Friday, October 03, 2008

The Rabbi's Simple & Brilliant Sermon

"The year was 1994. It was my first Rosh Hashona that I was spending in a small synagogue. Until then, I had spent every Rosh Hashona either in New York where thousands prayed together in one building or in London where, though smaller, our congregation, too, had a sizable crowd-perhaps two hundred worshippers. But that year I was in a city in Delaware, in the middle of nowhere. Really nowhere.
On Rosh Hashona day, the people trickled in and we had, at one point, thirty men. So that was fine. Comes Mincha, and there were only eight people present. Including myself, nine. We needed one more to make the minyan. The rabbi called his eleven year old son over and instructed him to go outside and search for another Jew. The child did as he was bidden. About fifteen minutes later, the eleven year old came back...with a jogger in tow. The guy was wearing sneakers and shorts. That's it. Until this day, I remember the color of his shorts; blue. Why was I so taken? Why do I still remember? Because I learned a most powerful lesson that day. A lesson that would later serve as a reminder and guide for me; it was a lesson from the child. He was told to bring back a Jew and that is what he did. He did not see any outer cosmetics, he saw a soul. A man jogs by. "Excuse me, are you Jewish" "Uh yes I am" "Good! Can you please come inside? My father needs you for a minyan". And then, the Rabbi went upstairs, got him a shirt and pants and then proceeded to pray the Mincha service with a perfect quorum."

That is the message of today. We must look, as the child did, past the external and into the internal and ultimately, eternal. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew. And if you're Jewish, you're as Jewish as Moses.


Rachel said...


mishmum said...

Zayer zayer shayn!

the sabra said...

Ya, I'm happy you guys also think so :)

(Shall I pass on the messages? I shall.)