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We have a pretty complicated Ark at Herzl-Ner Tamid. To get to the Torah, we have to get past two sets of double doors and a curtain with a draw string. And, legend has it that in the days of Rabbi Rose one poor man got so confused that he actually got trapped behind the curtain inside the Ark. Someone closed the curtain while he was still inside the Ark. And, he couldn’t find his way out. So, the whole congregation...

I grew up in New York, not far from Jones Beach. And, one of my favorite things to do when I was a child was go to the beach and collect shells. At some point, someone told me that if you hold up the shell to your ear, you can hear the sound of the ocean. And, I always wondered: how can something so big fit into something so small? Our Tradition tells us a beautiful story to answer that question....

In Megillat Esther which we will be reading soon on Purim, there is a scene in which Mordecai responds to the news of Haman’s nefarious plans for the Jewish people. He puts on sackcloth and ashes and he stands at the palace gate. Esther’s alarmed assistants tell her about Mordecai’s behavior. And, what is Esther’s response? Does she march into the king’s office and demand that he rescind Haman’s decree? Does she go out into the street and march in solidarity...

(Please sing this abridged version of the Bob Dylan classic with a nasal twang and imagining a harmonica in the background) Oh my name it ain't nothin' My age it means less The country I come from Is called the Midwest I was taught and brought up there The laws to abide And that land that I live in Has God on its side Oh, the history books tell it They tell it so well The cavalries charged The Indians fell The cavalries charged The Indians died Oh, the country was young With God on its...

I grew up around the excitement of the American space race. I remember sitting in my elementary school class and listening to the reporting of John Glenn’s orbit around the earth. I can recall our science teacher, Mrs. Pfeffer, telling us that someday we wouldn’t even remember this moment because space flight would be so routine. And, of course, since she said that, I made a conscious effort to remember it. And, I also remember an argument that I had with...