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Rabbi Ed Feinstein Sermons

03/04/2020 10:54:31 PM

Mar4

Sukkot

07/10/2019 03:39:00 PM

Jul10

One Sunday morning, many years ago, as parents came to pick up their kids from the Hebrew School where I taught, I overheard a conversation. "How was class?" A father asked his son. The child began to whine, "I hate Hebrew School. It's boring and stupid, the teachers are mean and the kids aren't nice. I don't want to go any more." The father stopped, turned to the kid and said, "Listen, when I was your age I went to Hebrew School and I hated...Read more...

Words from Under the Table: Yom Kippur 2016/5777

10/20/2016 10:07:00 AM

Oct20

A famous story told by the Hasidic master, Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav.

Once a family was cursed, and their son, their pride and joy, became convinced he was a rooster. He removed his clothes, and sat clucking beneath the family table. He refused to eat...Read more...

The Day After - Rosh Hashanah 2016/5777

06/10/2016 12:37:49 PM

Jun10

You won’t find this holiday in the Torah. If you look into the book of Numbers, this is all you’ll find: The first day of the seventh month will be yom truah, shofar-blowing day. That’s all. No apples and honey. No book of life. It’s not even Rosh...Read more...

March 30 Adult B'nai Mitzvah with Rabbi Feinstein

12/06/2015 02:37:00 PM

Dec6

March 30 Adult B’nai Mitzvah Rabbi Feinstein and Rabbi Schulweis

Excerpt taken from a sermon by Rabbi Ed Feinstein, given March 30, 2013.

 

Rescuing God: Rosh Hashanah, 2015

09/16/2015 02:48:52 PM

Sep16

This is the first holiday in 45 years that Rabbi Harold Schulweis will not be on the bima. In his memory we offer this sermon.

Elie Wiesel offered a parable about our times:

Once upon a time, Man complained to God: “You have no idea how hard it is to...Read more...

Vayechi

06/07/2015 10:48:00 AM

Jun7

VAYECHI hitters: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams. Not one of them more than .400! the rabbi observed. That means more than six in ten times, the greatest of the great struck out or popped up or flied out. More than six in ten times, they failed. Are you better than they were? Why do you expect more of yourself than they did?

Jewish kids all have to get A's. It's a fact. They're all above average. But what happens when they don't...Read more...

It's Time We Talk: On Life and Death, Yom Kippur, 2013

06/04/2015 08:12:54 AM

Jun4

Rabbi FeinsteinIt’s Time We Talk: On Life and Death Rabbi Ed Feinstein Yom Kippur, 2013

This isn’t going to be an easy sermon to hear. It certain won’t be easy to give. But it is necessary. And Yom Kippur is the time to do it.

We call Yom...Read more...

The American Jewish Century-Rosh Hashana, 2012, 5733

06/04/2015 08:12:11 AM

Jun4

Rabbi Feinstein

The American Jewish Century
Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Rosh Hashana, 2012, 5733

A true story of the most important American Jew of the 20th century that you probably never heard of.

On November 29, 1947, the United States supported...Read more...

It's Time We Talk: On Being Jewish, Rosh Hashanah, 2013/5774

06/04/2015 08:12:11 AM

Jun4

Rabbi FeinsteinIt’s Time We Talk: On Being Jewish, Rosh Hashanah, 2013/5774

This year, I will not be delivering sermons. Sermons come from a place of spiritual confidence and security that I just can’t find. Too much tragedy and disruption came into the...Read more...

VIDEO Shabbat Sermon: May 30, 2015 with Rabbi Ed Feinstein

05/06/2015 11:54:00 AM

May6

Look Mom, it's God

04/06/2015 08:27:00 AM

Apr6

Look Mom, it's God
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

As I wheeled my shopping cart down the aisle of the local market on my weekly grocery run, a three-year old riding in his mother's cart came up the other side. He was one of the students in the Nursery School, and when he recognized me, his mouth dropped open, he pointed and shouted, "Mom, look, it's God!"

My young friend's comment is very instructive. We imagine God in the...Read more...

Five Books No Jew Should Be Without

04/06/2015 08:27:00 AM

Apr6

Five Books No Jew Should Be Without
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"Why do I need to own a Siddur? Every time I come to shul they give me one to use." A good question -- asked by a Hebrew School student during the Dalet Class Siddur ceremony a few weeks ago. Why own a Siddur? Because I don't want you to borrow Judaism, I want you to own it. What does it say when all of the resources of Jewish life -- the Siddur, the Humash, the...Read more...

The Sermon on the Mall

04/06/2015 08:27:00 AM

Apr6

The Sermon on the Mall
Yom Kippur 2010, 5771 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

I want you to share a thought experiment with me. I want you to imagine that the economic situation in the country doesn’t improve in the next year. Instead of turning toward recovery, the world economy, and our national situation gets worse. Much worse. How this can happen? ….could be any number of causes: the Chinese could decide to stop buying our...Read more...

Father and Son

04/06/2015 08:26:00 AM

Apr6

Father and Son
Rosh Hashana 2010
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein & Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas

While we pray here together on these high holidays, all across Los Angeles, all across America, there are small groups of younger Jews who have broken away from established congregations, and formed their own prayer groups, minyanim, and havurot. In living rooms, in backyards, in school gymnasiums, they gather this yomtov, to pray and learn...Read more...

Leaving Mesopotamia

04/06/2015 08:26:00 AM

Apr6

Leaving Mesopotamia
Yom Kippur 5769, 2008
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

In the beginning, there were two: Tiamat, the great goddess of the sky waters. And Ea, the deliberative, slow-moving god the earth waters. They co-mingled their waters and there were born all the gods of the world; gods of sun and moon and stars, gods of war and peace, of fertility and barrenness, of rain and drought. These gods were driven by their passions...Read more...

We, the People

04/06/2015 08:26:00 AM

Apr6

We, the People
Rosh Hashana 5769, 2008
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

I invited Senator McCain and Senator Obama to join us today in shul. I prepared this sermon for them. You’re all invited to listen. 

