One of the books of the Bible that we don't talk about a lot is the Book of Proverbs. So I want to read you something from the Book of Proverbs. It says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." This is a way of saying that everyone needs dreams and a goal in order to live life satisfactorily. If we don't have a specific goal in mind, if we don't know where we want to go, we're more likely to end up in places not of our choosing. If we have goals, if we have milestones toward our goals, these things will keep us focused and energized to make our lives more interesting and useful.
Life is often filled with broken hopes and big disappointments. Therefore, what is important is not so much what happens to us, but it is the attitude we take toward that which happens. Frustrated ambitions and crucial circumstances certainly affect life, but it lies within our power to direct the impact. When we raise lightening rods of worry, we will attract thunderbolts of trouble.
My friend Danny asked me this morning if I would give a sermon about drumming. That is sort of an unusual request but intriguing, nevertheless, so here is what I assume is the first sermon in history on drumming.
Labor Day is a time when people say, "The summer's over. We have to go back to our schedules." And so Labor Day is something that a lot of people dread. Labor Day is also a nice weekend for people, so for other people it's something that they like and look forward to. But just about no one really thinks about what Labor Day means. What I'd like to do tonight, and what I'd like to do next Friday night, is to take the idea of Labor Day seriously and to talk about Judaism and the concept of labor and of respecting those who labor for us.
The nomination of Senator Joseph Lieberman for Vice-President was one of the most important moments in American Jewish history. For the New Haven Jewish community, it was an incredible moment. This is a man whom a lot of us know personally. We see him at the Kosher Deli. For those of us who have been his supporters for years when he ran for offices including Congress, Attorney General and then Senator, well, we were busting with pride and personal excitement.
The scariest moment that I ever spent in a movie theater was when I realized that the main character in The Sixth Sense had been dead for most of the movie. What scared me was not the movie itself, but the idea that dead people don't know that they're dead. I was terrified because I knew, from my experiences with so many people, that I talk to dead people all the time.