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A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
225 North Country Club • Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 327-4501 • Fax: (520) 327-4504
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Yom Chamishi, 15 Tammuz 5775

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June 26, 2015

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

I must begin tonight by noting that things changed quite a bit in the United States during the last two weeks while we were on summer vacation. This week we learned that the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, has guaranteed gays and lesbians the right to marry everywhere in America, and to have all the benefits of married status. It has been a long struggle, and today a large majority of Americans strongly approve of this course. In effect, 37 states already have gay and lesbian marriage, including Arizona, so this measure impacts only 13 more states, but it is still a momentous and long-awaited change, and we are delighted. Now the law of the land now not only permits gay and lesbian marriage, but no doubt will further prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians in general. We know that in Judaism we are all created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, and this guarantees that here in America we are also all able to sanctify our marriages publicly and legally in the holiness of Kidushin. While I have long performed same-sex ceremonies, these now will have the status of legal marriages everywhere in United States, and that is something to celebrate.

Read more: Chukat 5775: Human Decency and Chance

May 16, 2015

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

My friends, it is a special honor to speak about the manifold contributions that Dr. Steve and Ruth Dickstein have made to Temple Emanu-El, and to our entire community. Just listing their many, many programs, projects, and great works requires a good deal of time.

But in order to do this properly, to acknowledge the remarkable depth and breadth of their giving to our historic temple and to this community, it is necessary to understand the true nature of avodah, of sacred service.

Read more: Tribute to Dr. Steve and Ruth Dickstein

May 8, 2015

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

It is a pleasure to be back home on the bimah of Temple Emanu-El after my three-month sabbatical trip around the world. I am very grateful to the congregation, to our Board, and to our president, Bonnie Golden for the opportunity to take this time away, and to Rabbi Appel, Rabbi Seltzer, Marjorie Hochberg, Margie Kendle, and our entire staff for caring for the needs of our congregants during this period. I have been back for three weeks, but this marks the first opportunity I have had to discuss my Sabbatical from the bimah. It was amazing, but it's also a little hard to summarize briefly.

Read more: Emor 5775: Around the World in 85 Days

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