Crowd Sourcing Sermon for Friday, July 3

Freedom: Breaking the Bonds:

In honor of the 4th of July, we celebrate the birth of our nation when we broke the bonds of tyranny and dedicated ourselves to freedom.
During the High Holy Days we ask, “What bonds do you hope to break in your life today?”
We will discuss the prayer below from our New High Holy day prayer.

Please share your thoughts.

To Break the Bonds of anger,
To be generous of heart;
To break the bonds of shame,
To live with self-respect;

To break the bonds of envy,
To serve one another in joy;
To break the bonds of boredom,
To be attentive to all God’s gifts;

To break the bonds of fear,
To live with courage and strength;
To untie the knots of betrayal;
To love with fullness of being.

To break the bonds of loneliness,
To receive a hand of hope;
To break the bonds of self-centeredness,
To extend a hand of help;

Released from the darkness,
Our people found their freedom at the sea;
And we pray for liberation
At the dawning of this year.

8 Responses to Crowd Sourcing Sermon for Friday, July 3

  1. docbzf says:

    Anger is such a basic human raw emotion , and may be necessary for survival .
    Who never gets angry ? . . the people whom I do not know very well .
    Also , the human-like voice on my car giving driving directions : ” route re-calculation ..
    route re-calculation ,,
    route re-calculation .
    Always calm calm calm ! robot !

  2. docbzf says:

    boredom . .
    I think that ” The World’s Most Frequent Lie ” ( or thoroughly thoughtless untruth ) is ” Same Old , Same Old ” .
    The world is never ” same old , same old ” , and certainly you
    and I are constantly changing , . . .from the single cell to somatic self
    A paradox : what is constant ? Change !
    Reflection . . self-awareness . . reveals this truth , and in Judaism , Truth is the signature of the Divine

  3. David Spear says:

    1. Freedom is not the breaking of bonds, as most Americans think. Many bonds are necessary, such as “shalt not steal”. Freedom is “the right to do what’s right”. I.e. if a southern slave saw that it’s was right for his family to move north, he did not have the right to.

    2. Anger is a necessary expression of a natural emotion (dogs get angry). It is a warning that we are close to taking protective action. For instance, getting angry at infidelity. Are we to be so generous of heart to allow that without some repercussions?

    3. I won’t enumerate further My point is that usually bonds are for good reason if we look closely enough. Indeed, looking closely to find the reason is an excellent way to break the bond of dissatisfaction.

  4. Bob Bierman says:

    One of these things is not like the other……… Betrayal doesn’t fit in the prayer in my opinion. The others; fear, loneliness, envy, boredom are acts and we, the actors. Betrayal is ‘done to us’. So, we can forgive the betrayer or the betrayer can make amends. The two categories are not the same and perhaps should not be in the same prayer.

  5. docbzf says:

    ” to be attentive to all God’s gifts ” …

    I do interpret as a form of gratitude .
    I truly believe that the attitude of Gratitude is a core foundation for happiness, a true sine qua non to enjoy life .

    For my agnostic/atheist friends , I suggest : be attentive to
    ” Life’s gifts ” or ” the Universe’s gifts ” .

    ( Q & A time ) : Q : how do we Jewish Seekers become attentive to God’s gifts ?
    A : We Jews have an app for that !
    That app(lication ) is our Brachot . Yes , our system of blessings ,when applied regularly and with kavannah ( sincere intention , not mechanically ) constantly reminds us of our many gifts of life .
    Yes , they are free Gifts . . starting with the Gift of Life . . because NONE OF US ASKED TO BE BORN . . into this amazing world .

    • Your Atheist friend says:

      Doc, first let me be pedantic and say that ‘free gift’ is redundant. That gratuitous comment out of the way let me ask you if a girl born in South Sudan or Nigeria, captured by the Boko Harum or ISIS is better off for having been given the gift of life as you call it. I’m not so sure my friend.

  6. docbzf says:

    ” To break the bonds of shame ,
    To live with self-respect ”

    I certainly suffer from these negative emotions, but I know their origin and my responsive coping mechanisms .

    My mother and father lacked good parenting skills . So often as a child I was scolded : ” You are a bad boy ! God will punish you for being a bad boy ! ”
    God was pictured ( with literal anthropomorphism ) as a
    who punishes you and I
    ( for incorrect grammar , as well as everything else ) .
    Sorry , Mom and Dad ; ” God will punish you ” is defective theology and unskilled psychology .

    I overcome these negative teachings thru years if counseling ,
    self-reflection and meditation .
    But as Faulkner wrote : ” the Past is never past ” , and negative memories do linger .

    But I remind myself : ” Don’t believe everything you think .”

    Our human mind has a Negativity Bias : the Bad ( thought ) is often stronger than the good ( thought ) because of an evolutionary survival strategy : Our caveman ancestors thought : ” Eat lunch , don’t be lunch . ” Always watch out for danger .

    So I am also a Recovering Perfectionist . I am aware of ( at least some ) of my flaws .. where I need to improve .
    Besides , to be Perfect means to be Finished , Complete , and none of us are complete until we die .

    As for our flaws :
    ” there is a crack in everything ,
    that’s how the light gets in ” . — Leonard Cohen

    July 4 reminds us : there’s even a crack in the Liberty Bell .

  7. docbzf says:

    ” What bonds do you hope to break in your life today ? ”

    My direct answer is the bond of darkness : depression , the dark sadness of the Soul .

    Our ancestors gained physical freedom , ( which , thank God , we have in America ) , but I speak of emotional mood ; the darkness of spirit .
    Judaism lifts my dark mood with its many teachings of hope and optimism , such as
    A ) : an eternal Creator / Source , favoring Order over Chaos : Ethical Monotheism ; [ Genesis 1:1 ] and
    Let there be Light ( consciousness , a clear mind)

    B ): human Free Will :” sin can rule over it ” [ Gen 4:7 ]

    C ) : the Yetzer ha-Ra and the Yetzer ha-Tov ; the inclination to do harm struggling with the drive to do good .
    One of the ways I struggle with thoughts of darkness is to remember this key teaching of Judaism :
    The nature of Human Nature is a Divided Soul ;
    not original sin , but Original Split . . or better , ORIGINAL SWIRL
    .. We are the people Israel : we struggle with ourselves /with God
    to improve ourselves , to improve the world .

    One candle can dispel total Darkness ;

    this little light of mine , I’m gonna let it shine .

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