Showing posts from March, 2018

The Secret to Our Greatness©

Parashat Tzav - Shabbat HaGadol 5778/2018 The Secret to Our Greatness© Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
A couple of months ago, I officiated at a wedding for a young Shaarei Kodesh couple.The wedding was planned to a tee, every scenario was taken into consideration.It was an outdoor wedding in winter in Boca Raton - it never rains in the winter.As I got to the hotel, the rain started coming.Even my weather app was confused - it said no 0% chance of precipitation.So we waited, and waited, and the guests sat outside through the drizzle.Finally, they started coming in, and I’ll never forget what happened next.A senior woman in a walker came up to me in a huff, “Are you the rabbi?”I said, “Yes, I am.”She answered, “It’s raining out there, do something!!!”I said, “Ma’am, as a rabbi, I might have some powers, but controlling the weather isn’t one of them!”
I bring this up because just this week because a D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. posted the video to his official Face…

Is Silence is Golden?© - Words before the March For Our Lives

Is Silence is Golden?© Parashat Vayikra, 2018/5778 Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
There is an old saying, silence is golden, which surely is not a Jewish statement. If anything, Jews are anything but silent. I will never forget the first time my wife (who wasn't my wife at the time) came to my home for a big family dinner. In the middle of dinner, she asked for ear plugs and renamed us the loud family. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear her.
But honestly, our tradition does think that silence can be Golden. But, on the other hand, silence can also actually be harmful. The book of Leviticus opens up with the virtue of silence. וַיִּקְרָ֖א אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר יְי אֵלָ֔יו מֵאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵ֖ד לֵאמֹֽר׃ The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying: Here is the situation – the Mishkan is completed – it has been dedicated, so now, what's next?
What's puzzling in this very first sentence, God calls out to Moses, and then, …