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Showing posts from September, 2018

Feeling Stuck and Loving Our Home - Israel and American Jewry

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Feeling Stuck and Loving Our Home - Israel and American Jewry© Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre 2779/2018 Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
Whenever people talk about our community at Shaarei Kodesh, They describe it in the following ways:
It’s so haimish, we feel so welcomed when we go…
It’s a no matter how you dress another how large my bank account is, you always feel accepted and loved...
It’s a place where children can feel free to run in the sanctuary, and where they feel at home
And of course my favorite, “Shaarei Kodesh…it’s that storefront shul across from the gas station!”


As a congregation, we define ourselves by our people and what they do, the actions they take, but, whether we like it or not, we are also defined by our physical place, our home.  
When I tell rabbis about our congregation and our space, they tell me how jealous they are, how lucky we are to own a building, not to have a permanent space that weighs us down.  They tell me, our building is an albatross around …

Love Yourself AND Your Neighbor - Yom Kippur 2018/5779

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Love Yourself AND Your Neighbor© Rabbi David Baum Yom Kippur 2018/5779 Congregation Shaarei Kodesh

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor, Would you be mine? Could you be mine? It's a neighborly day in this beautywood, A neighborly day for a beauty, Would you be mine? Could you be mine? I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you, I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So let's make the most of this beautiful day, Since we're together, we might as well say, Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor? Won't you please, Won't you please, Please won't you be my neighbor?
For many of you, it has probably been years since you heard that tune.  Fred Rogers started a children’s show called Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood which aired from 1968 until 2001, airing for 31 years, it is the second longest running children’s show in the history of American television.  This year, Fred Roge…

The Voice of the Voiceless© - Rosh Hashanah Day 2 2779/2018

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The Voice of the Voiceless©Rosh Hashanah Day 2 2779/2018 - Rabbi David BaumCongregation Shaarei KodeshCLICK HERE FOR AN AUDIO RECORDING
Have you ever thought about the sounds we don’t hear anymore?  I was thinking writing a Kaddish for sounds that we do not hear anymore.  I want you to think about sounds we don’t hear anymore

Where do sounds go when they die?

The sound of a rotary telephone…

Sounds like the ding of a typewriter when it gets to the end of the line or how it sounds when it hits the paper…

The sound of the AOL dial up…

Anymore?  Yell one out!

There are some sounds that just do not stand the test of time.  But today, we all heard that there are some sounds that we will never say Kaddish for – like the sound of the shofar.

Rosh Hashanah has many titles – Yom Harat HaOlam, the day the world was created, Yom HaDin – the day of judgement, but in the Torah, it is best known as Yom Teruah.  The mitzvah of today isn't blowing the shofar, it is to hear it, to hear the voices …

Living Your Option B© Rosh Hashanah Day 1 - 5779/2018

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Living Your Option B© Rosh Hashanah Day 1 – 5779/2018 Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
Click here for an audio version of the Sermon

I have been to many shiva homes in my nine years as Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Kodesh.  The Rabbis tell us that Shiva homes are supposed to be quiet, but I suppose our rabbis of blessed memory never imagined the shiva homes of Boca Raton.  The shiva homes I typically visit are buzzing with conversation, people surrounding the mourners, comforting them, asking them stories, and reflecting on long and fruitful lives lived, complaining about how salty the pastrami is.

But in February, I visited a shiva home of one of the victims of the school shooting in Parkland.  There were pictures up all over the house of the young woman, just 14 years old, whose life was taken.  I saw a picture of her when she was just 3 years old in her soccer uniform.  There is an old saying about parenthood – the days are long, but the years are short.  One day you are …

Reflections from a Wet and Dry Selichot©

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Reflections from a Wet and Dry Selichot©By Rabbi David Baum

In the darkness, you cannot see the clouds…your eyes are heavy, you hear no sound; you are half-asleep…
It is in the darkness when you don’t know what will come, good or bad… It reminds me of the feeling people have when they realize that there is a problem with their bodies, or their loved ones.It is in the darkness, the unknown, where we are most frightened.
When the light comes, the situation becomes more real; one can develop a plan – hope comes into focus.
And then, a picture of sun and shade; dry and wet; light and darkness.In the Shacharit service, we bless God as yotzer or uvoreh chosech – who fashions light and creates darkness …oseh shalom, u’vorei et ha kol – God makes peace, and creates everything.The words are a version of a quote from the book of Isaiah (45:7) – oseh shalom, u’vorei et harah – makes peace and creates evil.
As the lightening and thunder descended, as the winds pushed us back, we reminded ourselve…