Blog: Rabbi Farkas

Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on June 13, 2018

Invocation for Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel
June 11, 2018

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on June 7, 2018

At the end of this week’s Torah portion, Shlach, we find one of the most famous paragraphs of liturgy:

“God spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments for all generations. Let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe: look at it and recall all the commandments of the Lord and observe them...”

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on May 10, 2018

As we close out the book of Leviticus, the third book of the Torah, we can take a moment to reflect on its central theme - holiness. No other book in the Torah focuses as much on the idea of becoming holy as this priestley book. The reason d'etre of being an Israelite is found in the pasuk, “You shall be holy because I, the LORD am Holy” (Lev.19:2)

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on May 3, 2018

Invocation at the National Day of Prayer
May 3, 2018

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on May 3, 2018

Today is Lag B’Omer the thirty-third day of the great ingathering of the barley harvest. Today we stand between Exodus and Sinai we mark our pathway between the splitting of sea and the holy mountain.  We celebrate by lighting bonfires, but I asked the mayor if I could light one here in this tent. He said, “No” But,  as we in our tradition light up the world we come here this morning to do the same. And so good morning to all of you.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on February 8, 2018

“What is that?” I asked Karen our tour guide,  “That person is called a Brocha!” she said.  “That’s a crazy job!”

Staring out my bus window in the middle of Guatemala I could hardly comprehend the scene playing out before me.  We were moving in traffic at 40 miles an hour or so and off to the side was a bus very different than our travel coach, slowing to near stop on the side of the road.  Except, where our nicely appointed tour bus was tall with plush seats, I was staring at a converted school bus, not unlike the ones I used to take to school as a child.  This school bus, which might have ferried school children in the U.S. some years ago was now painted over in wild colors.

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on December 28, 2017

What will be our legacy? Every generation asks itself these questions. It’s part of aging through life where we look to bridge past and future. Legacy gives us a sense that our life is worthwhile. It gives us the basis to believe that all our struggles and decisions in life, can be framed in a way that can live on after us. It gives us a chance at immortality. The book of Genesis ends with a meditation on legacy. We find the children of Jacob a living quite well under the rule the Pharaoh. As father Jacob becomes conscious of his own impending death he gathers together his family to share with them words of blessing. He wants to set his affairs in order – to shape his legacy – for each of his children. He calls them forth and musters what prophetic strength he has saying, “Come together, that I may tell you what is to befall you in the days to come.” (Gen. 49:1)

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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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