September 29, 2012
My High Holiday Sermons - 5753/2012
You can read each of my High Holiday sermons on the Temple Israel of Hollywood Website – www.tioh.org (Go to “About Us” and click “Clergy” then “From the Clergy Study”). Or click http://www.tioh.org/about-us/clergy/aboutus-clergy-clergystudy
“For a Good and Happy New Year” (Erev Rosh Hashanah) –- I contrast the primary life goals of happiness and goodness and discuss why I believe that happiness is a by-product of the pursuit of goodness. It’s my view that our attitude about our life circumstances and the choices we make are the prerequisites to attaining both a good and happy life.
“Intermarriage and the Survival of Judaism and the Jewish People” (Shacharit Rosh Hashanah) - After more than three decades serving congregations in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles I announced, to the shock and surprise of my congregation, my decision to officiate at some intermarriage ceremonies going forward. I described my struggle that led me to this change, and include at the end a post-delivery reflection on the response this sermon inspired. The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles wrote about my decision in the September 28-October 4, 2012 print edition “Rabbi Reverses Interfaith Marriage Policy” (by Julie Gruenbaum Fax, pages 27, 42) http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/rabbi_reverses_interfaith_marriage_policy
“The Blessing of Being Wrong” (Kol Nidre) – We are wrong far more often than most people admit thus preventing us from make necessary changes and doing t’shuvah (repentance). I discuss why I believe acknowledging wrongness is a sign of inner strength, courage and good character.
“I wish You Enough” (Yizkor) – This is a touching and insightful story about a father saying goodbye to his daughter for the last time, as first told by the motivational speaker Bob Perk.