Showing posts from October, 2020

Yizkor 2020 / 5781: Remembering three great teachers

I offered these comments immediately before the Yizkor memorial prayers on Yom Kippur 2020, which took place on the street in front of our synagogue. ========================================================= Take a moment to ask yourself: who are the currently living famous people for whom you have the greatest respect, who embody the very best of humanity? Now -- imagine if someone had asked you this question at the beginning of Rosh HaShanah 5780, in September 2019 - the beginning of the Jewish year that has recently come to an end. Who would have been on your list at that time? I know that my list of the very finest people alive last year at this time, the most deserving of emulation, would have included Representative John Lewis, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, all of whom have died in the last few months. I would like to share a brief reflection on each of their lives that can guide us as we go forth into this new year. Representative John Lewis in hi

Yom Kippur 5781: What to do when “the entire people has erred”

Yom Kippur 5781:  What to do when “the entire people has erred” I know I have already commented about how unusual it is that our service is upstairs, we have readers zooming in from around the country, we have participants zooming in from literally around the world, and now we just said:  “Now let’s go live to President Jeremy Morley  standing by in his home!”  And then -- “Let’s go live to Rabbi Scheinberg in his office!” Then again, I realize that even in a normal year, our High Holy Day services may have the feel of a TV studio, as we switch from location to location and time period to time period.  You know that any good book is an exercise in time travel - and I definitely think that’s true about the Mahzor, which sends us back to biblical times, sends us back to review our year, sends us to our childhoods and the lives of people who have influenced us.    And so -- considering this, Let’s -- go live to our correspondent at the Temple in Jerusalem, 2500 years ago, where the High P