Phillies vs. Yom Kippur

      Tonight’s Phillies’ playoffs game-Kol Nidre conflict has inspired a lot of commentary, a few jokes, and I am guessing a few dvr’s ready to record.  I hope the schedule conflict dilemma has deepened Jewish identity!  Our member Glenn Kutler just shared this beautiful story:       As a junior at Central High...

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Awe: A Place Where Nothing is Old; Kol Nidre Sermon

by Rabbi Jill Maderer (delivered Kol Nidre “Alternative” service) A story is told of 3 astronauts who went into space.  Upon returning, they were asked to reflect on the experience.  One said, “I kept thinking, the world looks so small from outer space—the universe is so vast.”  The second answered,...

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Jewish Repentance: Tough Demands

by Rabbi Jill Maderer Is it enough to confess to God?  What if it’s too messy to mend a relationship with a person?  Last Friday night, our Interfaith Families Connection Group hosted a Shabbat dinner about the High Holy Days.  When I shared this High Holy Day prayer, it sparked passionate debate...

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The Clenched Fist or Guiding Hand of Self Judgment

by Rabbi Jill Maderer  (Yom Kippur sermon delivered 9/28/09) Picture an old, bearded rabbi, sitting at the entrance to a Jewish cemetery on Long Island.  In Tony Kushner’s play, Angels in America, Louis, a young man struggling with his soul and his identity, approaches the rabbi and shares, “I’m afraid...

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Apology: The Time is Now

by Rabbi Jill Maderer  (Kol Nidre sermon delivered 9/27/09) “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me,” Congressman Joe Wilson said in a statement to the press. “While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president...

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It’s In Your Hands: Ethical Speech Online

 By Rabbi Jill Maderer  (Rosh Hashanah sermon delivered 9/19/09) “What’s on your mind?” asks Facebook. “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world,” invites Twitter.  “Broadcast yourself,” challenges Youtube.  Or, as our own Rodeph Shalom blog requests, simply, “Comment”.  We live in a time when almost everyone carries a...

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The Fruits of Rosh Hashanah

By Rabbi Jill Maderer L’shanah tovah umetukah. We wish each other a good and sweet new year. Typically, we celebrate our hope for a sweet new year by eating apples and honey. But a lesser known tradition identifies a different symbolic fruit for Rosh Hashanah: pomegranates. As delicious as apples...

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High Holy Day Obligations

By Rabbi William Kuhn Apples and honey are perfect symbols for the beginning of the Jewish New Year, because the sweetness of the apples is intensified by the honey taste and texture, as we pray that our year will be equally as sweet.  Perhaps a more realistic flavor combination would...

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