...Sometimes we take risks, do something that might even be slightly transgressive. Consider for example these recent High Holy Days in our congregation, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, a large, almost 75-year-old Reform congregation in the middle of Beverly Hills. The opening words of my Rosh Hashana sermon, as I took my cell phone out of the pocket of my white robe, were: "Please do not turn off your cell phone."
There was stunned silence, then nervous laughter. "Yes, you heard me. Please do not turn off your cell phones. In fact, please take them out now. And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please log on."
The theme of all of our High Holy Day messages related to the existential question posed by God to the prophet Elijah in the Book of Judges: "What are you doing here?" "What are you doing here," we asked our congregants. "What are you doing here in the synagogue and here at this very moment in your life?"
So I gave the congregation an assignment right there in synagogue: "Please post your answer to the question 'What are you doing here?' in 140 characters or less."
In 140 characters. Characters, not words.
Many of them did, and the answers, because they were so short perhaps, were especially moving....more...
Here is a rabbi who gets it. Twitter and Facebook are there for the taking. For religion and philosophy, if that is what you want to do. Sure we don't expect all shuls and rabbis to embrace these systems in the sanctuary on a holiday. It was a mini-dramatic idea and we say the rabbi made her point. Rabbi Laura Geller tells us about her sermon.