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Judaism

“The Jewish non-Jew and the non-Jewish Jew in America” – Rosh ha-Shana Day 1 – 2011 – Fire Island Synagogue

Throughout history human beings marked their lives by public events. This is one reason pilgrimage festivals such as Rosh ha-Shana remain so operative, as do anniversaries, birthdays, and other annual commemorations. In some way the cyclical nature of human commemoration is particularly endemic to our community. We see one another for a few months, sometimes [...]

“Israel’s Social Protests and Us” – Rosh ha-Shana 2011 Day 2 – Fire Island Synagogue

In the early 1970s then editor of Commentary Normon Podhoretz wrote the following: “Today we are all Zionists.” In some very real way he was right. After the Six-Day War, the progressive American Jewish community, at least some of whom were ambivalent about Zionism because it potentiality challenged the on-going project of Americanization, raising the [...]

“Why God should be Banished from Religion” – Yom Kippur Day 2011 – Fire Island Synagogue

Yom Kippur Day – 2011 Why God should be Banished from Religion This is a confusing time for American Jews. The world around us is changing, and not in consistent ways. After World War II we emerged from the darkness as a deeply wounded people. We faced the true manifestation of hell on earth. As [...]

“On Lying” – Yom Kippur Eve – Kol Nidre – 2011 – Fire Island Synagogue

“The Truth is a Lie” graffiti on Broadway and 122nd Street Are we liars? Most of us will say we are not. We aspire to be truth tellers. But aspirations are different than behaviors. There is an old Hungarian Jewish saying that defines Antisemites:  “Antisemites are those that hate Jews more than usual.” Can we [...]