Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova,
My name is Betsy Diamant-Cohen and I wish a happy new year and an easy fast to everyone.
The High Holiday season is time to reflect upon the past year, to see where we’ve been and to determine the path we want to follow for the coming year. In addition to our personal reflections, it is also a good time to reflect on where we have been as a congregation, and where we hope to go in the coming year.
RH Day 1 5774 The Pitfalls of Truth
A] I am calling this sermon, “the Pitfalls of Truth”, but it is, in fact, a sermon in favor of intellectual modesty and against fundamentalism. For fundamentalism is an almost unavoidable pitfall of the supreme value we assign to truth, and true intellectual modesty and programmatic philosophical self-doubt is the only corrective that stands in the way of sliding into that abyss, which we see altogether too much.
Returning to God / תשובה
These concepts, associated with this day, assume that we have been on that path in the past and that we have strayed. That we seek to now return to it.
They assume that we know it / recognize it can name it and find it, and, of course, that we want to go there -- and none of those things are ever self-evident.
By Rabbi Reisner
A] Rabbi Yehudah haNasi (the Patriarch),the head of the academy which officially promulgated the Mishnah in the Galilee in the year 210 -- (Jews were banned by the Romans from Jerusalem in those years after the destruction in 70 and the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135) -- Rabbi Yehudah had restored the stature of the Jewish community and was recognized as its spokesman by the Roman authorities. He had become a wealthy man, and engaged in correspondence with heads of state.
That much is true.