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Eron

Rabbi Lewis Eron

Rabbi Lewis Eron

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Not "How" but "Why" This week we begin our annual reading of the Torah with the first few chapters of Bereshit, the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. The Torah opens by picturing God hovering over ...
Abraham the Warrior Abraham the warrior! Could there be a more unlikely picture? Hardly. Yet, embedded in this week's Torah portion is a strange and ancient story of our the founder of our faith as a mighty ...
The Sins of Sodom The recent, callous and brutal hate murder of the Wyoming young college student, Matthew Shepard, a murder motivated solely by hatred of his homosexual orientation, has shocked our country and focused public and media attention, ...
Holy Places This past March I had the wonderful opportunity to co-lead an interfaith Jewish / Roman Catholic tour of Israel sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey and the Catholic Diocese of Camden. ...
His Father's Wells A few weeks ago, our attention was turned once again to the space program. John Glenn, a true American hero, returned to space, and we celebrated the spirit of innovation, courage, and exploration that has ...
Meeting Angels And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And Jacob said when he saw them: "This is God's camp." And he called the place, "Machanaim." ...
My Brother's Keeper Few conflicts are as significant in our lives as our struggles with those who are most close to us - the members of our family. Who we were, who we are and who we will become ...
Jews-By-Choice: Asenath and Ruth Throughout our history, and particularly in our times, the Jewish people have been enriched by converts, people who have chosen to cast their lot with ours, to make our history and destiny their own. We ...
Reconciliation One of the abiding themes of the book of Genesis is that of family conflict and reconciliation. Each biblical generation tells its own version of the story of sibling rivalry, from the disastrous conflict between ...
Prophets and Sages The difference between a prophet and a sage is where they discover God working in our lives. The prophet studies the future and points out the opportunities for righteousness and goodness that we may encounter ...
Life Beyond Death I often find it difficult to explain Jewish beliefs concerning life-after-death to Jews and non-Jews. The problem is not that we don't believe in an afterlife. Throughout most of Jewish history, the belief in ...
Moses' Double Mission This week's Torah portion, Va'era, is set in Egypt. Moses has already returned from his exile in Midian. He has had his first and unsuccessful encounter with Pharaoh, who, in response to Moses' ...
The Sign of Courage As we read the story of the Exodus in the course of the annual cycle of Torah lessons and again in the spring during our Passover Seder, we hear very clearly Moses' challenge to Pharaoh - &...
Faith and Doubt I have come to understand that for spiritually mature people, faith and doubt are inextricably bound together. For such people, faith and doubt are normal, recurring and necessary points on the continuous cycle of their ...
Having Yourselves Been Slaves in Egypt One of the greatest challenges our ancestors faced after leaving Egypt was to find the appropriate way to use the experience of slavery and oppression to shape their political structures and social conscience. They needed ...
Do you want to be a millionaire? For most people the answer appears obvious. "Of course," they would answer, "who wouldn't?" Prosperity is a wonderful blessing. We all want to live well. We pray that our children ...
The Promise of Forgiveness The great drama of our Torah revolves around the themes of sin and forgiveness - human error and Divine forbearance. The great teaching of our scripture is that forgiveness is available to those who seek it. ...
The Greatest Miracle The overall theme of the Book of Exodus is the physical and spiritual transformation of our ancestors from being slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, the land of oppression, to being servants of God in the ...
Our Appointed Tasks As part of the Havdalah ceremony, that ritual the marks the end of Shabbat, we praise God for making a distinction between Shabbat, the day of rest, and the six ordinary days of the week. ...
Leviticus - A Spiritual Guidebook Last week we finished reading the Book of Exodus, the second of the five books of the Torah. Moses and the Israelites had just completed the construction of the Mishkan, the portable, desert sanctuary. The ...
The Thanksgiving Offering Leviticus is a challenging book for the modern Jew. This book, which for the most part addresses sacrifices and other priestly concerns, does not open up as easily to spiritual and moral discussion as other ...
Illness: Banishment or Empathy? Our reading of the Book of Leviticus brings us into the religious and spiritual world of our biblical ancestors. Some portions of Leviticus, such as the elaborate descriptions of the animal sacrifices offered by the ...
Blessings and Curses At the end of the traditional Birchat HaMazon, the Grace after the Meal, is a verse from the Book of Psalms that reads, "Once I was young and now I have grown old but ...
The True Honor This week's Torah portion, Naso, concludes with the lengthy and detailed listing of the twelve identical offerings that the chieftains of the twelve tribes of Israel brought to the newly dedicated Mishkan, the portable ...
Just A Little Prayer Will Do Shortly after our ancestors left Egypt, they found themselves standing on the shore of the Red Sea, caught between the rapidly approaching Egyptian army and the seemingly impassable waters. Moses, understanding our people's plight, ...
The Well of Tradition and Miriam's Well One of our people's greatest strengths is using our tradition as a wellspring to renew our heritage as we pass it down from generation to generation. As Jews we have a living relationship with ...
Our Sustaining Hope The great miracle of Jewish survival is not that we survived great tragedies. It is that we survived as a community ever faithful to its vision of a better world for us and for all ...
"If I were a rich man..." How often have we expressed this wish? As successful as we may be, there always seems to be something more that we want. For most of us, those who need to work hard to pay ...
Rewards and Blessing The heart of our worship service is our declaration of love and loyalty to the one and unique God - the prayer we know as the Shema. The first six words (Deuteronomy 6:4) are deeply imbedded in ...
Melech Ha-Olam, Sovereign of All Each time we pronounce a blessing, we are making a political statement. Within the introduction to every blessing are the words which declare that our Eternal God is melech ha-olam, Sovereign of the Universe. Every ...
It Just Isn't So! There comes a point in the life of all faithful Jews when we face the fact that what the Torah says, just isn't so. This does not occur when we see the differences between ...
Honest Weights and Measures Once, during the holy season of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Hasidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, paused in his devotions and looking at his disciples with sad, tear-laden eyes, remarked, "What ...
Serving God in Gladness It's hard to believe that in a few weeks we will be begin the fall holidays with the celebration of Rosh Ha-Shanah, the Jewish New Year. While we often think of this season as ...
You Should Live to Be 120 Every Shabbat morning during services at the Jewish Geriatric Home, our residents, our volunteers, our guests and I pause to offer thanksgiving for the joyous events in our lives. There is always a simcha or ...
Taking Down the Sukkah; Thoughts for the Day After Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah These days, it doesn't take me very long to put up my sukkah. When it was new, it took me a while to figure out how the parts fit together, but now I have ...
Learning to Use Our Power for Good: Reflecting on Purim Power of any kind is a dangerous blessing. Individuals and nations need power to ensure their own survival and promote their own welfare and the welfare of those with whom they come into contact. But ...
The Modern Meaning of Tisha b'Av The Jewish Memorial Day, The Fast of the Ninth of the Jewish month of Av, Tisha b'Av, marks the end of a three week period of mourning during which our people remember the series ...
Trying to Limit the Divine - the Sin of the Golden Calf The overriding concern of the last portion of the Book of Exodus is how can one relate to God without shrinking God to the limitations of human insight and imagination. The bulk of the material, ...
Eleh Ezkarah -- Sacrifice and Martyrdom Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is never an easy day. Fasting, however, is not the real problem. Rather, the day's challenge comes from its demand that we confront deep spiritual, theological, and philosophical ...
Being Trapped in Our Own Lies One of the sad ironies of leadership, is that leaders frequently come to believe the lies they tell and then make ?reasoned? decisions based on those lies often with disastrous results. As rulers of all ...
Purim's Messianic Message And the Jews experienced light and happiness, joy and honor (Esther 8:16) this short verse near the end of the Megillat Esther, the Scroll of Esther, captures the abiding promise of hope our ancestors found in ...
The Goal of Life While none of us can completely fulfill all the teachings of the Torah, as did Jospeh in the poetic memory of our ancient teachers, we can, in our own way, make the Torah, the spiritual heritage of Am Yisrael, our own. To the extent that we can do so and let it transform us, we add our voice to...
Personalizing the Epic Narrative Rabbi Eron notes a pause in Moses' retelling of the epic narrative at the end of Numbers in order to reflect on a personal moment.
Abraham's Second Life Noticing that the Torah is pretty much finished with Abraham thirty-five years before he dies, this dvar-Torah goes on to discuss the kinds of blessings that a "second life" can bring us.
Discarding Alien Gods Jacob's return to his homeland is a transition, a time to recollect, reflect and restore.

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