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Walking the Jewish Path- Rosh Hashanah Day 1 2019/ 5780

A few weeks ago, a friend who’s a minister invited me to go fishing with him. Well, I’ve never been interested in fishing, but he was insistent, so I agreed to go. When I arrived at Chebbaco Lake, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he’d invited an Imam to join us.  So we went down to a little dock, threw our gear in a boat and rowed out to the middle of the lake where we fished for awhile.  Before we knew it, we started to get hungry and realized we’d left our lunches on shore. So I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll go get ‘em.’ And I got up and walked across the water to the shore. But I couldn’t find our lunches. So I shouted, “I can’t find the lunches. Where did we leave ‘em?’  The Imam shouted back, “I’ll come take a look.” So he, too, walked across the water and we looked but still couldn’t find them. So we called out to the minister, “We need your help!” Well, he stood up in the boat; and for a minute he looked nervously at the water;  then, he gingerly stepped out of the boat, into …

A Narrow Bridge - Yom Kippur Day 2019/5780

Today is a day of forgiveness, and so I am going to begin with saying I am sorry. 
I am not going to talk about what is going on in Washington. I am not going to talk about the Israeli election.  My apologies. Can you forgive me? Instead I want to continue talking about the theme of walking through the world, individually, as a community, and as a people. I read a moving story recently that I couldn’t wait to tell you. Unfortunately, I’ve since learned that it may not be exactly -- what’s the word??? – True. But I’m going to tell it to you anyway, because sometimes a myth can be just as valuable as the truth.

By far the most terrifying Yom Kippur of many of our lives occurred 46 years ago today. I was just six years old when Egyptian and Syrian forces came crashing into Israel from north and south on this, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. All across America, Jewish people stood in synagogue parking lots, huddled around transistor radios, straining to hear the latest news from the Mi…

We Do Not Walk Alone - Yom Kippur Eve 2019/5780

I have a confession. I’ve always thought of myself as a cat person. . When I was a kid I had a cat named Fluffy. She was pretty darned affectionate -- for a cat.  Anyway, the point is, I never thought much of dogs, partly because I was bitten by one as a little girl but also because dogs are so un-cat like: They come galumphing up to you,  either with irrational affection, circling you excitedly and sniffing you somewhere you don’t wish to be sniffed; or barking like a lunatic. On top of that, they smell and they drool. Why on earth would anyone invite a creature like that into their home? Well . . . Yom Kippur is a time for confessing past sins. So may I be forgiven by all dog people .   I was right about cats; but I was wrong about dogs. It all started two years ago, when our son Leo, started asking for a dog. By the time he was eight, he was begging for a dog.My husband, Chuck, was, to say the least, no help. He loved dogs. I began to see myself as the obstacle to my family’s happin…