When Rabbis Panic

It sounds like the title to some cheesy video, doesn't it. Just imagine a deep voice announcing "When Rabbis Panic." For three low payments of $9.95 you can receive the video. Order now and if you are among the first 100 callers we'll throw in a copy of "Rabbis Gone Wild" for free.

The thing is that this is not a total joke. About this time each year my friends start to get stressed out about what sermons they are going to give for the High Holidays. Those that are in to sports start to throw around the sports analogies.

"Jack, it is a really intense playoff system that leads right into the championship."


"This is when I really put my game face on because it is the one time of year that you really have the congregation's attention."

This is about the time when I suggest that we play "Sermon Bingo." The idea is simple. You create a playing card that looks just like the seating chart of the shul. Then during the sermon you and a few others look around the room and identify sleeping congregants. Each time you find one you get to mark off a space on your card. The first one to mark off a complete line of spaces wins.

Here is some friendly advice. You friend the pulpit rabbi usually does not take too kindly to people suddenly shouting during the sermon, especially when doing so points out how many people they have put to sleep.

I have a few ideas for how to spice things up so that people don't fall asleep, but something tells me that I'll probably never see my favorite come to fruition. Imagine using a teleprompter to guide the sermon along. In this wacky world of mine I could type out the sermon and the rabbi would just read whatever appeared on screen.

It has potential. Ok, maybe potential is over stating it a bit, but one can dream a bit.


Val said...

Your thoughts crack me up! But apparently your Rabbi's need to shorten their sermons?

I haven't fallen asleep by our Rabbi's sermons, so either they're really entertaining (i tend to think so) or just long enough.

Anonymous said...

Imagine a Rabbi using analogies from the Mahabharata - blood, guts, gore, and sex.

That would be the series entitled "when Rabbis get bent".

I guarantee it would wake up the flock to a faretheewell.

---Grant Patel

orieyenta said...

Sermon bingo sounds a whole lot better than LO tapping me and while giggling and saying loud enough for everyone within earshot to hear, "Ima, the man next to me is SNORING." Maybe I'll suggest this at the next board meeting. ;)

Jack Steiner said...


As long as they hold your attention, that is the important thing.


Actually there are sermons that cover blood, guts, gore and sex. It is all in the delivery.


LO knows how to liven things up. ;)

20 Years Of Blogging

 Hard to believe, but I have been doing this thing for 20 years now. Wild to think, especially when I ask myself how much of this is quality...