Face to Face

Rosh Hashanah 5776

In a large anonymous college lecture hall, time had run out. The professor called for the exams.  As the students finished up, they tossed their blue books on the professor’s desk.  A few minutes passed.  The last few students desperately scribbled their final comments and left the auditorium.  After ten minutes, only the professor, the stack of hundreds of blue books, and one student remained in the room.  The student kept writing. Five, then ten, then fifteen minutes continued to pass. The professor stood there, shocked at this student’s chutzpah. Finally, the student finished.  He walked up to the professor, blue book in hand. The professor said: “Young man, if you think I am going to accept that exam, now twenty minutes late, you are mistaken.” The student grinned: “Professor, do you have any idea who I am?!” The professor answered: “No, I have no idea, and to be quite...

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Five Inspirational Women

Shabbat Service

I have anticipated this very sermon for many years now.  The first sermon I would deliver, not as a student rabbi, or a rabbinical student, but as an ordained rabbi serving my congregation.  I’ve thought for a few months now, about what I would say on this evening, what message I wanted to deliver.  How I could show the congregation, who I am as a rabbi?  How I would be able to adequately convey my passion, my drive, my deep commitment to Judaism – my inspiration to become a rabbi? Since I cannot answer all of these questions and share everything in just one sermon, I decided I wanted to introduce you to five special women in my life…and I’m not talking about my grandmothers, mother, aunts, sisters and niece.  I’m talking about five women who serve as role models, and inspiration to me as both a rabbi and as...

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