‘Rabbi’s Journal’ Category

Rabbi’s Journal

September 12, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sermon

[caption id="attachment_9704" align="alignright" width="318"] God’s presence surrounds us every moment.[/caption] When I was in my last year of graduate school, I worked at a synagogue in Malibu, CA.  I would drive through cities, streets lined with strip malls turning onto a highway, then to narrow roads surrounded by brush and no cell service.   My car would finally climb up the last hill and I would be overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean before driving down to sea level.  The view was incredible…the first time. After a couple of weeks, I was distracted making a to-do list in my head as I approached my job.  After the first month, I almost didn’t notice the view.  I then decided that I was missing something[...]

Category : High Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Sermons

Rabbi’s Journal


By Beth Mordecai
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Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sermon

How many of you have called out to a loved one and used the wrong name? Did you have a dog or cat growing up and was accidentally called their name by your parents? Growing up I would sometimes hear: Donna, Steve, Rusty, Samantha I mean Sara come here. When my father would call me my mother or brother’s name it wasn’t so bad, when he got to the cat or dog’s names… I didn’t love it.  Then my father would look at me and say, well you know who you are.  Like my father, I do this too. I cycle through the kids’ names before landing on the correct one.  I too then look at the child I’m calling and declare, “Well[...]

Category : High Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Sermons

Rabbi’s Journal


By Beth Mordecai
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Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon

King Solomon challenged his wisest advisors to find him a ring that when worn could make a person cherish their joy and bring comfort in their sadness.  The advisor searched high and low. With the deadline to the challenge approaching, the advisor went to the local market where he found ring with the following words engraved on it, “Gam ze ya’avor. This, too, shall pass.” King Solomon was delighted that his advisor had completed this seemingly impossible task. He saw when he was melancholy, the message on the ring would comfort him and remind him of sunnier days ahead. When he was at the height of contentment, the ring would humble him and remind him of life’s fleeting nature. Legend has[...]

Category : High Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Sermons

Rabbi’s Journal

September 6, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion: Short and Sweet

Please enjoy my thoughts on our Torah portion this week and preparations for Rosh Hashanah.   Our parshah, Nitzavim, is the second shortest portion in the Torah.  It continues Moses’s final speeches to the Israelites before they will enter the Land of Israel.  The parshah opens saying, “you who are standing today, all of you before the Lord your God.”  As we approach the days before the Rosh Hashanah, we are all before God.  On this Shabbat,  as preparation for Rosh Hashanah, imagine yourself before God.   What do you say?  Have you done the best you can?  How can God help you? How can you help others? When you can answer those questions honestly to yourself and to God, you are ready for the New Year. May it[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

August 24, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion: 74 Mitzvot

Some weeks are so busy, it can be hard to find a time to breathe. There may be so much going on it is difficult to give complete focus to any task.  Our parsha this week, Ki Teitzei, contains 74 mitzvot, or commandments. This is more than any other parsha. Some of the mitzvot include shooing away the mother bird before taking eggs from the nest, building a fence around the roof of the house, not yoking together different animals such as a donkey and a ox to flow the field and various commandments about our clothing. Some of these statements have obvious reasons, such as putting a fence around the roof. In ancient times, people used their roofs for a[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

August 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Rabbi’s Journal

July 13, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Metz / Torah Portion: Keep your Priorities Straight

A huge thank you to Marc Fertik, Sharon Bender, Walter Rose and Jeremy Strauss for helping to lead services while I was on leave. Thank you always to our incredible and always hard-working president Cheryl August for keeping everything together!   Friday, July 13, 8 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat services. Oneg will be sponsored by Sherry Weber and Mike Denes.  Please help us make a minyan enabling us to say Kaddish. This Shabbat morning, Saturday, July 14, at 10 a.m., meet us at Bayview Park for Shabbat Morning by the Sea. Join us for a shortened Shabbat service and to discuss if it is ever OK to break your word. I promise to be there! Please let me know you will be there by emailingRabbi.SaraMetz@gmail.com Looking[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

July 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Welcoming Baby Girl Metz

Dear Beth Mordecai Community, The Metz family is excited to welcome our daughter to the Jewish people and announce her name on Tuesday, 5/29  at Congregation Beth Mordecai, 224 High Street, Perth Amboy, NJ.  We will start with morning prayers at 9:30am and continue with the naming ceremony (Simchat Bat) at 10am. Afterwards, all are welcome to join us for a celebratory meal.  Since timing may be difficult for many, we will also be having a larger celebration in conjunction with a Shabbat by the Sea Friday night service, with a celebratory dinner afterwards, in July. Please keep an eye out for more information. Please let us know if you are able to join us by emailing Lev at lev36m@gmail.com.  With[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

May 20, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Each Day Counts

This week we begin reading the book of Bamidbar or Numbers in the Torah.  The second verse of the portion includes God’s commandment to Moses to count the number of families traveling in the desert.  The medieval, French commentator, Rashi tells us that God wished to count the children of Israel often because we are so dear to Him.  With each counting, God was able to acknowledge each person or family. Perhaps this is similar to a teacher constantly counting children on a field trip.  The teacher looks to each child with care and makes sure no one is missing. This Saturday night, we will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot.  We have been counting every day from Passover to Shavuot.  Tonight[...]

Category : Omer Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shavuot

Rabbi’s Journal

May 4, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Respectfully Disagree – The Message of Lag B’omer

Good Afternoon,   Every day between Passover and Shavuot God commands the Israelites to count the days for seven weeks, or 49 days. The 50th day will be the holiday of Shavuot.   The time of the counting of the omer is also traditionally a period of semi-mourning.  Many Jews do not celebrate B'nai Mitzvah, weddings, listen to music, or cut their hair.     The most common explanation for these practices comes from the Talmud, which tells us that during this season a plague killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva‘s students because they did not treat one another respectfully.   When the students disagreed with each other in the course of studying they insulted each other instead of listening and disagreeing with kindness.  In punishment, God sent a[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

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