Senator McCain, Senator Obama. Good yontiff. On behalf of our community, we wish you both shana tova, a year of blessings, a year of goodness.

In about 40 days, one of you will be our next President. Please...Read more...

Hevre, Tnu Lee L'Halom. My Friends, Permit Me to Dream

04/06/2015 08:24:00 AM

Apr6

Hevre, Tnu Lee L’Halom. My Friends, Permit Me to Dream
Yom Kippur 2007
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

In Hawaii, you will stand on a beautiful beach and look out into the crystal blue waters, you gaze up at a brilliant blue sky, you will see hillsides covered with swaying palms, you will raise your eyes toward heaven and say: "Master of the World, You knew about this place and You gave us Canaan? Would it have been so difficult...Read more...

The Question of Meaning

04/06/2015 08:24:00 AM

Apr6

The Question of Meaning
Rabbi Ed Feinstein-Valley Beth Shalom

My favorite time of week is Wednesday mornings. At 8:05 AM on Wednesday mornings, I lead minyan with the Day School second, third and fourth graders. After we’ve gone through the basic prayers, we play a game I like to call “She’elot u’teshuvot” Questions and Answers. The kids call it “Stump the Rabbi.” Anything you want to ask the rabbi, this is your...Read more...

The Kol Nidre Code

04/06/2015 08:24:00 AM

Apr6

The Kol Nidre Code
Yom Kippur, 2006/5767
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

An historical mystery: you can call it, The Kol Nidre Code. The holiest moment of the Jewish year is Kol Nidre. The service is named for its opening prayer. But it's a very strange prayer, for despite its haunting melody, the words of this prayer are dry, technical and legalistic. It sounds much more like a disclaimer at the bottom of a contract than a prayer...Read more...

The World's Longest Recurring Nightmare Returns

04/06/2015 08:24:00 AM

Apr6

The World’s Longest Recurring Nightmare Returns
Rosh Hashana 2006 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

This year, a story. True story. My story and yours too. It's our story -- a composite of stories many of you have told me these past years.

A father went to visit his daughter at the university where she studied. It was a crisp Friday afternoon in the late Fall, and they planned to walk across campus to the Hillel House for the...Read more...

Globalization and Responsibility

04/06/2015 08:24:00 AM

Apr6

Globalization and Responsibility
Rosh Hashana 2005 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Genesis, chapter 11: Everyone on earth had the same language and the same words. 2And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3They said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn them hard."--Brick served them as stone, and bitumen served them as mortar.--4And they said, "Come, let us build...Read more...

The Moral Test

04/06/2015 08:23:00 AM

Apr6

The Moral Test
Yom Kippur 2004 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

A Hasidic tale: There once was a Rebbe who worried that he could find no good person his generation. So he performed a simple experiment. He opened the window, and called over the first person passing by. When the fellow approached the window, the Rebbe asked him: "Suppose you found a wallet, filled with money, lying in the street. What would you do?"

Without even a...Read more...

The Wisdom of Jewish Adulthood

04/06/2015 08:23:00 AM

Apr6

The Wisdom of Jewish Adulthood
Rosh Hashana 2004 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Dear Mr. Feinstein,

Let me be the first to welcome you to the wonderful world of AARP. Attached you will find your provisional membership card. Fill out the membership application, send in your membership fees, and the world of AARP benefits will be yours.

And so begins my middle age.

American culture, it seems, marks the arrival of...Read more...

Treasures in the Basement: An Introduction to Kabballah

04/06/2015 08:23:00 AM

Apr6

Treasures in the Basement: An Introduction to Kabballah
Yom Kippur 2003 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

True story: One Shabbos afternoon, a few weeks after we moved into our home here in Encino, a man appeared at our door and identified himself as an attorney from Minneapolis, representing a former occupant of our home. According to this attorney's story, our home's former occupant was world famous scientist who had rented the house...Read more...

Recovering the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King

04/06/2015 08:22:00 AM

Apr6

Recovering the Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King
Rosh Hashana 2003 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

On August 28, 1963, forty years and one month ago, a young preacher named Martin Luther King, ascended the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, looked out on the crowd of a quarter million, and began a talk that changed the world:

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed...Read more...

The Sources of Jewish Resilience

04/06/2015 08:22:00 AM

Apr6

The Sources of Jewish Resilience
Rosh Hashana 2002 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

A Chabad Hasid stood on the corner of Ben Yehuda and Jaffa in Jerusalem doing what Chabadnik's do everywhere, putting tefillin on every passerby. There came along a scruffy looking secular Israeli who began arguing with him. 
-- We don't need this here. Go back to the 14th century where you belong!
-- We need Mashiach! Only Mashiach can save...Read more...

Yom Ha-Atzmaut

04/06/2015 08:22:00 AM

Apr6

Yom Ha-Atzmaut
Milken Community Center, April 16, 2002- Rabbi Ed Feinstein

I want to talk to the children tonight. Because I'm concerned for your souls and your faith.

You've heard that we are aggressors -- savagely invading, occupying, oppressing a sovereign people.

You've heard we have brutally destroyed their cities and towns, their homes and shops, desecrating holy places, turning once-thriving centers of life...Read more...

Ha-Matzav - The Situation

04/06/2015 08:22:00 AM

Apr6

Ha-Matzav - The Situation
Yom Kippur 2001 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"Do you get it now?" writes Clyde Haberman, the New York Times correspondent in Jerusalem. "Do you get it now? It is a question that many Israelis wanted to ask yesterday of America and the rest of the finger-pointing world. Not in a smart-alecky manner. Not to say, `We told you so.' Do you get it now? You can't avoid the question," Haberman concludes, "when you...Read more...

Finding Each Other

04/06/2015 08:21:00 AM

Apr6

Finding Each Other
Rosh Hashana 2001 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Tevye: Golde, Do you love me?

Golde: Do I what?

T: Do you love me?

G: Do I love you? 
With our daughters getting married,
And this trouble in the town,
You're upset, you're worn out, 
Go inside, go lie down.
Maybe it's indigestion.

