Category: Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

By popular request I started recording my classes. While I’m currently in the middle of a series called The Politics of Exclusion in Judaism where we define Who is a Jew by who doesn’t make the cut. We started months ago with Biblical Sources, followed up by Rabbinic sources, and we’re currently in the middle of going through Rambam’s Hilkhot Teshuva. Today’s class covered Hilkhot Teshuva 3:9, discussing Maimonides’ two types of “Rebels” which would cause a person to lose their share in the World to Come.

Jewish History Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Judaism Podcasts Politics of Exclusion in Judaism Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

The following is a sermon I gave at The Stanton St. Shul 02/27/2010 for Erev Purim. If memory serves, I believe I heard the main derash from R. Mordechai Friedman at Yeshivat Har Etzion but the poem is fully original.

I’m also proud to say this was the first sermon I gave which elicited applause. Most of my sermons typically evoke a standing ovation, though that’s probably due to kaddish.

Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah Shtick

The following is based on my more extemporaneous derasha on 1/16/2010 Parashat Va’eira at The Stanton St. Shul, posted in response to multiple requests. I’ve added annotations and links, though some jokes and cultural references in the original derasha may have been omitted. I’ll try to reconstruct my delivered thoughts as best as I can, but I was on a roll today and for some things you just have to be there.

Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Jewish Law / Halakha Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Random Acts of Scholarship Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

A few months ago I wrote a short article for the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals’ new journal Conversations. The purpose of this journal is to promote communal dialogue on various issues facing the Jewish community. Unlike the Edah/Meorot journals, the journal is supposed to be more accessible than academic and so I was given two editorial conditions:1. keep it short and 2. no footnotes.

As longtime blog readers know, that last condition was a tough one to overcome.

At any rate, I’m posting my article “A Fair And Balanced Approach To Jewish Social Justice” and I plan on revisiting the motivations for the article at some later point.

Culture Economics Jewish Culture Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Random Acts of Scholarship Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah Society

Wow. I can hardly believe how long it’s been since I’ve last written anything. I’ve barely had time to get basic derashot out, let alone formulate for intelligible posting (maybe…

Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

It’s been a while since I was asked to write Mt. Sinai’s “Parsha Perspectives,” and honestly I wasn’t sure if being asked to do Vayakhel of all parshiyot was a compliment. At any rate it was a moot point since I just missed the deadline (one which I hadn’t been told of beforehand). Still, here’s what would have been printed in the short space allotted.

Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

Delivered with some variations between Minha/Maariv on 1 Tishrei 5768 at Mt. Sinai Congregation
First let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a Shana Tova, a good new year.
I’m sure that by now most of us are familiar with our traditional formula of Rosh Hashana. We stand before God in judgment. We reaffirm his kingship over us, ask him to remember us favorably, and sound the shofar in anticipation of redemption. We may also be familiar with our tradition’s dramatic narrative of the day. We pass before God like sheep to be judged individually. We have our spiritual accusers and defenders, though according to the Talmud we can confound our accuser by varying the shofar blasts (B. Rosh Hashana 16b). Based on our merits or shortcomings, on Rosh Hashana our fates for the year are written, and on Yom Kippur they are sealed (B. RH 16a).

Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah

This Shabbat I will be speaking once again at Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim on the Upper West Side. The topic will be “The Seven Stages of Consolation” – the first of…

Personal Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah