Keep Going: It’s Always Too Early to Quit - First Day

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How would the New York Times have written Moses' obituary? Find out in “Keep Going: It’s Always Too Early to Quit.” This sermon addresses the question: How do we remain steadfast in our Judaism when we are constantly taunted by failure?

The shofar reminds us that there can be no stopping, no standing still; as human beings, as Jews, we must constantly continue to grow. We must persevere. If we want to make progress we must expend energy continuously. If you failed last year and the year before that, if you failed 600 times, don’t give up. This vital lesson is brought to life with fascinating anecdotes, jokes and teachings, including:

  • A chemical compound with a curious and lesson-laden name.
  • The story of a simple bureaucrat who refused to give up and saved thousands of lives
  • How the birds learned to fly
  • Why even the most Reform Temple in S. Francisco doesn't have a bell
  • The mistake of Portuguese sailors
  • What the Rebbe told the rabbi who didn't want to give up on Beethoven and Shakespeare

We should never underestimate the power of our perseverance, and what a difference it can make in the world. There has been nothing else like this steadfastness in the history of humanity. Against all predictions and logic we live, we sail on! As we gather in this room, on the first day of the Jewish New Year, we witness the miracle of Judaism as it continues to flourish in the world today.

Throughout the great voyage of our people’s history, through the darkest of days, our ancestors held on to the Torah.  They studied it, and it gave them the power and resilience to keep going. We must continue that journey. Our ancestors did not travel for 3,000 years only to have us quit now...

All of Jewish history, a hundred generations of our ancestors, are cheering us on, they are in the ship with us. My dear friends, let’s not let them down. Let’s not abandon ship or turn back now. Take hold of Judaism and sail on! What lies ahead is a great land indeed.

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