Coincidence of sermon topics and the news

Some wag once put together a graphic that melded the New York Times and a page of Talmud, as a meme suggesting that Rabbis occasionally use the Times to find ideas for sermons. Guilty as charged; I’m a daily reader and sometimes something I read in the Times gets my sermonic juices flowing. But what’s even nicer is being ahead of the curve. You may recall my Kol Nidre sermon Tuesday on the spiritual value of intellectual honesty. Voila! Thursday’s New York Times publishes a column on exactly that subject. Hmm…was there a mole in the Sanctuary last Tuesday? A link to the column is below.

In a similar vein, you also may recall that during Yom Kippur services I mentioned how other religions share Judaism’s notion of self-affliction to gain atonement, and made the comparison between Judaism’s mode of self-affliction (fasting, beating the breast during confession, eschewing leather shoes) and that of Shia sect of Islam. Times of Israel Thursday ran a photo essay chronicling the Shia mode. That too is linked below. Warning: it’s not for the squeamish.


Mourning saint’s death, Middle East Shiites bloody selves with chains Wittgenstein’s Confession