double-edged sword – makes us feel special and important, but also, we are held to a higher standard.  

This week, our community heard from a mother and son, Lisa and Jacob Hillman, speak about their story of addiction.  I learned about Lisa through an article she read for the Jewish Forward where she spoke about her situation with her son Jacob who became an addict.  Here's an excerpt from the article:

“When that first phone call came early in Jacob’s senior year of high school, I thought for sure the teacher had the wrong kid. “Lisa,” this respected adviser said, “…

The Names Before And After Us©

The Names Before And After Us© Shemot 5778/2018  Rabbi David Baum
How many synagogue members does it take to screw in a light bulb?  One to screw it in, and one to make a plaque thanking all those who made the light bulb possible.  It's not just synagogues that have a name inscription obsession. 

Who in here ever carved their name on a tree or on a bunk in summer camp – so and so was here?

Just last week, we were sleeping in bunks at Camp Ramah Darom's Winter Break family.  As I looked up, what did I see?  The names of campers from back in history, Rachel (or fill in the blank) was here.

Why can’t we resist putting our names on things?

There’s a reason for our obsession with putting our names on things – it’s what I want to talk about today.

Today’s parashah is also the name of the book.  The rabbis called it Sefer Yetiziyat Mitzraim, the book of the Exodus from Egypt, but it’s known to us by a different name – Shmot – names.

This week’s parashah opens up with the following n…