T: Goldie, I'm asking you a question Do you love me?

G: You're a...Read more...

Stories that Hurt, Stories that Heal

04/06/2015 08:21:00 AM

Apr6

Stories that Hurt, Stories that Heal
Yom Kippur, 2000 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Jacob slept alone that night. It was only the second time in his life that he slept alone. The first time was more than twenty years ago. Terrified of his brother's murderous rage, he had run from home empty handed, alone, defenseless. He had slept beneath the night sky with only a stone for a pillow. And had dreamed of a ladder, connecting heaven and...Read more...

The Pillars of Life

04/06/2015 08:21:00 AM

Apr6

The Pillars of Life
Yom Kippur, 1999

The Pillars of Life values. Out of this shattering catastrophe would either come the death of a people and its faith, or its rebirth in a completely new form.

There is no historical record of this conversation. But I can imagine what he said. For over the past two years, VBS has created a pioneering outreach program, our Keruv Center. We've opened our doors and welcomed seekers, Jewish...Read more...

Telling Our Stories

04/06/2015 08:21:00 AM

Apr6

Telling Our Stories
Rosh Hashana, 1999 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

When the Baal Shem Tov died, his disciples gathered to distribute his worldly possessions. One was given his tfillin, and another, his shtender --his lectern. One his books and another his cup.

At the end of the line, there waited one faithful Hasid. But there was nothing of worldly value left, so he was given the master's stories, and charged with the...Read more...

The Quest for Oneness

04/06/2015 08:20:00 AM

Apr6

The Quest for Oneness
Yom Kippur 1998 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"Breshit bara eloheem et ha-shamayim v'et ha-aretz. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep. And a wind from God sweeping over the water. God said, Let there be light; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God...Read more...

Metamorphosis

04/06/2015 08:20:00 AM

Apr6

Metamorphosis
Rosh Hashana 1998 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed-quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off...Read more...

Finding Diamonds

04/06/2015 08:19:00 AM

Apr6

Finding Diamonds
Yom Kippur 1997 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

There once was a very poor man who could only provide the barest, most meager of subsistence for his family...potatoes. Potatoes for breakfast. Potatoes for lunch. Potatoes for dinner. The monotony and the poverty of potatoes wore on him, on his wife, on his kids. And they said to him: Isn't there anything you can do to bring us home something besides potatoes? The man was...Read more...

ON ONE FOOT

04/06/2015 08:19:00 AM

Apr6

ON ONE FOOT
Yom Kippur 1996/5757
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

There's an old story we all learned as children about a stranger who came to the two teachers of the first century, Hillel and Shammai, with an odd request. "Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot."

First, he came to the sage, Shammai and he makes his request, "Teach me the Torah, Rabbi, as I stand upon one foot." The Talmud teaches that Shammai picked up...Read more...

The Tao of Judaism

04/06/2015 08:19:00 AM

Apr6

The Tao of Judaism
Rosh Hashana 1996
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

When God contemplated creating the human being, according to a Midrash, He consulted all the angels of heaven. The angels of compassion said, "Let him be created, for he will perform acts of loving kindness." And the angels of peace said, "Don't create him! He will fill the world with contention, conflict and strife." The angels of justice said, "Let him be...Read more...

What Is Your Name

04/06/2015 08:18:00 AM

Apr6

What Is Your Name
Yizkor 1995
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

When God created the animals, He brought them, one by one, before Man so that he could name them. Man examined the essence of each creature, and assigned its name. So teaches Genesis.

But the Midrash went farther: And when all the animals had been named, God then asked Man: What is your name? And he said, "Adam".
Then God asked, "And what is My name?" And he...Read more...

JEWISH SPIRITUALITY

04/06/2015 08:18:00 AM

Apr6

JEWISH SPIRITUALITY
Yom Kippur 1995
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

They say that Jews like ice cream come in 31 flavors. There are synagogue Jews, Federation Jews, Zionist Jews, universalistic Jews, cultural Jews, delicatessen Jews, cardiac Jews (Jewish in the heart), gastronomic Jews (of the belly), and many more.

The denomination divide us into four: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist. And as one pundit...Read more...

The Kids in the Car

04/06/2015 08:18:00 AM

Apr6

The Kids in the Car
Rosh Hashana 1995
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Let me tell you the story of an American tragedy: On a June evening, this year, Ramtin Shaolian, 16-year Taft High student and four friends went the movies in Fallbrook Mall. They were rowdy and got themselves thrown out of the theater, so they took a walk around the mall. There came a car, a Ford Escort, with four girls, from neighborhoods south of the Boulevard,...Read more...

The Masterpiece

04/06/2015 08:17:00 AM

Apr6

The Masterpiece
Rosh Hashana 1994/5755
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Once upon a time ... there was a king who built a great palace for himself. It was a magnificent edifice, each room and each hall greater and more impressive than the next. But there remained one hall in the palace that was still bare and undecorated. It was a long and narrow room with high walls. "How should it be decorated?" wondered the king.

He...Read more...

GOD'S FOUR QUESTIONS

04/06/2015 08:17:00 AM

Apr6

GOD'S FOUR QUESTIONS
Yom Kippur 1993
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Ma Nishtana Ha-Laila Ha-Zeh, Mikol Ha-Leilot?

Why is tonight so different from all other nights?

On all our other festivals we come in joy, and tonight, the climax of our Yamim Noraim, our Days of Awe, we come in fear and trepidation.

On all our other festivals we come together, as families, as a community. Tonight, we come singly, as...Read more...

Leaving Never Never Land

04/06/2015 08:17:00 AM

Apr6

1. He comes to see the rabbi, because we're supposed to possess life wisdom. So he sits in my office and describes his problems.

He's 38 years old. Good looking, well-educated, successful, and desperately lonely.

He's been dating for 20 years now ... how many women? ... mostly Jews, but even a few non-Jews recently ... and he can't find a mate.

Have you ever had a sustained relationship? Yes, two maybe three lasted...Read more...

