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Rabbi Mike's High Holiday 5782 Sermons


Rabbi Mike's sermons from the High Holidays 5782 can be found by clicking on the title above.  You will see the following:  Erev Rosh Hashanah - "The Torah of Challah";  Rosh Hashanah Day 1 - "The Torah in Your Backyard”; Kol Nidre - "What's So Funny About a Face Mask?" and Yom Kippur Morning - “Justice as Holiness

Erev Rosh Hashanah - "The Torah of Challah"



Here are the first few paragraphs.  Read the full sermon transcript HERE.

It started out, to be honest, a complete mess.  Sloppy.  Wet.  It smelled a bit.  It got all over everything.  

It quickly became clear that I had a ways to go.

Stuck inside our houses for days at a time during the worst of the Covid pandemic, many of us found hobbies or pastimes that we’d never tried before.  Woodworking, gardening, binge-watching Real Housewives — New York, Beverly Hills, Potomac.  Lots of options on the table.  Most of them, of course, were solitary.

But what if you could pursue a hobby, on your own, that allowed you to engage with a living organism — right on your kitchen counter?

And so it was that I found myself, for the first time ever, in my house, covered in gloppy, yeasty dough, making challah.


Rosh Hashanah Day 1 - "“The Torah in Your Backyard”


Here are the first few paragraphs.  Read the full sermon transcript HERE.

There’s an email I still have in my files.  Lori in the office sent it on March 12, 2020, copying then-president David Leers and me.  The subject line is, “B’nai Mitzvah Parent Meeting this Sunday.”  It reads:
Good morning parents.  Rabbi Mike would like to have a meeting this Sunday with the parents of the Spring B'nai Mitzvah children. No decisions have been made; this meeting is to talk about getting everyone to feel safe, and be on the same page.
Two days later, there’s another email, this time from me:
As much as we wanted to have our meeting in person tomorrow, David and I think it wisest to meet by Zoom.  We will send out instructions this evening.



Kol Nidre - "What's So Funny About a Face Mask?"


Here are the first few paragraphs.  Read the full sermon transcript HERE.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend.  2019.  I’m in a 7-11, laughing.

Not just any 7-11.  Or, I should say, not just any American 7-11.  This 7-11 is in Tokyo.  Anthony and I have just landed, a trip to celebrate his birthday.

If you’ve ever been to Japan, you know that a Japanese 7-11 is not like an American 7-11.  It’s so much better.  You can get amazing things in a Japanese 7-11.  Gourmet-quality pastries?  Yup. Onigiri rice balls?  Sure — what filling?  Kabuki theater tickets?  You betcha.

So why am I laughing?  One aisle over from the pastries is an enormous display of facemasks.  So many facemasks.  Simple facemasks, sporty facemasks, stylish facemasks, Louis Vuitton facemasks.  I’m not kidding.  We saw them.


Yom Kippur Morning - “Justice as Holiness”


Here are the first few paragraphs.  Read the full sermon transcript HERE.

When I was 15, I went on a trip with my shul to Manhattan.  It wasn’t to a museum or a baseball game.  Early on a Spring Sunday morning in 1987, a shaggy group of groggy Jewish teens piled into a yellow school bus in Spring Valley NY.  We arrived in midtown to a remarkable sight — a mass of people, larger than I had ever seen, waving signs and banners.

The gathering had a name: “Solidarity Sunday.”  Maybe you heard about it.  Maybe you were there.  It was a public demonstration, on behalf of Jews oppressed in the Soviet Union.  All around us, Jews held posters with slogans, hoisting portraits of Jews tortured or detained while in Soviet custody.  

Tue, May 30 2023 10 Sivan 5783