Sidney Greenberg (September 27, 1917-March 31, 2003) was an American rabbi and author.
A native New Yorker, he spent more than 50 years as Rabbi of Temple Sinai, now in Dresher, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University, and his rabbinical ordination, and later, a Doctor of Hebrew Literature degree, from Jewish Theological Seminary of America, in New York. He wrote numerous books on Judaism, and wrote several prayer books.
An excerpt from the chapter on Passover, from his book Torah Guidelines For Living Like A Mensch (Growth Associates Publishers, 2002):
"Here is where the Divine playwright enters. God is the true Hero of the Exodus. For it is God who enables a stammering, tongue-tied Moses to be the vehicle for the greatest words ever uttered by a human being. It is God who takes an inflated tyrant and cuts him down to size. It is God who converts an oppressed, downtrodden horde of slaves into 'a kingdom of priests and a holy people.' Every year at Pesah time the descendants of those ex-slaves retell and reenact this ancient drama, making it the longest running play in history."
Obituary from The Jewish Daily Forward:
Rabbi Sidney Greenberg was one of Conservative Judaism’s most respected writers on Jewish prayer, holidays and spirituality.
A native New Yorker, Greenberg served as rabbi of Temple Sinai, now in the Philadelphia suburb of Dresher, for more than 50 years. Following his retirement in 1996, he moved to Manhattan, while continuing to serve as the congregation’s rabbi emeritus.
In addition to his 20-plus books on various Jewish topics, Greenberg was well known for his sermons.
He wrote about religion for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In an article published in the newspaper following the 1998 death of his daughter, Shira Ruskay, Greenberg wrote: “I am grateful beyond words that she loved her life so deeply.”
He wrote this wonderful prayer to be recited at the Thanksgiving Day table: We thank You, O God, for our family and for what we mean and bring to one another. We are grateful for the bonds of loyalty and affection which sustain us and keep us close to one another no matter how far apart we may be. We thank You for implanting within us a deep need for each other and giving us the capacity to love and to care. Help us to be modest in our demands of one another, but generous in our giving to each other. May we never measure how much love or encouragement we offer; may we never count the times we forgive. Rather, may we always be grateful that we have one another and that we are able to express our love in acts of kindness. Keep us gentle in our speech. When we offer words of criticism, may they be chosen with care and spoken softly. May we waste no opportunity to speak words of sympathy, of appreciation, of praise. Bless our family with health, happiness, and contentment. Above all, grant us the wisdom to build a joyous and peaceful home in which Your spirit will always abide. Amen.
Greenberg served as an army chaplain during World War II. He received a bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University, before receiving his ordination from the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary.
Greenberg was survived by his wife of 60 years, Hilda Weiss Greenberg; daughters Reena Keren and Adena Greenberg; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren . His daughter, Shira Ruskay, predeceased him.
- Adding Life to Our Years. New York: Jonathan David. 1959.
- Finding Ourselves. New York: Jonathan David. 1964.
- Completing Life. 1st Book Publishing. 2004.
- A Treasury of Comfort. No. Hollywood CA: Wilson Book Co. 1954.
- A Treasury of the Art of Living. Hartford CN: Hartman House. 1963.
- Light from Jewish Lamps: A Modern Treasury of Jewish Thoughts. Northvale NJ & London: Jason Aronson. 1986.