I am a Christian and a good friend of mine who is Jewish sent me a copy of this sermon last night. It was written by Atlanta Rabbi Shlomo Lewis (not his Rabbi). It’s a long, powerful sermon, and well worth reading. I have nothing to else to add other than the wish that you may take the time to go through it and consider the message delivered.
The original email came with this note:
“Written and delivered as a sermon by Atlanta Rabbi Shlomo Lewis, this is the most cogent look at the world’s plight, and that of the Jews, that I have ever had the privilege of reading. Do yourself and your family a great service by taking a quiet ten minutes to read it thoughtfully.”
UPDATED: Please see the link below to read the complete sermon at Frontpage.
First Day of Rosh Hashanah 2010
Many years ago a Chasid used to travel from shtetl (city) to shtetl selling holy books. On one occasion he came to a wealthy land owner and banker and asked if he would like to purchase a book of Torah teachings. The banker agreed and not only purchased the book, but paid for it with a hundred ruble note. He then began to chat with the Chassid and offered him a cigar, taking one also for himself. The Chassid noticed that the banker, Louise Eskanoser, proceeded to rip a page from the holy book he had just bought and holding it to the open flame on the stove, used the page to light his cigar. The Chassid said not a word but simply drew out from his pocket the 100 ruble note he had just received from the banker, held it over the stove as well and used it to light his cigar.
This simple, little tale reflects a profound divergence of values. Our sympathy clearly and instinctively is not with the banker but with the pious Chassid. None of us would come to the defense of the banker. None of us would claim moral supremacy for the banker. None of us would justify his boorish deed. As the sages of the Talmud would say – “Pshita – It is so obvious.” Sadly though our planet is immersed in perversity where morality is not so manifest – where the book burner is a hero and the pious one, a villain.