Blog: Rabbi Farkas

Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on November 16, 2017

When I go to a house of mourning and sit with the bereaved I often think to myself, “What is the right thing to say?””How can I take their pain away?”  I’m sure many of us ask ourselves these same questions. Often, however, when we try to explain our way out of suffering we cause more pain even if we never intend to do so. In fact, many of the theological reasons that try to explain suffering in the world do exactly that.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on September 25, 2017

To my dearest children,

There comes a time in every family’s life where the playthings and the good times must be put on hold for a short time so some serious words can be said. There comes a time in every Jewish family where parents have to sit down with their children and speak of what it means to be a Jew in a Gentile world. My parents sat me down to have this talk as did their parents before them and theirs before them. I wish I would never have to, but now is the time to speak of what has unfortunately become, in the case of the Jewish People, an eternal truth.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on August 10, 2017

This summer like many American families, we packed up our gear, kicked the tires and hit the road. My family and I went on a 3,500 mile road trip across seven states camping, hiking, floating and spelunking our way through national parks and monuments. In the early morning we woke our children and placed them gingerly in the overladen minivan. We had a plan: out by six, arrive by three; make camp, eat dinner, sing songs, make a fire; off to bed and wake to hiking. We were focused and excited.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on June 14, 2017

Published June 13, 2017, Jewish Journal

Like many others, I read Rabbi David Wolpe’s op-ed on politics and the pulpit with a sense of profound ambivalence (“Why I Keep Politics Off the Pulpit,” June 9). I found myself caught between ovation and objection.

The ancient rabbis begin in a similar place. Religion has no place in the public square because the town center is full of sin, it is depraved and consumed with self-interested politicians. “Be wary of the government, for they befriend no one unless it is out of self interest.” (Pirkei Avot 2:3).

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on May 11, 2017

“These are the times that are called holy”  Leviticus 23:2

There was an economic survey back in the 1970s that asked a series of questions that can be boiled down to the inquiry, “are you happy?” The economists behind the survey wanted to know-- in a long period of economic growth where incomes were rising and debts falling-- did having more money in your pocket made you happier. Questionnaires of this sort have been repeated many times. The results of the survey were...

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on April 28, 2017

Published by the Jewish Journal, April 26, 2017

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on April 28, 2017

Published by the Jewish Journal, April 5, 2017

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on March 30, 2017

This past week, Rabbi Hoffman, Cantor Baron and I led a very large delegation to Washington DC for the annual AIPAC Policy Conference. With 18,000 delegates in attendance from over 50 countries around the world, it was the largest-ever gathering of Israel supporters in history. For three days, we learned together and celebrated Israel together.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on January 26, 2017

Right now, there is a viral video making its way across the internet of the Alt-right leader, Richard Spencer getting clocked by an unknown assailant. Spencer has been denying the Holocaust, rousing xenophobia, and hosting rallies in conferences which include Nazi-era salutes. Spencer says he is not a Nazi, yet his choosing to fashion himself on the model of early twentieth century German iconography, paired with a lapel pin that is a common anti-Semitic cartoon character belies his crocodile tears telling and reveals his true nature as an anti-Semite.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on December 29, 2016

This year for the first time in decades, the calendar has coincidentally packed together four holiday traditions into one symbol-laden week.  The first night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas.  A day later the African-American spiritual celebration of Kwanza began. The last night of Hanukkah is joined by the celebration of New Year’s Eve.  Each of these Holidays, celebrated distinctly, teaches part of the particular human condition, be it the story of the Maccabees and their heroism or the birth of Jesus, every holiday has a story or stories. 

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