Rabbi Mel Glazer
If God Could Forgive Cain, You Can Forgive Anyone
Cain was guilty of The First Murder, killing his brother Abel. God was angry, and at first wanted to punish Cain, but then changed His mind. God decided to forgive Cain, and it worked! Learn how forgiveness is the key to healing from our anger, and what happens when you forgive those who have died.
The Biblical Loss of Loss
Society has not taught us very well how to accept our losses. We create false responses to death and loss, such as “Just give it time,” “I know just how you feel,” “Be quiet!” and “Get another one!” These societal responses, which attempt to be helpful, are not. Learn how to properly respond to a loss, and why Biblical responses are much more helpful and comforting to those who are grieving.
Lost and Found with Cain and Abel
When someone we love dies, we sustain multiple losses—the loss of a past, the loss of a future, and the loss of hopes, dreams and aspirations. We are often angry when someone dies, that is a normal reaction. At the same time, with forgiveness we can discover new strength within ourselves. We only learn and grow by responding to the losses in our lives. The story of Cain and Abel will remind us of these truths.
Where was God in the Tragedy-9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Job
Tragedies happen, and when they do, we wonder why. There are national tragedies, such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and there are personal tragedies, such as the death of innocent children. Where is God when a tragedy affects us? Why do the righteous suffer and the evil prosper? The Book of Job will help us understand what evil really is, what suffering is all about, and how God wants us to respond.
Aaron’s Shock of Death
When Aaron’s two sons Nadav and Avihu died on the altar the day of his Installation as High Priest, his response was shock and silence. We react the very same way when someone we love dies. And then we learn that shock is like a one-two punch. The first shock is when he dies. The second shock is when you realize that he’s not coming back – he’s really gone. Learn how shock can either free or freeze us, and how God offers us hope and consolation.
Wandering from Your Desert to Your Promised Land
After the loss of a loved one, which is essentially the loss of a way of life, the “old you” can’t enter its new life until it “dies” and is replaced by the “new you.” This process is a form of wandering, and you must go through that phase of grief before you arrive at hope and a new future. That is exactly what happened to the ancient Israelites, they wandered and they reached the Promised Land. You can too!
The Empty Chair Around The Holiday Table
At every joyous celebration-Thanksgiving, Passover Seder, Christmas dinner, wedding feast-there are empty chairs where our loved ones used to sit. Death and divorce have taken them away from us, and from the comfortable familiarity that we had grown to expect. How shall we deal with this new reality? Learn the ways that will help us heal from the pain of emptiness.