‘Yom Kippur’ Category

Yom Kippur

September 15, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Yom Kippur Appeal — 5774

The moment you have all been anxiously waiting for is finally here. . . . the president’s appeal! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Norman Silverstein and I am the president of our Temple. I would like to welcome all our members and all our guests and wish you a Shana Tova.  This is my first year making the president’s appeal, because for the last 3 years it was given by our former president, Michael Gast, who has shown great dedication and leadership at our Temple, but as I have said, this year it’s my turn. Let me ask you 2 simple questions First Question 1)     Why are YOU here? Maybe it’s Obligation, maybe like fiddler on the roof it’s[...]

Category : Holidays President's Message Purim Yom Kippur
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Yom Kippur

September 14, 2013
By bethmordecai
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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
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Yom Kippur

September 13, 2013
By bethmordecai
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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
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Yom Kippur

September 12, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 439: Forget What Divides Us, Remember What Unites Us

Dear Hevreh, Yesterday I had the privilege, in my role as a chaplain in Perth Amboy's Police Chaplain Corps, to participate in a service honoring the victims and heroes of the September 11th attacks twelve years ago. One of the themes that came up often during the Scripture readings and prayers by my fellow chaplains was the need to be unified and, more specifically, that we are stronger when we affirm that which keeps us together than when we focus on what pulls apart. It's not always easy to be unified when you know there are certain, important differences that make each one of us a unique creation by God. Yet by recognizing that we all are unique creations by God, that[...]

Category : Perth Amboy News Rabbi's Journal Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur


By bethmordecai
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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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Yom Kippur

August 15, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Yom Kippur

July 12, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 12: Thinking about motivation…

Dear Hevreh, I'm sitting here in my office, practicing my reading for the Torah portion for this week (Parashat Pinhas), and I'm struck by a story that relates to something I was thinking about at the Board of Trustees meeting last night.  We were talking last night about finding volunteers for the High Holidays, and during that discussion I wondered...how do we motivate people to give up their precious free time and commit to helping our community?  I had a suspicion of what my answer was (and to be truthful, I've thought a lot about it over the years), and that suspicion was confirmed tonight while practicing the Torah reading: Motivation comes from feeling like we matter. In this week's Torah portion, the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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Yom Kippur

July 10, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 10: New York, New York!

Dear Hevreh, I am very excited because I am on my way to New York City today!  It'll be nice to step out onto the streets I called home for over a decade, but more than anything else, this trip is about a threefold commitment I am making to our community: 1) PROVIDING MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES - This morning I will be meeting with Cantor Levine to start working on High Holiday services that are meaningful, spiritual, and relevant to our Jewish community.  These are the kinds of activities that get me very excited and I look forward to being part of a team (which can include all of you!) to provide high quality spiritual experiences.  I am psyched for the High Holidays[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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