Get six complete and original sermons for Parshat Shoftim and Elul (or purchase them individually)
1. 9/11 Eighteen Years Later
This week we honor September 11th. Eighteen years ago, on a beautiful Tuesday morning, the world changed forever. What have we learned over the past years? This week’s Torah portion teaches us the need for two witnesses in order to establish and confirm a transaction. Why are two witnesses required by the Torah? And how is this connected to the two witnesses of the Twin Towers?
2. Are You a Procrastinator?
If you are a procrastinator, you have lots of company. What are its consequences? An enigmatic verse in the Torah about waiting, coupled with the Baal Shem Tov’s fascinating explanation, that this refers to the month of Elul, presents the ultimate antidote to procrastination, and also teaches us a new form of procrastination: the healthy sort.
3. Hope Amid Uncertainty
This week we entered Elul – the month of love and compassion. But how do we feel beauty and hope when things are not going so well? This precisely is the inside story of Elul, with its history and power going back some 3300 years ago – a story of betrayal and reconciliation, a story of rediscovering love in troubled times.
4. Is There a Secret to Love?
The deepest crisis we face today is a personal one: How do I find and maintain healthy and enduring love in this crazy world? The best place to discover the secret to lasting relationships is from the Jewish people, who must have done something right in marrying and building families that have lasted through the harshest conditions! This secret is revealed in the month of Elul.
5. Jewish Politics
Who is an expert on the Holy Land? Republicans or Democrats? Right-wingers or left-wingers? And can you trust their opinion? The only expert on Israel, and its sanctity, is the Torah. And the Torah says there is no such a thing as a rightwing or leftwing Jew.
6. When Righteousness Is Murder
Can someone pursue righteous justice in an unjust and unrighteous way? An example: Making a neighbor sick just so that we may fulfill the mitzvah to visit the sick? Tzedek, tzedek tirdof, Justice, justice you shall pursue, says our Torah portion. Why the redundancy? What is true justice and righteousness? And why should we specifically “pursue” it, not simply implement it?