Rabbi Sidney Ballon z"l In his thirty-six years as a Reform rabbi (1938-1974) Sidney Ballon delivered approximately eight hundred sermons. The topics he gravitated to included belief in God, living in accordance with the principles of Judaism, love of the Jewish homeland, concern for the survival of Jewish life, and a vast number of topical issues reflecting social, political, and cultural issues of America and the world.
Praise for A Precious Heritage
A Precious Heritageis, “A brilliantly conceived and carefully annotated retrospective on American and Jewish events through the stormiest years of the twentieth century. Before Internet (and, for a while, even TV), the sermons of great rabbis were our weekly window to the world, and Rabbi Sidney Ballon epitomized that greatness. Here, then, lovingly compiled by his son, is a set of enlightening reflections available nowhere else: lessons from World War I; the foreboding atmosphere of 1939; the birth of a Jewish state; the Civil Rights era; the spiritual significance of landing on the moon. The author’s accompanying commentary looking back on the sermons from the perspective of today is itself extraordinary. And the sermons themselves are literary masterpieces—eloquent, passionate, even profound — and representative of the rabbinic best.” RABBI LAWRENCE A. HOFFMAN, PH.D, The Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Rirual, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
“A Precious Heritagecaptures the essence of Rabbi Sidney Ballon’s character, his relationship with his congregation, and his intellectual passions — including his engagement from the pulpit with the great religious and social justice issues of his time. This is also the story of a father and son. Yesh Ballon immersed himself in Sidney Ballon's life work. Yesh traveled a path that greatly deepened his relationship with his father and his Judaism. This is an excellent book. It demonstrates why all rabbis should archive their work, leaving to future generations the legacy of their wisdom.” RABBI DAVID SAPERSTEIN, Director Emeritus, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Former U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom
“I recognize… [Rabbi Ballon’s] wisdom and brilliance, his insightful social commentary, and his deep Jewish knowledge. He framed the concerns of the day with faith and shared the wisdom of generations past to provide a path to the future.” RABBI AMY B. EHRLICH, Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York
“This book is a beautiful testimony to a life well-lived and messages that are eternal… Rabbi Sidney Ballon’s story and sermons [help people struggle with faith] in timeless ways. What a gift to the Jewish world—and a beautiful sharing of soul with family and friends.” RABBI NATHANIEL EZRAY, Congregation Beth Jacob, Redwood City, California