‘Sermons’ Category

Sermons

October 5, 2014
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Yom Kippur Day 5775 Sermon — A Moving Tradition

A Moving Tradition Yom Kippur Day 5775 – October 4, 2014* Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai   A week ago today, on a quiet Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur a small group of Jews gathered at Beth Mordecai in Perth Amboy, NJ to schmooze, to learn, and to drink some schnapps. In addition to the laughs and the cajoling needed to convince everyone around the table that it was ok to drink before noon, we had some really interesting conversations about our shul and about Judaism in general. One comment that spurred some interesting discussion was when one of our community members, let’s call him David, said “I think that Judaism or all of religion for that matter is about comfort.” As[...]

Category : Rabbi Ritual Practice Sermons Yom Kippur
Tag :

Sermons


By bethmordecai
no comments.

Kol Nidre 5775 Sermon — Forgetting Justice for the Sake of Forgiveness

Forgetting Justice for the Sake of Forgiveness Kol Nidre 5775 – October 3, 2014* Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai There is a famous midrash (Masekhet Rosh Hashanah, 17b) in which Moses is standing atop Mt. Sinai about to greet God for the very first time. When God arrives, Moses does not see God’s face but rather a figure wrapped in a beautiful Tallit. God then brings Moses into God’s Tallit and declares: “Moses. I will show you how to lead the people of Israel in prayer.” And as God teaches Moses how to lead the Israelites in prayer, God also teaches him a secret. “Moses, whenever Israel sins, let them recite the following words before Me, and I will forgive them.” And then[...]

Category : Israeli News Jewish Current Events Rabbi Sermons Yom Kippur
Tag :

Sermons

September 30, 2014
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Rosh Hashanah 5775 Sermon — Let Us Sing Our Songs Together

Let Us Sing Our Songs Together Rosh Hashanah 5775 – September, 25 2014* Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai   Picture this. You are an Israelite in approximately 1600 BCE. You, your family, and your people have just escaped the torture and slavery of the Egyptians with the help of God and Moses, and as you turn back from reaching the other side of the Red Sea , you hear the deafening, vicious sound of waves devouring your Egyptian pursuers, until the last of them are no longer seen. You stand there aghast, not knowing what to say…you are free! After a moment or two of reality sinking in, you feel this overwhelming urge to shout out for joy. To sing praises of thanksgiving, of joy,[...]

Category : Rabbi Rosh Hashanah Sermons
Tag :

Sermons

June 3, 2014
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Sermon for Cantor Showcase of Unique Torah — Our Unique and Godly Torah

*Sermon for Friday night of "Cantor Showcase of Unique Torah" (Shabbat prior to Shavuot) – May 30, 2014  Our Unique and Godly Torah Rabbi Ari Saks Some of you may remember a story my father told during my installation on this same bimah over a year and a half ago. I was a little boy in Benton Harbor and my father and I had just come back from shul on Simhat Torah. As we approached home I started making a frantic pointing motion in a not-so-specific direction (with the requisite grunting of a child). So my father, in attempting to respond my neediness, took me on a walk trying to follow my random pointing. Eventually we ended up back at shul where my pointing got[...]

Category : Bulletin Articles Cantorial Showcase Holidays home Rabbi Sermons Shabbat Shavuot
Tag :

Sermons

April 13, 2014
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Sermon for Shabbat Hagadol (April 12, 2014): Faith In Words

Faith in Words Sermon for Shabbat Hagadol (April 12th 2014) Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai Once there was a king who ruled many kingdoms, yet no matter how much wealth he amassed, no matter how many people he helped, he never felt at peace. His mind raced in so many different directions he could never feel as if he was in the right place at the right time. When he was sad he wanted to be happy, and for some reason when he was happy, he wanted to be sad. Well, he thought, if my mind is never at peace then neither should my kingdom. So he set about making every part of his kingdom the opposite of what it should be –[...]

Category : Cantorial Showcase home Passover Rabbi Sermons Shabbat
Tag :

Sermons

March 18, 2014
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Homecoming Sermon: “I am a Beth Mordecai Jew” – Responding to the Command to Be Jewish

Rabbi Ari Saks *Sermon for Shabbat Zahor/Parashat Tzav – March 15, 2016 Beth Mordecai Homecoming Weekend  In 2002, Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered by militants in Pakistan. In addition to the sadness and pain felt in hearing the first reports of his murder, there was also a hint of hope, a taste of truth because with his last three words Daniel Pearl spoke a prideful and confident claim that resonates through eternity: I am Jewish. In the years since his death this confident claim of Jewish identity, of saying proudly I am Jewish, has unified the Jewish people to the point that, despite our many and vast differences, 94% of us in America say that we are proud to be Jewish according[...]

Category : home Homecoming Weekend Purim Rabbi Sermons
Tag :

Sermons

October 12, 2013
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Parashat Lekh Lekha — Go From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be

Rabbi Ari Saks Sermon for Parashat Lekh L’kha – October 12, 2013* Installation Weekend of Rabbi Moshe Saks Temple Israel, Scranton PA I want to thank the leadership team and my father, my Abba, Rabbi Moshe Saks, for extending the invitation to speak this morning about Parashat Lekh L’kha. But before I begin, I wanted to share a quick observation about my Abba, which you may or may already not know. He’s a man who loves logistics. He loves figuring out how to get from point A to point B, sometimes when you don’t even ask him to. My wife Rachel and I have developed a routine when talking to my Abba about making plans to come visit him, my Ema, and my sister[...]

Category : Rabbi Sermons Shabbat
Tag :

Sermons

September 14, 2013
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Yom Kippur Sermon 5774 — A Home For Passionate Judaism

Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai Yom Kippur Sermon 5774 (September 14, 2013)* Standing behind the doors of the closed ballroom in one of the finer hotels in Spokane, Washington, I nervously prepared myself for one of the scariest, most vulnerable moments in my 17 years of life…running for Religious Education Vice President of Pinwheel USY, the local region of United Synagogue Youth. My hands sweaty, my heart in my stomach, I opened the doors and did this…cue Mordecai Ben David music…That’s right, I danced into a room full of teenagers rocking out to Mordecai Ben David’s classical religious single, “Moshiach, Moshiach, Moshiach! (or Messiah, Messiah, Messiah!)” Though I don’t remember exactly what I said – I probably blacked out after that[...]

Category : Holidays Sermons Uncategorized Yom Kippur
Tag :

Sermons

September 13, 2013
By bethmordecai
no comments.

Kol Nidre Sermon 5774 — If We Want To Make It Last, Let’s Do It Together

Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai Kol Nidrei Sermon 5774 (September 13, 2013)* When you turn on the TV at night, there are many options from which to choose. Personally, I have seen too many episodes of reality TV competition shows, like Top Chef or Project Runway than I’m proud to admit. Though they are hardly my first choice, the unfolding drama is hard to resist. One of the themes that often come up in each of these competition shows is just how much the competitors don’t like teams. They are individual artists with their own aesthetics, or to use language that we have developed here, they have their own unique Torah of how to be an artist and they don’t[...]

Category : Holidays Sermons Yom Kippur
Tag :