Monday, April 4, 2011

How to Write a Sermon

Good evening all.

I am having some difficulty in deciding exactly what to write in my sermon for this coming Shabbat. Perhaps you might help me just a little. As you are aware, Richard Goldstone retracted his scurrilous statement and wrote that Israel did not intentionally target civilians during Operation Cast Lead in January 2009. There is so much here. Let me offer you some of what is going through my mind. I always read your comments, and very much appreciated them while I was in Okinawa.

1. God is "poteach yad bitshuvah - opening a hand in teshuvah" (repentance/return). We should be too. This idea, however, is diametrically opposed to....

2. "Hachoteh v'hamachti, ein maspikin b'yado la'asot teshuva - one who sins and leads others to sin can never make amends."

3. The truth will set you free, unless you are Israel.

4. The idea that metzora ('leprosy'), this week's Torah portion, refers to speaking ill of others (metzora - motzi ra).

You are all aware of how utterly ludicrous it is to have a nation like China or Cuba be in a position to accuse Israel of human rights violations. Whatever Israel's flaws may be, it is downright laughable to have such nations point an accusing finger. I believe that organizations such as the United Nations should exist. However, there should be another organization, one only of democratic nations. In such an organization, Iran and Saudi Arabia at best might be jealous spectators. In any event, it is high time for the UNHRC to be tossed out with the rest of the trash. The minimal credibility this committee might have had before Friday has vanished with Goldstone's retraction.

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