Real World Judaism: Rosh Hashana, 5772, 2011

04/06/2015 08:14:00 AM

Apr6

“Rabbi,” he said, “you just don’t know the real world.”

I was speaking to a gathering of young business leaders – entrepreneurs and executives. They asked me to speak about building a life that matters, about making moral choices in a difficult world, about character and meaning and community and faith. They listened with polite deference, but dismissed me quickly. Responding to my talk, one young man spoke up for his...Read more...

Would You Recommend This Book to Your Friends? Yom Kippur 2011-5772

04/06/2015 08:13:00 AM

Apr6

I love Jewish books. I attribute this to my fourth grade Hebrew School teacher, who regularly banished me to the synagogue library. I wasn’t a bad kid. On the contrary, I loved Hebrew School. But after a full day of quietly paying attention to the lessons of “regular school,” Hebrew School provided an ideal environment to meet people and to mix. And after being told three or four times “Sheket, Yitzchak, Sheket!” I would find myself...Read more...

VIDEO Shabbat Sermon: April 18, 2015 with Rabbi Ed Feinstein

04/06/2015 08:12:00 AM

Apr6

Trick Or Treat

04/06/2015 08:11:00 AM

Apr6

Trick Or Treat
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

I take my kids trick-or-treating on Halloween. The truth is that you don't find many rabbis out on Halloween. Many of my congregants are surprised, even upset, to find their rabbi and his kids in costume celebrating a holiday that has definite Christian and pagan origins. And my kids certainly don't need any more candy in their daily diet. But something remarkable happens on Halloween,...Read more...

The Rescue Mission

04/06/2015 08:11:00 AM

Apr6

The Rescue Mission
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

There is a story that haunts me this time of year.

It is the story of a young Jew who lived in Germany at the beginning of the century -- a brilliant student of philosophy at the University of Berlin. All of his cousins, and all his colleagues and acquaintances had converted to Christianity, as was so common among young Jews at the time. His professors urged him to convert as...Read more...

Pardon Me, Do You Have the Time?

04/06/2015 08:11:00 AM

Apr6

Pardon Me, Do You Have the Time?
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

In the office, I have a fast computer with E-mail and a modem, a fax machine, a cell phone and a pager. At home, a microwave/convection oven, a dishwasher, washer/dryer, trash compactor, cordless phones and cable TV. All designed to save me time. So, where's all that time? Why don't I feel like I have more time?

Time, as we know it, was invented only in the last...Read more...

How the Grinch Stole Shabbat

04/06/2015 08:10:00 AM

Apr6

How the Grinch Stole Shabbat
Hanukkah, 2002/5763
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

OH, THE JEWS UP IN JEWVILLE
THEY LOVED THEIR SHABBAT,
FROM THE OLDEST OF OLD FOLKS
TO THE YOUNGEST OF TOTS.
WITH CANDLES AND WINE
AND CHOCOLATE CHIP HALLAH,
THEY FELT OH SO GOOD 
TILL WAY PAST HAVDALLAH.
THEY ALL WENT TO SHUL
TO HEAR RABBI SCHULWEIS
WHO TOLD THEM "IT'S IMPORTANT
TO TREAT EVERYONE...Read more...

When You Haven't Got a Prayer

04/06/2015 08:10:00 AM

Apr6

When You Haven't Got a Prayer
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Very few people know that before she died, Evelyn Wood was hard at work on a revolutionary new speed reading program: "Davening Dynamics" -- for all of us left in the dust (or the pews) by the explosive speed of our liturgy. The truth is, we pray too fast. This is no surprise; in our culture, we do everything too fast --We drive too fast, eat too fast, talk too fast. But of...Read more...

How the Grinch Stole the Torah

04/06/2015 07:54:00 AM

Apr6

How the Grinch Stole the Torah
Hanukkah, 2006/5767
by Rabbi Ed Feinstein
 

Oh the Jews of old Jewville loved everything Jewish 
From traditions so ancient to those that are new-ish. 

A mezuzah was hung on all of their doors, 
In shul during sermons, you could hear all their snores. 
'Tween milchig and fleishig they divided their dishes, 
And from Purim carnivals they...Read more...

How the Grinch Stole the Rabbi

04/06/2015 07:53:00 AM

Apr6

How the Grinch Stole the Rabbi
Hanukkah, 2005/5766
by Rabbi Ed Feinstein

Every Jew in old Jewville, so loved their old shul,
Though it had not-enough parking, and no swimming pool.

On Shabbos and Yom Tov, it was standing-room only,
But packed in there together, no one got lonely!

There were too many classes, and not enough rooms,
So kids learned haftorah, in closets with brooms. 

Even...Read more...

How the Grinch Became a Bar Mitzvah

04/06/2015 07:53:00 AM

Apr6

How the Grinch Became a Bar Mitzvah
Hanukkah, 2004/5765
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Oh the Jews of old Jewville 
They loved their shul so 
On Shabbat mornings, 
That's where they'd go. 

No soccer, no shopping 
Could get in their way, 
And keep them from shul 
Each Saturday. 

They'd enter with reverence 
With tallis and kipa, 
They...Read more...

The Grinch Who Stole the Latkes

04/06/2015 07:52:00 AM

Apr6

The Grinch Who Stole the Latkes
A Hanukkah Story
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein


Oh the Jews of old Jewville, just loved holidays,
And kept them religiously, in all of their ways.

On Rosh Hashana, they ate apples and honey
Then came to the Temple, all dressed in Armani.

On holy Yom Kippur, they prayed and they fasted
Through rabbis' long sermons, they kvetched but they lasted;
Till Neila was...Read more...

An America of Hope and Fear

04/06/2015 07:26:42 AM

Apr6

"An America of Hope and Fear"

As you drive north along the Eastern slopes of the Sierras, on the way up to Mammoth, just past the town of Lone Pine, you pass a desolate, lonely place called Manzanar. You should stop and visit. Today, Manzanar is a National Historical Site. In 1942, it was an internment site, one of ten along the West Coast, for more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans who were uprooted from their homes and...Read more...

