Archive for category: Lectures and Sermons

The Most Religous Book in Your Home

28 Apr
April 28, 2014

A little girl in our Early Childhood Center experienced a major breakthrough in her life when she learned to tie her own shoes. Instead of excitement, however, she began to cry.

What You Leave Behind

21 Apr
April 21, 2014

A 6th grade teacher posed the following problem to her class in arithmetic: “A wealthy man dies and leaves twenty million dollars. One-fourth is to go to his wife; one-fifth is to go to his daughter, one-sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now,” she asked the class, “what does each get?” After […]

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

14 Apr
April 14, 2014

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note and posted it on the apple tray: “Take only one. God is watching.” Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end […]

The Power of One

10 Apr
April 10, 2014

You know the Romans were known for many great achievements, but they weren’t so swift when it came to marking the passage of time. They invented the Julian calendar which was advanced for its time, but didn’t take into account the exact length of a year. So after a few years it became obvious that […]

The Last Socially Acceptable Bigotry?

01 Apr
April 1, 2014

A minister friend of mine told me the story of these were four ministers who were sitting at lunch together at a class reunion – one turns to the others and says, “You I can tell…I have a problem with stealing…from time to time when no one is looking, I take some money from the […]

Before It’s Too Late

28 Mar
March 28, 2014

Everyone told me not to do it. People want to be inspired on Kol Nidre, they all said. They want to hear about profound matters of the spirit; words that touch their souls, give wings to their deepest longings for meaning and purpose. They are even willing to look deeply into their own failings and […]

Give Us Back Our Days

21 Mar
March 21, 2014

You know the Romans were known for many great achievements, but they weren’t so swift when it came to marking the passage of time. They invented the Julian calendar which was advanced for its time, but didn’t take into account the exact length of a year. So after a few years it became obvious that […]

Confronting the Terror of Terrorism

14 Mar
March 14, 2014

I was startled out of my sleep at 6:15 AM Tuesday morning by a phone call from my daughter, Gable, who is living just a ten-minute walk from the World Trade Center in New York. “Oh my God,” she cried into the phone, “I’ve just witnessed the most horrible scene of my life.” With those […]

Hide Or Seek

07 Mar
March 7, 2014

Twenty-five years ago my best friend was raped at knifepoint. She lived alone in Hollywood and like most 20-somethings, had never really given her safety a second thought. Until that night when she awoke from out of a dead sleep to find a man with his hand over her mouth and a knife to her […]

When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough

01 Mar
March 1, 2014

You know we are very proud of how well we teach our children lessons from the Torah and Jewish sacred texts. Just the other day one of our teachers asked if anyone in the class knew the words to the 23rd Psalm. One girl raised her hand and quoted, “The Lord is my shepherd. That’s […]

Living With Fears Real And Imagined

28 Feb
February 28, 2014

Fear is walking the land. Kids are afraid to go to school. Jews are afraid to go to synagogues and Jewish community centers. A White Supremacist drives down Chicago streets using any minority man, woman or child for target practice. Disgruntled employees open fire on colleagues, financial loss triggers a murderous rampage at a brokerage […]

Preserving Judaism In The Next Millenium

21 Feb
February 21, 2014

While walking in Central Park one day, Morris Cohen approaches another man and says to him, “Sam Kaplan, just look at you. You’ve had a face lift, muscle-building injections and all new teeth put into your mouth. Your nose used to be crooked, but now it’s straight. Your hair used to be snow white, but […]

Seven Lessons from Twenty-Five Years as a Rabbi

14 Feb
February 14, 2014

A mother goes into her son’s room one Saturday morning and sees that he is still in bed with the covers pulled over his head. “Allen, you’ve got to get up. It’s Saturday and you’re late for shul.” “Ahh Mom I don’t want to go to the synagogue, I don’t like it there.”

The “War on Drugs” and the Death of Compassion

07 Feb
February 7, 2014

In 1980 the Federal government spent $4 billion on the drug war. This year we are spending over four times that much, and the saddest part is that most of that money goes not to help people stop using drugs or get help for their addictions, but simply to throw them in prison.

Diana, Teresa & Victor

01 Feb
February 1, 2014

I think we were all taken by surprise – watching day after day in mounting disbelief. Watching those people standing patiently, waiting 7,8,9,10,11 hours in line , just to sign a condolence book. And not just one book, scores of books at every embassy around the world – thousands of people in Los Angeles alone, […]