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Click below to hear Rabbi Neil's conversation with Mary Charlotte on the Santa Fe Radio Cafe.
November 20, 2015
by Rabbi Neil Amswych
Throughout the High Holy Days, Rabbi Neil's sermons explored responses to differing versions of the question, "Why Are We Here....?"
From "Why are we here in services?" to "Why are we here at all?", each sermon connected to the others while also standing alone.
A summary sheet for personal study and reflection based on the series of five sermons can be opened and downloaded below.
There is no question that the terror attacks in Paris over the last couple of days are unequivocally evil and should be utterly condemned by all. They shouldn’t have to be condemned by only the Muslim community, although they have been very clearly. The reason they shouldn’t have to be condemned by only the Muslim community is because these acts are obviously the result of extremism and not of mainstream religion. Why should liberals have to apologise, or distance themselves, from the actions of extremists?
During this week of Holocaust Remembrance, marking the liberation of the death camp at Auschwitz, how is it that I come to stand before you? I, a Jew, the rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom here in Santa Fe. I am able to stand here, in the bosom of the government of New Mexico, because my grandparents became immigrants, and left Eastern Europe before the devastation of the Nazis was visited upon our people. My grandmother, Rose Cominsky who later became Rose Greenberg, came to Ellis Island at the age of 14.
There is a story that I have heard over and over again. Each time it has been the same, but the people involved were different. Rabbi, when I was young (before Roe vs Wade made safe abortions available to the women in America), my aunt, or sister, or mother, or friend become pregnant. They traveled to Puerto Rico, or down to Mexico, or a doctor who was a friend managed to prescribe a procedure, and the pregnancy was terminated. Three things strike me every time I hear or tell this story.
[This was an address delivered by Ambrose Ferber, at Erev Rosh Hashanah, 2011/5772]
I don't always know if I believe in God or not.
Like many of you, I suspect, my relationship with God is very complex.