This past High Holiday season (2013-5774) I asked myself and my congregation one central question in three different ways: Ayeka? (Lit. - “Where are you?”).
The question, of course, is not about one’s location. Rather, it asks about our identity, how we think and what believe, who we are and what values are central in our lives.
Ayeka is the first question to appear in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 3:9). It was asked by God of the first humans in the Garden of Eden immediately after they ate from the forbidden tree.
Ayeka – Where are You? Part I - American Jews
Ayeka – Where are You? Part II - The Jewish People and State of Israel
Ayeka – Where are You? Part III - God
I include here as well my Yizkor sermon "A Midrash on the Death of Moses" based on a compilation of midrashim (rabbinic legends and commentaries).
In the context of my synagogue mission’s to Israel and the West Bank in October (2013) about which I am still writing in a series of Reports from Israel, the second sermon, in particular, informs my thinking. All three sermons, however, ought to be considered together.
The sermons are posted on the Temple Israel of Hollywood (Los Angeles) web-site at http://www.tioh.org/worship/clergy/clergystudy