Posts Tagged ‘high holidays’

high holidays

October 5, 2014
By bethmordecai
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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
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high holidays

September 30, 2014
By bethmordecai
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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
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high holidays

September 19, 2014
By bethmordecai
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DAY 811: Appreciating What and Why We’re Doing While We’re Doing

9/19/14, אע"פ שתקיעת שופר בראש השנה גזירת הכתוב, רמז יש בו, כלומר עורו ישינים משנתכם ונרדמים  הקיצו מתרדמתכם (רמב"ם משנה תורה הלכות תשובה ג:ד)ש Even though the blowing of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah is a Biblical decree, it hints at something, i.e., “Wake up, sleepers, from your sleep! And slumberers, arise from your slumber!" (Maimonides Laws of Repentance 3:4)   Dear Hevreh, One of the things I'm often working on is how to be more judicious and efficient in using my time effectively. Schedules, planning, and even execution of the tasks at hand only seem to go so far, because as I sat in prayer yesterday I realized that one of the things I often miss when it comes to trying to[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah
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high holidays


By bethmordecai
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Parashat Nitzavim (נצבים)-Vayelekh (וילך) — Stranger Danger

Parashat Nitzavim/Vayelekh 2014/5774 (Triennial I) -- Stranger Danger In this week's Torah portion, Moses tells the Israelites that "you stand this day, all of you, before the LORD your God...even the stranger within the camp, from woodchopper to water drawer" (Deuteronomy 29:9-10). The Hebrew text does not intimate a separation between the "strangers" and the "Israelites," but the rabbinic commentator Panim Yafot (18th Century, Poland & Germany) points to how even in this text the strangers the Israelites must be wary of strangers. As we approach the High Holidays and open our communities to all people who seek Jewish wisdom, how does this text help us (and how does it NOT help us) understand how to welcome strangers into our communities? Join us[...]

Category : home Online Learning Online Parashah Class
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high holidays

September 5, 2014
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Ki Teitzei (כי תצא) — Sinning: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

Parashat Ki Teitzei 2014/5774 (Triennial I) -- Sinning: Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should In this week's Torah portion, we read of the laws concerning marriage to a beautiful maiden who was captured in battle (Deuteronomy 21:10-14); dealing with unloved and loved sons from different mothers (Deuteronomy 21:15-17); and the handling of a rebellious and wayward son (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). In Daat Z'kenim, an anthology of rabbinic interpretations from the Tosafot (12th-14th Centuries, France & Germany), conflation of these three laws are seen an example of "aveirah goreret aveirah," of how a sin causes [one to commit] another sin" -- when one takes a captured maiden as[...]

Category : Online Learning Online Parashah Class
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high holidays

August 27, 2014
By bethmordecai
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DAY 788: The Elul #ShofarChallenge – Calling Ourselves To Be Our Best Selves

Dear Hevreh, Today is the second day of Rosh Hodesh Elul, the beginning of the month which proceeds the High Holidays and thus helps us prepare ourselves to make the High Holidays a meaningful experience. Each day of Elul, Jews are called upon to blow the shofar, our ancient instrument for inner change. By blowing the shofar each day we create an opportunity to hear what its piercing call is trying to tell us (or remind us) on how to be our best selves. Each day this month the shofar reminds to make every moment count. As part of our collective preparation for the High Holiday season, we will use the power of the shofar to help remind ourselves what we need[...]

Category : Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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high holidays

April 13, 2014
By bethmordecai
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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
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high holidays

October 8, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 465: The Importance of Feedback To Knowing What Works

Dear Hevreh, We are still less than a month removed from our High Holiday celebrations as a community, and I hope you are still feeling some of the positive effects of those days together and that they helped make the wisdom of a Jewish tradition come alive for you. I've already heard a good amount of positive and constructive feedback from you on the content and the process of those days, yet in order to make the lessons from those days stick throughout the year, and in order to improve the overall experience of the holidays every year, it is important to know more. That is why this week I will continue to listen to anecdotal feedback through private conversations and[...]

Category : Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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high holidays

October 1, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 458: Numbers, Holidays, and Crafting a Special Sauce

Dear Hevreh, On Kol Nidre, I challenged our community to build something special that will last. Yet if we are truly going to build something special then throughout this process we must identify the ingredients that will go into our "special sauce." Identifying these ingredients will require opportunities for us to come together on an individual and communal basis to share our Jewish passions with one another, which means that one of the key indicators for knowing that we are on our way to crafting our special sauce is how successful we are at coming together and showing up at schul. Enter Exhibit A...Holiday attendance. I'm not talking about the High Holidays, but rather the joyous holidays of Sukkot, Sh'mini Atzeret, and Simhat[...]

Category : Rabbi's Journal Sh'mini Atzeret Simhat Torah Sukkot Yom Kippur
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high holidays

September 16, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 443: Savoring that Refreshing Feeling

Dear Hevreh, I feel a sense of newness, perhaps even a lightness of spirit, after the Yom Kippur we just celebrated together. I'm not sure if it's specifically because of this year's experience, or if it happens every year (and I just don't remember much about last year!), but regardless it's really a refreshing feeling, one which I will savor as long as I have it. It's refreshing because it gives me a sense of gratitude for what we just accomplished. From the hallowed Kol Nidre to the final Avinu Malkeinu and shofar blast, this Yom Kippur was truly an inspirational experience. There are many people I want to thank for their participation and volunteerism (you can see the list at the[...]

Category : Rabbi's Journal Yom Kippur
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