This is the second my series of four High Holy Day sermons on the topic "What does it mean to be Jewish and American?" (see below). In this sermon, I present a few pictures from 19th century Jewish history that help give context to questions of being Jewish in America today.
In 5772, I tried a sermon experiment: I wrote four High Holy Day sermons looking at a single theme. The theme I selected was "What does it mean to be Jewish and American?" I delivered these sermons at a High Holy Day pulpit at Temple Agudath Sholom in Lynchburg, Virginia. I chose the following progression:
1. Being Jewish locally (in Lynchburg, Virginia)
2. Being Jewish nationally
3. Being Jewish in an international context (in conversation with Zionism)
4. Being Jewish in America as allies to Muslims in America
In this sermon, I consider what life is like for a Jewish Virginian in the context of a Christian majority.
“To be effective, the preacher's message must be alive; it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God's present voice to a particular people.”