Prayer, Good Deeds and Sacrifices? Explaining The Role of Sacrifices in Judaism

cow

The most read book in human history, the Bible, spends much of its time concerned with the construction of a special sanctuary, a Tabernacle, in which animal (and grain) sacrifices were performed regularly. We may have grown up on the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Great Deluge, the Twelve Tribes and the Exodus from Egypt but the majority of the text of the Five Books is dedicated to a set of rituals that have not been performed in the last two thousand years.How do we explain the … [Read more...]

Living Life With The GPS Off

lost road

When is the last time you got lost? I don't mean you missed a turn that you should have taken and you experienced a short inconvenience. I mean genuinely seriously lost, as in stuck on a back mountain road with no idea where you were and the sun was quickly setting.I can remember the last time I got lost.I was on my way to visit my then fiancee, now wife. She was working for the summer in a camp near some small town in Pennsylvania. I was working at an internship in Chicago. I printed … [Read more...]

One Year Since Aurora

forsale

The following is a modified version of the sermon I delivered this past Shabbat on the one year anniversary of the shooting at the Century Multiplex in Aurora, CO:One Year Later: What Have We Learned from Aurora?“Be comforted, be comforted, my people (Isaiah 40:1)” With these words synagogues around the world opened their Prophetic reading for this past Sabbath, from the prophet Isaiah. This Sabbath, the Sabbath immediately following the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, is named after t … [Read more...]

Chayei Sarah, Elections and Community

community-v2

This sermon was delivered at BMH-BJ: The Denver Synagogue on Shabbat morning, November 10, 2012.Most of the country this past Tuesday found themselves glued to their television sets throughout the evening. We tried every way possible to avoid the nearly 73,000 commercials these past few months. We turned off all of our lights when we saw a campaign volunteer approach our front door. We sifted through the mountains of mailings that flooded our mailbox. Yet, on Tuesday night, for so many of … [Read more...]

Hurricane Sandy: A Torah Perspective

latestfull-sandy

This sermon was delivered this past Shabbat at BMH-BJ: The Denver Synagogue in Denver, Colorado.The Verazano Bridge, Triboro Bridge, George Washington Bridge, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Queens-Midtown Tunnel; all closed and shut down. No going in and no going out of New York City. This almost sounds like the beginning of a summer blockbuster movie, but this past week this was the harsh and unforgiving reality for millions of people in the Tristate area. No subways, … [Read more...]

The Exodus and Miraculous Realism

Egyptian slaves

This past weekend Jews throughout the world celebrated the beginning of Pesach, the Passover holiday, by embarking on the ancient rituals of the seder. The seder, with its rich symbolic actions and accompanying powerful text from the Haggadah, is an entryway into the psychological, emotional and spiritual experience of the Exodus. Indeed, this is the very point of having the seder, as the early rabbis taught: "In every generation, one is obligated to see oneself as having left Egypt. (Pesachim … [Read more...]


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