Rabbi Jim‘s Podcast

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Shemot 5773-Learning to Be…and Then Do

January 13th, 2013

In the aftermath of the recent shootings in our country, I felt that we needed to rethink how we react/respond to these horrible events.  As Jews we are familiar with the face of evil whether it be Pharaoh, Haman, or Hitler.  A natural response can be to become angry, yet this may actually get in the way of how grief really unfolds in our lives.  Perhaps we need to learn how to be with such events first, then try to figure out what we do to respond.

Today, We Are Jacob’s Daughters

December 15th, 2012

With the events in Newtown, Conn. in hearts and minds I wanted to look to Torah.  There in the portions that surround parashat Miketz, the Torah portion of Hanukkah, we find two emotional moments echoing the events in Newtown.  In Genesis 45 we read the episode when Jacob is told that Joseph is still alive.  Think of the families who had this moment yesterday in the middle of this tragedy.  Consider what it meant to hear their son or daughter was, "...yet alive."  Then turn to Genesis 37:29-35 and we find the moment where Jacob is told the lie by the sons that Joseph was dead.  In the middle of the biblical story, are Jacob's daughters.  I believe as a nation we are Jacob's daughters today, we are those who witness the grief of devastated parents who mourn the loss of their children.

Genesis 45 - JPS Old

Genesis 37 - JPS Old

Becoming the One You Were Meant to Be - Kol Nidre 5773

November 24th, 2012

I delivered this sermon at Kol Nidre this year.  It was sparked by several events including the scandal at Penn State during this past year.  We wonder how such events could happen, especially at a school known for academic integrity.  Yet, this is a lesson, and even the members of the Penn State football team are a lesson for us as we wrestle with our own efforts to forgive and become better.

Freeing David

Sports Illustrated - 3/17/1980

Rosh Hashannah Morning 5773 - The Men and Women with Nehemiah at the Water Gate

October 1st, 2012

Is it just in our nature to be fearful of the stranger or the 'other' in our society?  What happens when Jews forget acceptance and understanding and even begin to create strangers out of fellow Jews in our midst?  This sermon examines the 'otherness' we experience in the world and in ourselves with a reminder that Nehemiah read before both men and women at Jerusalem's Water Gate.

The Wedding that was not

German Ban on Circumcision

Salt, Without a Blue Image

No Women Allowed...

Nehemiah Chapter 8

Be and Beware Your Tefillah

September 19th, 2012

Shannah Tovah U'Metukah! A sweet and happy Jewish New Year to all of you.  This podcast is my Rosh Hashannah evening service and in it we will explore the meaning of the phrase, V'Ani Tefillati, I am my ... Tefillah.

I would invite you to give to the cause mentioned in this sermon and add your piece of Tikkun, of repair to our world through your Tzedakah (charity).

I have included the link below.

We Are Sikhs

Sikhs Donate to Wisconsin Officer Shot at Temple

Who Do We Think We Judge?

August 25th, 2012

Shalom and thank you for listening.  This week we are going to look at Parashat Shoftim, a Torah portion that speaks to the qualities  we are supposed to look for  when appointing judges.  Perhaps this parasha also has some lessons for those of us who are the chief justices in our court of personal opinions...

And He Saved Moses…

May 17th, 2012

This podcast is a reflection on our trip to Washington, DC with our confirmation class.  While we were there we had a chance to tour the Supreme court and while it was nice to see an image of Moses among the 'law givers' in the court, maybe one very important image was missing...

Hearts of Fire

January 21st, 2012

The Torah portion this week continues with God's charge to Moses to continue to mission of freeing the Israelites.  Even after speaking from the heart of the Burning Bush, Moses continues to protest God's call.  Perhaps the question for us, like Moses, is not whether or not God calls to us, rather it is the question, "will I be ready for that moment?"  Are any of us ready for God to reveal the divine self and respond with, 'hineini?'

Vayeitzei 5772-Between a Rock and a Holy Place

December 6th, 2011

Recently I had the honor to write the Devar Acher for the URJ's 10 Mintues of Torah.  I want to share my reading of this passage with you this week.

Monty Python, Korach, and Disputes

June 24th, 2011

I'd like to have an argument...

Among the things we don't know about the Torah we can include what the dispute was about in the week's Torah portion. Maybe in our Torah, Monty Python, and in our nation we are so use to the argument, we have forgotten why we disagree, and why we must get along.


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