The concept of “B’tzelem Elohim” – or “We are made in God’s image” - is fundamental to my own striving for holiness. It makes sense, since I am a doctor, and spend my entire professional life thinking about bodies. “We are made in God’s image” doesn’t just refer to me, it refers to every patient I see in my practice. I’ve also understood for years that this concept doesn’t refer to how we look, as much as to how we behave – God clothes the naked, so we clothe the naked, God buries Moses, so we bury the dead, God...
Tonight, I’m wearing my favorite necklace. I’ve worn it pretty much all the time since I received it this past Mother’s Day from my daughter, Betsy, and her husband, Mike. It’s a simple silver chain that holds the emblem of a tree of life. Encircling the tree are the names of the two newest blossoms on our family’s tree of life -- my grandchildren, Maisie and Judah. I wear their names close to my heart, always. Even when you can’t see it, the necklace is there, and the names are there – for where else could they be but engraved...
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe...
The stakes were high - a popular two term incumbent was leaving and a new President would take residency in the White House. America divided. Blue and Red. On election night, Americans anxiously watched the returns from swing states - Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida. The winner of the electoral college did not win the popular vote. Not 2016, but 2000. You remember, I hope, the first Jewish candidate on a national ticket for a major American political party.
My favorite anecdote about that election. After weeks of ballot counting and contentious back and forth - nearly five weeks after election...
Good Yontif. I stand before you today because of my mother, of blessed memory. When it came to her childrens’ Judaism she was a pusher. This is not to say she was pushy or domineering, just that she cared deeply and encouraged actively. Let me give you an example.
Growing up in Cincinnati our synagogue had a Junior Congregation that held services in the basement on Saturday mornings while the grown-ups prayed upstairs in the Sanctuary. Rabbi Newman, the head of the education team, kept an eye on us but we were largely a self-governing body, complete with elected...
I want to begin with a conversation I had with my dad. As often happens after Rosh Hashanah, I was chatting with my parents about my sermon last year. I had talked with you about the importance of letting our guard down, opening up our hearts and our homes, in the hope of creating new and meaningful relationships in our lives. And I introduced you to the early stages of our effort to more deeply connect our members through small groups with meaning. A lot has happened with our small groups initiative since then (including a new name), and I...