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A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
225 North Country Club • Tucson, AZ 85716
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Yom Rishon, 7 Iyyar 5775

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December 5, 2014

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

"Anything worth doing is worth doing now."
–The Lubavitcher Rebbe

On this Men's Club Shabbat, it is important to note that our society presents images of manhood that often seem a bit askew. In my 9th Grade Sacred Choices curriculum in our Kurn Religious School we examine what it is that our American media tells us that a man should be. By looking at magazines, movies, TV, the internet, and Youtube we explore the image of an American man.

Read more: Vayishlach 5775: Ultimate Fighting Championship Over Ourselves

November 28, 2014

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

I'd like to share some news stories for you today. Please, listen closely. These are especially important news items.

In news this Thanksgiving weekend, the Palestinian Prime Minister urged the Israeli Prime Minister to "take serious and significant steps to renew the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians." Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority leader said that Israeli hints of unilateral moves showed that Israel was not serious about peace.

Read more: Vayeitzei 5775: Everything Old is New Again

November 14, 2014

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

Negotiation gets a bad rap these days. Many people see the give-and-take necessary to reach consensus as a kind of moral compromise, a sacrifice of ideals on the false-idol altar of base pragmatism. Compromise? Consensus? Agreement? Not words we have heard in this election year...

Read more: Chayei Sarah 5775: Negotiating for Good

November 7, 2014

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

A first-time tourist came to Israel and was taken to the Kotel, the Western Wall. Not being too versed in religious aspects of Judaism, he asked another visitor the significance of the wall. He explained, "This is a sacred wall. If you pray to it, God will hear you."

The tourist walked close to the wall and started to pray.

"Dear Lord," he said, "Bring sunshine and warmth to this beautiful land."

A commanding voice answered, "I will, my son." 

The tourist was encouraged, and said, "Bring prosperity to this land."

"I will, my son."

Wow! This is great, he thought. I'll try again. And he said, "Let Jews and Arabs live together in peace, dear Lord."

And the commanding voice answered, "You're talking to a wall."

Read more: Vayeira 5775: If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

October 24, 2014

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

There's an ancient joke about the end of the world.

An astronomer is giving a talk to a community group and he says that in 5 billion years the sun will expand and engulf the earth, ending life as we know it. At this a woman in the back leaps for her chair shouting "Oh my God! Oh my God!", and then faints.

They revive her and the astronomer says, "Well, gee, I know that I said the world will end, but it's a long way off. Don't worry."

And the woman says, "Well, what did you say?"

And the astronomer says, "I said the world will end in 5 billion years."

And the woman says, "Oh! Thank God! I thought you said 5 million years."

People have been predicting the end of the world for a long time, and we still find it believable. Just a few years ago everyone was exercised about the end of the Mayan calendar, which would spell finish to our planet; before that there was the Y2K debacle, in which our technology would finish us off in a massive computer meltdown that never occurred. And so on. Regularly people predict the end of the world as we know it, and we go on feeling fine.

Read more: Noach 5775: Disaster! and Life After...

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