Pesach

04/06/2015 07:20:00 AM

Apr6

"Wait," says Adam, "It has been so long, so many years, and I've forgotten. Remind me, what is it like there, in the Garden?"

"The Garden is Paradise." God replied, "In the Garden there is no work, no toil, no suffering, no death. In the Garden, there is no time. Day after day, an eternity of life. Come, my children, return to the Garden!"

Adam listened to God's words -- no work, no struggle, no pain, no death. A life of...Read more...

Shavuot

04/06/2015 07:19:00 AM

Apr6

SHAVUOT
Exodus 19 - 20
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner tells of the time he brought a nursery school class into the synagogue sanctuary for a tour. He showed them the bima, the ner tamid, the cantor's and rabbi's lecterns. Finally, the tiny kids stood before the huge doors of the Holy Ark.

"What do you suppose is in there?" he asked them.
"Nothing!" one child answered, "It's empty."
"A new...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2

04/06/2015 07:18:00 AM

Apr6

Before God created the human being, according to an legend of the Midrash, He consulted the angels of heaven. The angel of peace argued, "Let him not be created, he will bring contention into the world." But the angel of compassion countered, "Let him be created, he will bring lovingkindness into the world." The angel of truth argued, "Let him not be created, he will be deceitful and fill the world with lies." And the angel of justice...Read more...

Yom Kippur

04/06/2015 07:18:00 AM

Apr6

When we arrive in heaven, the Talmudic sages wondered, what will God ask of us?

This is not really a question about heaven. It is about how we live and how we locate eternity within life. The philosopher Franz Rosensweig explained that on Yom Kippur we are offered a look at our lives through the eyes of eternity. From that perspective, what do we amount to? What's real? What's important? What matters?

God asks four...Read more...

Rosh Hashana

04/06/2015 07:18:00 AM

Apr6

According to my son, Disney's The Lion King is the greatest film ever made. He saw it three times in the theater, and insisted on playing the soundtrack every morning on our way to school. All the way to kindergarten, we sang the film's stirring theme song, "The Circle of Life," until one morning I listened to the words.

The Circle of Life may be humanity's most popular idea. Nature is all circles: day and night; the turning of the...Read more...

Nitzavim - Vayelech

04/06/2015 07:17:00 AM

Apr6

NITZAVIM-VAYELECH
Deuteronomy 29:9 - 31:30
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Who is your spiritual hero? Asked this at a recent conference, I recalled a story from the Talmud.

The Rabbis of the first century considered the status of an oven invented by an entrepreneur named Achnai. Rabbi Eliezer, the patrician elder statesman of the academy, declared the oven pure. But his colleagues demurred and overruled him.

Rabbi...Read more...

Ki Teztze

04/06/2015 07:17:00 AM

Apr6

KI TEZTZE
Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

A professor in Seminary once asked us to find the most important section in all the Torah. We offered Creation, the Shma, the Exodus, the revelation at Mt. Sinai. No, he argued, it's Ki Teztze L'milchama, Deuteronomy 21: "When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD God delivers them into your power and you take some of them captive, and you see among...Read more...

Shoftim

04/06/2015 07:17:00 AM

Apr6

Shoftim
Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9
Where Are You?
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

The first question asked of the human being in the Torah is God's question of Adam -- "Where are you?"

Pay attention to the Torah's questions. Read them as if they were italicized, written in red, or underlined. For the questions capture the essence of the Torah's lesson. "Am I my brother's keeper?" "Shall not the judge of all the earth do...Read more...

Reeh

04/06/2015 07:17:00 AM

Apr6

Reeh
Deuteronomy 11:26 - 16:17
FOR A FLAME-BROILED WORLD
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"Why does your God object to cheeseburgers?" a friend asked over lunch one day, "Why does He care?" A very good question. Why does a tradition so concerned with ultimate issues concern itself so earnestly with, of all things, cheeseburgers? First, please understand that it has nothing to do with health. The laws of Kashrut -- the food...Read more...

Ekev

04/06/2015 07:16:00 AM

Apr6

Write a letter. Address it to those you love -- your spouse, your children and grandchild, your friends, your community. Put into this letter what life has taught you: What you learned from childhood, from growing up, from your education. What you learned from marriage and raising children. What have you learned from work, from your triumphs and successes in the world, from your failures and disappointments. What you have learned from the...Read more...

Ekev

04/06/2015 07:16:00 AM

Apr6

EKEV
Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

He comes to see the me, because the rabbi is supposed to have answers. Sitting uncomfortably in my office, he describes his problems. He's 38 years old, good looking, well-educated, successful, and desperately lonely. He's been dating for 20 years now ... how many women? ... but he can't find a mate.

So, tell me, what are you looking for in a...Read more...

Va'etchanan

04/06/2015 07:15:00 AM

Apr6

Va'etchanan
Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

One night this past year, as I put my now teenage son to bed, I realized that I won't be doing this for very long. This came as a shock. When the kids were still small, so many older relatives and friends warned me, "Enjoy them now, they grow up so fast". But I was too deep into diapers, strollers, carpools and sleep-overs. Suddenly I recognize that they were...Read more...

Davarim

04/06/2015 07:14:00 AM

Apr6

DEVARIM
THE LAST TABOO

I love answering kids' questions. I'll visit a classroom and face an eager chorus of "Did God create dinosaurs?" "Where do people go when they die?" Then at the end, there's always one wise guy, who smirks and asks, "What's the meaning of life?" I love that kid. I admire his chutzpah, and I love the question.

This may be the last taboo. In our culture, people are encouraged to reveal every intimate...Read more...

Pinchas

04/06/2015 07:14:00 AM

Apr6

Pinchas
Numbers 25:10 - 30:1 / I Kings 18:46 - 19:21
Ode to Angelyne
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

You can't miss her. All over town, huge billboards advertising not cigarettes. Automobiles or banking services, but adorned with the image of a scantily clad young woman, and bearing the caption "Angelyne". Her image is a caricature of male fantasies. What was once confined to the back pages of so-called "men's magazines", now...Read more...

