Blog: Rabbi Feinstein

Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on May 23, 2018

Rabbi Ed Feinstein guest stars on two podcasts: Jay's 4 Questions and 18 Questions with Rick Recht

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on May 3, 2018

I asked the children in our school -- what’s the difference between a noun and a verb?

Every child knew the answer: A noun is a person, place or thing. A verb is an action, something we do.

Then I asked them: What is “God” -- a noun or a verb? They all gave the answer -- God is a noun. God is a Someone, or maybe a Something, but definitely a noun.

So what can you tell me about that noun? I asked. Long pause, then: Nothing. God is beyond all description. God is infinite. There are no words to describe God.  

So I asked again -- What if God is a verb? If God is a verb, God would be something we do -- an act, a deed, a gesture. Can God be a verb?

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on April 4, 2018

Rosh Hashanah in 2003 marked the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech. On that occasion, I shared the following sermon with the VBS community. This week, we commemorate the 50th yahrtzeit of Dr King, the fiftieth year since his assassination. Ironically, it falls during these days of Pesach -- our holiday of liberation from slavery and our celebration of human dignity. It is fitting to return again to Dr King’s prophetic words, in his memory, and as a timely last word for our Pesach. Abraham Joshua Heschel, the great Jewish philosopher, declared that Martin Luther King was the evidence that God has not given up on the United States of America. May his memory on this his 50th yahrtzeit be a blessing to our nation.    

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on January 18, 2018

In everything there is a living point from the Root of Life.  But that inwardness lies hidden in this world.  The Jew has to arouse and reveal this inwardness that lies within all things”  (Sefat Emet)

I first met Mark Borovitz in 1990. Someone told me there was a remarkable man who had just come out of jail and had a message to share with Jewish young people. I was the director of Camp Ramah. I took a chance and invited Mark to come speak to our campers. As I watched, he captivated a room of 110 16-year olds for more than two hours. His message was simple, but so very powerful -- “You matter.” That message was delivered by a man who had experienced life as few of us do.

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on November 15, 2017

In 1965, the great Jewish philosopher, Abraham Joshua Heschel stood at this podium and addressed the GA, assembled in Montreal.

“There are two words I should like to strike from our vocabulary,” he declared, “ 'surveys' and 'survival'.”

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on November 2, 2017

This week, we will read Parshat Va-yera, which concludes with the story of Akedat Yitzchak, The Binding of Isaac. Remarkably, archaeologists in Israel recently discovered a note, stuck to an ancient refrigerator door by a magnet, from Abraham to Sarah, that sheds new light on the story. Here is the text, translated from the ancient Hebrew.

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on August 15, 2017

Published by the Los Angeles Daily News on August 14, 2017

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on June 26, 2017

In the middle of the summer, we commemorate T’sha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av. This year, it will begin the evening of July 30. On this day, the long history of Jewish tragedies are remembered -- the destruction of our holy Temple and of our holy city, Jerusalem, the long history of Jewish exile, the expulsions, pogroms, and persecutions that haunt Jewish memory.

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on May 25, 2017

Upon hearing that the paratroopers had fought their way to the heart of old Jerusalem, Shlomo Gorin, the chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Force, donned a flak jacket and proceeded to the Temple Mount, where he announced to the Jewish people worldwide, “Ha-habayit B’yadaynu  -- The heart of Jerusalem is ours!” That was fifty years ago this week. The Six Day War of 1967 brought so many changes to Israel and to the Jewish people around the world.

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on April 20, 2017

The sixteenth century rabbi, Rabbi Yehuda Loew of Prague, received word of an imminent pogrom, an attack on his community driven by a vicious blood libel. He prayed for divine help. In a dream, he saw ten Hebrew words forming an alphabetical acrostic: “Create a Golem of Clay, Destroy Those Tearing Israel’s Heart.”

 

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