Rabbi Kuhn Kol Nidre Sermon

October 21, 2011

By Rabbi Bill Kuhn, sermon delivered Kol Nidre evening 2011

A man was walking along, minding his own business, doing his job on a day just like any other ordinary day.  When out of the corner of his eye, he saw a fire.  He didn’t really think anything of it, as he sees little fires all the time in his line of work.  But this fire was different, it would not go out.  Eventually he turned and noticed this extraordinary fire, and his life was changed forever.  For the longest time, Moses stared at the bush that was burning unconsumed in the desert.  And when God saw that he had turned and noticed, God called out to him, “Moses, Moses.”  And Moses answered, “Hineini,”  “I am here.”  [Ex. 3:1-4].

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Rabbi Kuhn Rosh Hashanah morning sermon

October 21, 2011

By Rabbi Bill Kuhn, sermon delivered Rosh Hashanah morning 2011

A couple of months ago, I met with a small group of some of the top Jewish leaders Philadelphia, and one of them said that he really wondered if the Jewish community in America would exist in another generation.  I have thought a lot about that statement, and I must agree that there are threats to the very existence of our Jewish community, but actually, the threat to our existence comes from the fact that conditions have never been better for Jews in America.  We are totally accepted into American society as never before.

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I’m no Thomas Friedman: The State of Israel vs. The Land of Israel

October 18, 2011

By Rabbi Eli Freedman, sermon delivered Yom Kippur Morning 2011

I’m not Thomas Friedman.  Yes, we have the same last name, although he spells it wrong, but that is the end of the similarities.  Why do I say this?  Because Pulitzer Prize winning, New York Times “Foreign Affairs” Correspondent Thomas Friedman can tell you about the political situation in Israel better than I ever could.  So, what can I tell you about Israel that Thomas Friedman can’t?

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Tennessee: The Volunteer State

October 18, 2011

By Rabbi Eli Freedman, sermon delivered erev Rosh Hashanah evening 2011

As many of you know, this summer I got married.  Laurel and I decided to take a road-trip to and from our wedding in Texas.  While leaving Asheville, NC and heading into the birthplace of Rabbi Bill Kuhn, I saw a large welcome sign.  On that sign it read, “Tennessee: The Volunteer State.”  I usually do not place much stock in state mottos.  I come from the Bay State and now live in the Keystone state, neither of which names deeply resonates with me, however, for some reason I was struck by Tennessee: The Volunteer State.  I assume it is because, as a synagogue community, we have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a part of congregation in recent months.

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Limbs of a Whole: Caring Community

October 18, 2011

By Rabbi Jill Maderer, sermon delivered Yom Kippur Morning 2011

A boat filled with travelers sails in the ocean, when suddenly one passenger begins to drill a hole in the floor.  His fellow passengers plead with him to stop, but the man says, “Mind your own business.  This is my seat, and I can do whatever I want to the floor under it.  Am I telling you what to do?  No.  So why don’t you leave me alone?”

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Open the Gates: The Spirit of Prayer

October 18, 2011

By Rabbi Jill Maderer, sermon delivered Kol Nidre evening 2011

If you enjoy cruise-ship vacations, you have likely come across a cruise-ship rabbi.   Often times when rabbis retire, they take a cruise-ship gig.  Unless you suffer from sea-sickness, it’s good deal.  The cruise can offer Shabbat services and the rabbi can enjoy an all—inclusive vacation.

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Thrice Blessed with Torah

October 14, 2011

By Fred Strober

Rosh Hashanah at Rodeph Shalom had special meaning to me this year. I attended both the “alternative” and “classic” services, finding each inspiring in its own way. Having played some role in shaping the back-to-back nature of the services, I felt that I wanted to participate in both, but I never thought that I would come away so moved with my very personal involvement with the Torah over the course of the morning.

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