Hukkat/Balak

04/06/2015 07:14:00 AM

Apr6

Twelve spies are sent to glimpse the Promised Land and bring back samples of its wonders. Instead, they return with fear, disenchantment and despair: "The land that we traversed and scouted is one that devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw were giants...We looked like grasshoppers to ourselves and so we must have looked to them." (Numbers 13:32-33)Envious of power and wealth, Moses' cousin Korah leads a rebellion to overthrown Moses....Read more...

Korach

04/06/2015 07:13:00 AM

Apr6

Korach
Numbers 16 - 18
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

A yeshiva outgrew its downtown quarters and moved to the former site of an upstate boys' academy. Finding a boathouse on the property, the Rosh Yeshiva called in one of the rabbis and ordered him to organize a rowing team.

"Rebbe, What do we know from rowing?"

"We can master Talmud, we can figure out rowing!"

So he put together a team and began to...Read more...

Shelach

04/06/2015 07:13:00 AM

Apr6

Shelach
Numbers 13 - 15
A Bug's Life
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed-quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to...Read more...

Shelach

04/06/2015 07:13:00 AM

Apr6

Shelach
Numbers 13 - 15
The Spiritual Tourist
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

My neighbors completed a round-the-world trip. It was their dream, the trip of a lifetime. When we gathered to welcome them home, they eagerly described the journey's highlights -- the Sheraton in Bangkok, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Beijing, a Clint Eastwood film in a Calcutta theater, finding Budweiser in Holland and Kellogg's Corn Flakes in Great...Read more...

Naso

04/06/2015 07:13:00 AM

Apr6

Naso
Numbers 4:21 - 7:89
God Bless People Magazine
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein


Everything in Creation has a purpose, teaches the Midrash. But when someone gave us a gift subscription to People Magazine I was left to wonder if I had found the first truly purposeless thing in God's universe.

You know People -- the epitome of "lite" culture -- short, gossipy articles on the rich, the famous, the noted and the...Read more...

Emor

04/06/2015 07:12:00 AM

Apr6

LEVITICUS 21:1 -- 24:23 creature came alive. Rabbi Yehuda commanded, "Stand," and the creature stood. They dressed him in servant's clothes and brought him home. As three they had come; as four they returned. Thus was the Golem born.

The Golem lived in the Rabbi's house. Strong as ten men, invulnerable, able to turn himself invisible, he repeatedly saved the community from those who threatened the Jews. But the Rabbi worried that...Read more...

Vayikra

04/06/2015 07:12:00 AM

Apr6

Vayikra
Leviticus 1 - 5
Rabbi Ed Feinstein

Leviticus 1-5n and prayer -- people who have found a way to family wholeness in a centrifugal world. Here are people who grasp the miracle of a simple meal and understand the need for regular expressions of gratitude in the course of daily experience.

It's only a little thing. A takes but a minute. But it has the power to change your life. Because it changes the way you...Read more...

Emor

04/06/2015 07:12:00 AM

Apr6

Emor
Leviticus 21 - 24
THE MAGIC RING
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

A fable: There was a king who collected jewels. One night, he dreamed that somewhere in the world there was a ring with strange, magical powers: When one was sad, it could make him happy. When he was giddy and drunk, it could sober him and bring him back to himself. When he was joyful, it intensified his joy.

The king awoke from his dream convinced...Read more...

Vayikra

04/06/2015 07:12:00 AM

Apr6

Vayikra
Leviticus 1 - 5
Rabbi Edward Feinstein

How do the books of the Torah get their names? It's really rather arbitrary: Each name is simply the first significant word found in the first lines of the book. But by some powerful coincidence, these randomly chosen names capture and express the character and content of each book:

B'reshit, (Genesis) is a book of beginnings -- recounting the origins of the world, of...Read more...

Kedoshim

04/06/2015 07:11:00 AM

Apr6

Kedoshim: Looking for God in all the Wrong Places
Leviticus 19 - 20
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein


Consider the spiritual journey of one Mrs. Shapiro: She crossed oceans, climbed mountains, and traversed valleys to stand in the presence of the Great One of her generation. Upon arriving at his remote mountain refuge, she climbed 1000 stone steps on her knees, donned a white linen robe, and entered his sacred cave, eyes cast...Read more...

Shemini

04/06/2015 07:11:00 AM

Apr6

Shemini
Leviticus 9 - 11
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Americans have an infatuation with leadership. Like the English philosopher Thomas Carlyle, we believe that history is propelled by "the great man" (Carlyle's phrase) whose values and energy animate the institutions in which we live. The success or failure of a business is ascribed to the strength of its CEO. The problems of state are described as a "crisis of leadership"....Read more...

Tsav

04/06/2015 07:11:00 AM

Apr6

Tsav
Leviticus 6 - 8
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Where does the Torah begin?

It's not as easy a question as it seems. In the curriculum of the cheder of the Old Country, as for two thousand years of Jewish elementary education, a child began Bible study by learning Leviticus. Why Leviticus? Why begin a child's schooling with a text so dry and distant -- laws of sacrificial worship, laws of priestly demeanor, rules of...Read more...

Terumah

04/06/2015 07:10:00 AM

Apr6

Terumah

TERUMAHs life we acquire is emptied of life and spirit -- remote, removed, and alien. But should we encounter a community of friends, should ritual become poetry, should we find song and celebration, then a different sense of the sacred prevails.

The greatest gift a religious community can give its children is their sense of God. The troubling question is: what kind of God do our communities and institutions share with...Read more...

Mishpatim

04/06/2015 07:10:00 AM

Apr6

Mishpatim

Promised land. Berel asked Shmerel, "How do you feel?" "My feet hurt," he replied. "My feet hurt too. What's all this about a Promised Land? My feet hurt in Egypt, my feet hurt here!"

Removing the external chains of slavery doesn't make a person free. The body is unfettered but the mind remains in bondage. "One of the great liabilities of life," declared Martin Luther King in one of his last sermons, "is that all too...Read more...

