Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Down to the (Fast) Wire: Last-Minute Yom Kippur Opening-Sermon-Sentences for Desperate Rabbis & Cantors



1. Our summer’s climb was nearly, successfully, completed. As we rounded the last peak and saw the apex of Mt. Everest, I turned to my lead Sherpa, whose name was Moishe Tenzing. “Up here, you can really see the Face of G-d,” he said.

2. Here is a story by Elie Weisel….

3. As my great-uncle accompanied Rabbi Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel into Selma on that auspicious day, the grand old man said, “I feel as if I shouldn’t have had that last cup of coffee at the Holiday Inn.”

4. My having to deliver Domino’s Pizzas after a full day at my part-time pulpit to pay off my rabbinical school loans might seem degrading to some of you, but it has given me rare insights into the minds of humanity. Here is one such story….

5. Here is a story about Reb Shlomo Carlebach, who was riding the “D” train on the first night of Chanukah. There was a drunken man sleeping next to him, who kept slouching over on Reb Shlomo’s guitar. “Mamesh, Heiliger Brider!” cried out Reb Shlomo, and gently pushed him off, when the man awoke. All Reb Shlomo’s followers were amazed; why did it seem as though the Rebbe appeared to know this man, this common street-person? Was he perhaps the longed-for Messiah…?

6. This past summer, as I stood among my campers in the technology hut of Camp-Institute-Spiritual-Learning-Environment Irving & Bella Morningstar Memorial Foundation, little Ethan looked at me with those insightful, deep-blue eyes of his, and asked, “Is this the most-up-to-date Operating System you have?” I could not help relating it to the struggles of Rabbi Akiva and his beloved Rachel….

7. As my great-aunt accompanied Mother Theresa through the streets of Calcutta distributing matzote, Her Holiness looked her in the eye with that piercing gaze of hers, and said, with that charming Rumanian accent, “I’ll never understand how you people eat that stuff. Have a chapatti?”

8. After completing my study of the entire Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, there seemed nothing left to do but attempt a one-woman round-the-world voyage in the course of one year in my single-masted, solar-powered, biodegradable sloop, The Rosa Sonneschein.

…After This, You’re on Your Own; Good Luck!
Have an Easy Fast—G’mroo Tovim!

A Good Sealing in the Book of Life, Peace, Health, and Good Fortune for K’lal Yisrael & the Entire World