‘Rabbi’ Category

Rabbi

September 25, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 452: 5 Reasons to Love Torah

Dear Hevreh, 5 Reasons I love Torah....       #1 -- Every time I look at a piece of Torah, I find something new I never found before      #2 -- Just looking at the letters as they drip with tradition and Godliness is a spiritual experience      #3 -- Who knew that dancing with a scroll could be so much fun?      #4 -- It grounds me, and reminds me to serve a higher purpose greater than myself      #5 -- Recognizing that Torah does not only live in a book; it lives in our hearts, as our own Unique Torah   What are some of the reasons YOU love Torah? What are some of the ways that Torah lives in YOUR heart?    Come join us to explore those questions, and to have a fun[...]

Category : Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Simhat Torah
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Rabbi

September 24, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 451: Hakafot, Yizkor, and Anxiety

Dear Hevreh, As I sit at my desk trying to think about how to describe our upcoming celebrations of the holidays of Sh'mini Atzeret and Simhat Torah, I'm struck by a particular thought. Judaism is a religion that thrives on anxiety. Now bear with me, for a moment -- we just celebrated the High Holidays which is a period of serious reflection as we consider the aspects of our character that we'd like to work on for the following year. Yet Rosh Hashanah is supposed to be a joyous holiday, and Yom Kippur is considered to be a Shabbat Shabbaton, the greatest of all Sabbaths, and no one would mistake Shabbat for a sad occassion. The juxtaposition of the solemnity[...]

Category : Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Sh'mini Atzeret Simhat Torah Yom Kippur
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Rabbi


By bethmordecai
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A YMHA, A Temple, A Shul…A Home (February and March 2013)

During many of my visits to longtime members of our community, there is one refrain that appears over and over again in describing the Jewish community of Perth Amboy: “Our lives revolved around the Y, the Temple, and the Shul.” In the biography of our Jewish community, these three centers of Jewish life referred to separate institutions. Yet as we enter into a period of Jewish renewal with only one institution remaining, the steadfast and eternal values embedded within these three centers remain constant. Whether we view Beth Mordecai more as a “Y,” as a “Temple,” or as a “Shul”, it takes all of them put together to create a Home.   A “Y” The[...]

Category : Bulletin Articles History Rabbi

Rabbi

September 23, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 450: Finding Meaning (and Vulnerability) in Turning On My Car’s Ignition

Dear Hevreh, I could be mistaken, but I don't think many of us find the act of starting our cars a meaningful moment in our day. For those who drive regularly, it is a mundane occurrence that we don't think about (until that inopportune moment when our cars won't start). Yet there I was, sitting in my car on Friday morning, about to turn on the ignition and feeling lots of butterflies in my stomach as if I was walking into a room full of teenagers. All of a sudden, a simple act that I have done countless times in my life became a spiritual test, full of meaning. Why was this ignition start different than all other ignition starts? Because this[...]

Category : Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Sukkot
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Rabbi


By bethmordecai
no comments.

DAY 450: Finding Meaning (and Vulnerability) in Turning On My Car’s Ignition

Dear Hevreh, I could be mistaken, but I don't think many of us find the act of starting our cars a meaningful moment in our day. For those who drive regularly, it is a mundane occurrence that we don't think about (until that inopportune moment when our cars won't start). Yet there I was, sitting in my car on Friday morning, about to turn on the ignition and feeling lots of butterflies in my stomach as if I was walking into a room full of teenagers. All of a sudden, a simple act that I have done countless times in my life became a spiritual test, full of meaning. Why was this ignition start different than all other ignition starts? Because[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Sukkot
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Rabbi

September 12, 2013
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Emphasizing the First Day; Reimagining the Second Day — A plan for our synagogue observance of the Jewish Holidays (High Holidays 5774)

Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai High Holidays Bulletin Article, 5774 Last Friday, for the second day of Rosh Hashanah, we had a special and unique High Holiday experience that was not the normal, traditional service. The order of the service was different, there was no Torah service, and we had opportunities for discussion and some dancing, in addition to some other innovative methods used to enhance our Rosh Hashanah experience. Overall, the feedback has been that it was a fun and meaningful service. Yet the service would never have been possible if it were not for a combination of a unique quirk of the Jewish calendar and the unique customs in which we observe our holidays. The unique quirk of the Jewish calendar is the existence[...]

Category : Bulletin Articles Passover Rabbi Rosh Hashanah Sh'mini Atzeret Shavuot Simhat Torah Sukkot Yom Kippur
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Rabbi

September 5, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Rosh Hashanah Sermon 5774 — The Necessity of Vulnerability for Connection

The Necessity of Vulnerability for Connection Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai Rosh Hashanah Sermon 5774 (September 5, 2013)* It was a cool Rosh Hashanah morning in early September. All of the worshippers of the small schul in the center of town had already been davening, praying together for a few hours. They were currently davening the Mussaf Amidah, the central prayer in the second half of the service which we, here are Beth Mordecai, will soon pray together. Every worshipper was deep in their thoughts, shuckling back and forth as the words flowed from their lips…zohrenu l’hayyim tovim kol v’nei v’ritekha – God, remember us the children of your covenant for good. Little Deborah, all of 9 years old, stood watching as the men and women of[...]

Category : Rabbi Rosh Hashanah Sermons Uncategorized
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Rabbi

July 5, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 370: The Unity of Fireworks

Dear Hevreh, Yesterday, I went up to Hoboken to view the fireworks. The city has become a popular place for July 4th over the last few years because of it's proximity to the colorful display of joy over the Hudson River; popular to the tune of 40,000 spectators according to a local event staffer. As I waited for the show to begin, it struck me how many people from different races, religions, creeds, and ethnicities were gathered together peacefully for one (viewing) purpose... An Indian family lying out on a blanket to my right trying to remain comfortable during the long wait A Hispanic man standing next to me asking me to hold his spot while seeking out a better view [...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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Rabbi

June 1, 2013
By bethmordecai
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The Purpose of Hope (June 2013)

 "The purpose of our life is happiness for a simple reason...our existence is based on hope" -the Dalai Lama Hope is one of the most beautiful four letter words written in the English language. It's a word that has inspired political campaigns, social movements, and, as the Dalai Lama points out,[1] our simple pursuit of happiness. It's a word that many of us use when we look into the future and believe in our heart of hearts that the future is going to be better than our past or our present. It's a[...]

Category : Bulletin Articles Rabbi

Rabbi

May 31, 2013
By bethmordecai
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gDAY 335 (Part I): Cantor Showcase — The Gifts We Give and The Gifts We Receive

Dear Hevreh, Who doesn't like exchanging gifts? Who doesn't like the excitement of opening up a box full of mystery and opportunity -- is it a toy? a book? a piece of jewelry? The anticipation of ripping through that wrapping paper can be thrilling, even if it's just for a moment. Yet there is also the other side of gift giving: the trepidation that we didn't get the right gift. As a giver, we are anxious to not disappoint our loved one with our gift-choice, and as a receiver, we are cautious that our reaction may hurt the feelings of the giver. From personal experience I can tell you that I've felt these disparate emotions -- excitement and trepidation -- at the[...]

Category : Cantorial Showcase Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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