Yitro

04/06/2015 07:09:00 AM

Apr6

Yitro
EXODUS 18:1 - 20:23
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Once a stranger approached Hillel and Shammai, the great sages of the first century, with a request: "Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot."

First, he brought the request to Shammai. According to the Talmud, Shammai picked up a builder's rule, smacked him alongside his head and dismissed him.

So he came to Hillel. "Teach me the Torah on one foot."...Read more...

Vayigash

04/06/2015 07:08:00 AM

Apr6

Vayigash
Genesis 44:18 - 47:27
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

They come to the cemetery with a pocketful of stones to be left on the gravesite. Once I've recited the tradition's prayers and a few words of memory, they dutifully place the stones on the marker. But I can see in their faces that the stones they carry home are so much bigger than those left behind. Tiny pebbles are left on the grave marker, but whole rocks remain on...Read more...

Va'yishlach

04/06/2015 07:08:00 AM

Apr6

Va'yishlach Decency:

"Am I my brother's keeper"? Abraham challenges the conscience of God: "Will You sweep away the innocent alongside the guilty? Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do justice?" And Isaac poses the question innocent martyr will articulate for generations: "Here are the firestone and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?" Joseph encounters a man at the crossroads of Shechem who asks him, "What are...Read more...

Vayera

04/06/2015 07:08:00 AM

Apr6

Vayera
Genesis 18:1 - 22:24
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Dearest Sarah,

The boy is alive. Shaken -- we both are. But alive. I've sent him home to you in Kiryat Arba. I'll remain here in Beer Sheba. I need some time alone to think things through.

From the beginning, this has been some adventure. "Leave home!" I was commanded. "Leave behind all that makes you who you are -- family and place, culture and memory. The...Read more...

Lech Lecha

04/06/2015 07:07:00 AM

Apr6

Lech Lecha
Genesis 12:1 - 17:27
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"You know me, rabbi. You know how important the synagogue is to me, how much I enjoy services, you see me at your Torah classes. You know what kind of Jew I am: I am the only one at the family Seder table who can read the Hebrew side of the Hagaddah, but they won't accept me because I wasn't born Jewish!"

Every rabbi has heard these painful...Read more...

How the Grinch Stole the Stories

04/06/2015 07:07:00 AM

Apr6

How the Grinch Stole the Stories
Hanukkah, 2010/5771
by Rabbi Ed Feinstein
 

Oh, the Jews of old Jewville just love to tell stories,
Of old Jewish heroes and all of their glories.
Of old father Abraham and Isaac his son
Who would have been sacrificed, if no angel had come.
They told of smooth Jacob, he sure was a play’a
Till he discovered he’d married not Rachel, but Leah.
He wrestled the...Read more...

Hanukah Guilt... A Personal Confession

04/06/2015 07:07:00 AM

Apr6

Hanukah Guilt... A Personal Confession
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

My son wanted to sit on Santa's lap. ..You can't, I replied. ..Why not? he persisted. ..How can you? I thought to myself... your mother is a rabbi, your father is a rabbi...how would it look? And so began our explanation: ..It isn't our holiday. Christmas and Hanukah are different. Yes, they both happen at the same time. Yes, they both have lights and presents. But...Read more...

Hannuka

04/06/2015 07:05:00 AM

Apr6

HANNUKA'S UNKNOWN HERO
Shabbat Hannuka
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

We all know the story and we all know its heroes. We know of the steadfast Mattathias and his tenacious refusal to accept Greek idolatry. We know of Judah and the brothers Macabee and of the battle fought to protect the purity of Torah and the worship of one God. And we know the enchanting story of the Hannuka miracle: When the Macabees defeated Antiochus and...Read more...

Thanksgiving

04/06/2015 07:05:00 AM

Apr6

THANKSGIVING SHABBAT
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein


In 1620, our Pilgrim ancestors escaped the tyranny and religious persecution of the Old World and braved a treacherous journey, to find freedom on this continent. They landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. Settling at the edge of a vast wilderness, they nearly perished. They were rescued by generous natives who brought food and taught them to survive in this land. A year later,...Read more...

Dangerous Religion-Yom Kippur, 5773, 2012

04/06/2015 07:03:00 AM

Apr6

Rabbi FeinsteinDangerous Religion
Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Yom Kippur, 5773, 2012

A rabbi friend of mine once took a group of nursery school kids into the sanctuary of his synagogue for a tour. As they stood on the bima, he showed them the Ner Tamid, the...Read more...

Choose Life

04/06/2015 07:01:00 AM

Apr6

Choose Life
Rosh Hashana 5770, 2009
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

In the second century, the Roman Empire decreed that the practice of Judaism was a political affront to the Caesar. They prohibited every Jewish practice, and most especially the teaching of Torah. For Rabbi Akiba, Torah was life itself. So he continued to teach Torah in public, until he was arrested by the Roman authorities. They decided to make an example of him....Read more...

City of Angels

04/06/2015 07:01:00 AM

Apr6

City of Angels
Rosh Hashana, 2000 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Dorothy Chandler, known to intimates as "Buffy," wife of LA Times publisher Norman Chandler, was grand matron of the downtown elite society. She had a problem in 1962. It was her great dream to see a cultural center constructed downtown, giving Los Angeles a cultural gravity it had never possessed. To finance the Center, the County floated three bond issues in the late...Read more...

Chaye Sarah

04/06/2015 07:00:00 AM

Apr6

Chaye Sarah
Genesis 23:1 - 25:18
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Who was the first Jew? All of us learned in Sunday school that the first Jew was Abraham. It was our father Abraham who detected the presence of the one true God and championed monotheism in a pagan world. It was with Abraham that God established the Covenant, defining our identity, our mission, and our destiny. All that's true. But the first Jew wasn't Abraham. The...Read more...

Breshit

04/06/2015 07:00:00 AM

Apr6

Breshit
Genesis 1:1 - 6:8
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

The Torah has no title page. It has neither an author's introduction nor a preface -- nothing to tell us why the book was written or how it is to be read. Consider, for example, the very first line: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

We find on this line a remarkable comment, but the most famous of Jewish Bible commentators, Rabbi...Read more...

