Rabbi Eytan Kenter's blog

My Shemini Sermon Part 1

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When I was interviewing for rabbi jobs in my final year of Rabbinical School, one of the congregations asked for copies of three of my sermons.  I told them that I could not, because I don't write out my sermons.  Taken aback, they asked me to check again and see if I couldn't find or transcribe three sermons.  I did my best and, at their request, wrote out my sermon for my Shabbat visit.  I read the sermon and it just did not feel right.  Reading off of a piece of paper took away the passion and cadence.  As I reflect on the writing and transmission of sermons via blogs, emails, websites, or video, I also realize that my sermons are never in and of themselves complete.  That is my opportunity to share some Torah and I express how I feel in that moment.   I may not agree with it a week, month, or year later or there may be new ideas that I'd want to add. 


So, this week, I was asked by a number of people for a copy of my sermon, which I clearly do not have.  I offered to do my best to repost on this blog, but now I am in a conundrum.  Do I just include what I said?  Do I add additional thoughts?  I actually listened to a podcast this morning that would enrich my presentation, should that be included?  What about the ideas presented where the sermon started, with my Mitzvah Initiative group earlier that week?


As a start, these are the articles that inspired the sermon in the first place:





For those of you who were not there, please read them over.  What do you think about them?  Are there overarching themes?  How would you react to the different situations presented?  Does the show Girls hit close to home?  Why?


Next week, I'll continue the conversation, but for now, what are your thoughts?

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