D’var Torah by Rabbi Aaron Weininger Rosh Hashanah Day 2—September 11, 2018 I remember where I was when… For many here it may be, “I remember where I was when the Halloween Blizzard hit.” Or, “I remember where I was when the Twins last won the World Series.” Both date back to 1991. Sorry Twins […]
Rosh Hashanah Sermon – 1 Tishrei 5779 – Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul, MN – Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker Two old Jews were sitting on a park bench, friends for many years. One looks at the other and says, “Oy”. The other looks back and says, “Oy”. The other replies, “Oy”, to which the response […]
Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon – 1 Tishrei 5779 – Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul, MN – Rabbi Esther Adler Two Jewish friends who haven’t seen each other in a while are catching up. “So, Nu? How are you?” “How should I be? And you?” “Would it do any good to complain?” Why do Jews always […]
We have so many choices to make in our lives. This is both a blessing and a curse. Personally, I was able to choose the college I wanted to attend, the country where I wanted to study abroad, the city I wanted to live in after graduation, the profession I wanted to pursue. When I was ordained I was able to take the job that was the best fit regardless of the location. In my personal life I can choose to date or not to date, I can choose whether or not to get married and if I want to have children. I can choose to be vegan or vegetarian, to eat only organic or only unprocessed foods that are not GMO. At the grocery store there are endless options for everything I want to buy from toothpaste to shampoo to nut mixes. We are very lucky to have all of these choices, but they could drive a person crazy.
Our constant access to the world through our new technologies has its costs. You know your life is different today than it was only a few years ago: 1) if you have a list of 20 phone numbers to reach five people; 2) if you struggle to stay in touch with any family members who do not have an email address; 3) if you use your phone to call your family to dinner and the text comes back, “what’s for dinner?” 4) if your feeling of accomplishment is measured in emails deleted; 5) if you are waiting in line at the grocery store and are impatient because you left your smartphone in the car; 6) if you wake up at 2am to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.
We asked around to some of our favorite rabbis in the Twin Cities to see if they’d be willing to let us publish one of their sermons from the High Holidays 5774. We got a resounding “Yes” from those that have so far replied.
Six years ago, photographer Richard Renaldi took an enormous risk. With his camera and his heart, with vision that could see the art of the human soul, he started taking pictures. He decided to do a photographic essay of people. This is hardly new. But Renaldi’s subjects where strangers, people he literally talked to on the street, in coffee shops, at bus stops and in Grand Central Station. He invited these total strangers to pose together, while touching one another; holding hands, arms embracing, demonstrating physical affection.
Sounding the shofar. To stir our conscience, to confront our past errors, and ultimately, to return to wholeness and holiness.
A renewed covenant awaits us this year. Renewal of our selves. Renewal of our covenant with Israel.
God depends on you and me – on human action – to repair that which was broken as a result of the divine creative act in the first place.