Behar Sinai

04/06/2015 06:58:00 AM

Apr6

Behar Sinai
Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"We don't know who discovered water," Einstein observed, but we do know one thing: "It wasn't a fish!" Why not a fish? Because a fish -- born into water, living, eating, breathing water -- is never sufficiently separated from water to become aware of its presence. The unnoticed condition of its existence, no fish will ever know water. And as for us, what surrounds and...Read more...

Beshalach

04/06/2015 06:58:00 AM

Apr6

Beshalach
Exodus 13:17 - 17:16
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

The most exciting story in the Torah is surely the Crossing of the Red Sea. We remember the story from countless Seder-table tellings:
The Israelites, newly freed from slavery, camped at the shores of the Sea when suddenly the sounds Pharaoh's approaching chariots filled the air. Realizing they were trapped, the ex-slaves cried bitterly to Moses, "Were there too few...Read more...

Behaalot'cha

04/06/2015 06:57:00 AM

Apr6

Behaalot'cha
Numbers 8- 12
Alligators Under The Bed
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

I learned most of my theology, not from my teachers, but from my children. When my daughter Nessa was three years old, we had a routine. Each night I would tuck her into bed, sing our bedtime prayers, kiss her good night, and attempt to sneak out of the room. Halfway down the hall, she began to scream: "Abba! There's an alligator under my bed!...Read more...

Bechukotai

04/06/2015 06:57:00 AM

Apr6

Bechukotai
Leviticus 26:3 - 27
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"Because of our sins were we exiled from our land, and displaced far from our soil." Thus the Festival Musaf prayer expresses the theology of this week's Torah portion: Obedience and loyalty to God brings rewards of prosperity and security. Sin brings exile and its terrors.

For a very long time I wrestled with this prayer. It seemed the height of Jewish neurosis:...Read more...

Od Lo Avda Tikvateynu--Israel, Zionism & US

03/06/2015 05:55:00 AM

Mar6

OD LO AVDA TIKVATEYNU--ISRAEL, ZIONISM & US
Rosh Hashana 1997, 5758 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Once upon a time there was a people with no place in the world: No country that was home, no haven that was safe.

In the East, they were kept as convenient scapegoats to distract the peasantry from a harsh and corrupt regime, from endless starvation and want. Whipped into a frenzy by local preachers with cries of "Christ...Read more...

Almost Perfect

03/06/2015 05:54:00 AM

Mar6

ALMOST PERFECT
Yom Kippur 1994/5755
by Rabbi Edward M. Feinstein

Our colleague, Rabbi Harold Kushner relates the following story:

One day, about a year and a half ago, I was in Baltimore, Maryland at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center. I had been invited to speak to the medical staff, the doctors and nurses, at noon, and to deliver a public lecture in the evening. After my talk to the staff, the hospital chaplain said to...Read more...

Answering Our Children & Their Questions

02/06/2015 08:53:00 AM

Feb6

Answering Our Children & Their Questions
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

"Where do babies come from?" we asked our parents ... and watched them panic. With beads of perspiration on the brow, and an air of reverent seriousness, they sat us down and explained the mysteries of human reproduction. No more. Parents and kids of the 90's discuss these matters with an almost casual open-ness -- de-mystified by TV and movies and school...Read more...

Acharei Mot

02/06/2015 08:46:00 AM

Feb6

Acharei Mot: The Triumph of Technique
Leviticus 16:1 - 18:30
by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

A couple I'm close to had their first child, so I ran to the bookstore to get them our favorite book on child care. I had forgotten the exact title (it was always "the baby book") and the author's name, so I thought I'd just scan the shelf until it turned up. Shelf? Try shelves...six of them, each eight feet long and ten feet high and all on...Read more...

A Yom Kippur Carol

02/06/2015 08:44:00 AM

Feb6

A Yom Kippur Carol
Yom Kippur 5770, 2009 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

It’s a day for confessions, so I want to confess that for a rabbi and a religious Jew, I enjoy Christmas entirely too much. Of course, I don’t celebrate the holiday, but I enjoy the lights and decorations and the spirit of that time of year. I sing Christmas songs, even though they all come out sounding like Hasidic melodies. And most of all, I cherish Charles...Read more...

A Legacy of Wonder

02/06/2015 08:41:00 AM

Feb6

A Legacy of Wonder
Yom Kippur 2002 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

The gentleman died and his family asked me to officiate at his funeral. So we agreed to meet, the children and I, to prepare. We sat around the spacious dining room table, and I asked them, tell me about your father. There was a long silence, and at last, one of the sons contributed, he loved golf. 
-- OK, I responded, golf is good, what else did he love? What...Read more...

A Covenant of Jewish Soul

02/06/2015 08:39:00 AM

Feb6

A Covenant of Jewish Soul
Yom Kippur 2005 by Rabbi Edward Feinstein

There is a story that haunts me this time of year. 

It is the story of a young Jew who lived in Germany at the beginning of the century -- a brilliant student of philosophy at the University of Berlin. All of his cousins, and all his colleagues and acquaintances had converted to Christianity, as was so common among young Jews at the time. His...Read more...

The American Prophet Shabbat Bo, 5773. Martin Luther King's 84th Birthday

02/06/2015 08:38:36 AM

Feb6

Rabbi Feinstein

The American Prophet
Shabbat Bo, 5773. Martin Luther King’s 84th Birthday


On August 28, 1963, almost fifty years ago, a young preacher named Martin Luther King, ascended the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington,...Read more...

It's Complicated: Yom Kippur, 2015

01/10/2015 05:36:23 PM

Jan10

It’s complicated.

If you’ve ever tried to explain being Jewish to an outsider, it’s complicated.

You’re sitting on an airplane, and the fellow sitting beside you sees you’re reading a Jewish book  and he asks you, Excuse me, but could I...Read more...

Sat, July 11 2020 19 Tammuz 5780