In writing these posts I have resisted the occasional urge to share specific congregational work or teachings with you. I have endeavored to focus, in this forum, on the particular ways in which I believe Jewish values can inform urban living in Baltimore and in many cities around the country (and perhaps the world).
So I hope you will not think it an intrusion to share two recent sermons that I delivered at Beth Am. The first, entitled Charlton Heston’s Two Weapons, is an exploration of gun violence in America, one that I offered in the wake of the Tucson shootings. In addition, I have been making my way through the third season of The Wire which deals with the particular issue of violent crime. If you have not seen this terrific and terrifying series, I would strongly encourage it. And while I am happy to report that it is a particular view of life in Baltimore — there are rosier pictures that one could present — it is an important invitation to peer within the cracks of urban-living, the seedier underbelly that those of us who believe in the strength and future of cities ignore at our peril.
The second sermon is called Widespread Exceptionalism and includes some musings about a recent family trip to Disneyland. What are the ways in which (even perfected) consumer experiences fall short of a divinely inspired ideal for human interaction?
As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions and responses.