Rabbi’s Sermons

YOM KIPPUR MORNING – 5780/2019

Whether we are here today, Jews on Yom Kippur standing before our thoughts and words and deeds, allowing ourselves to be influenced by our shared vision of what makes us good and decent, kind and loving… Or not here today, oblivious to the rituals and inner work of our season of encountering the sacred beyond us and the sacred within us, reality remains a constant.

Standing up, as this morning’s torah reading will call us to do, is choosing to be present in the here and now with the wisdom of past experience and faith that interactions, in good faith in the here and now will lead to a better tomorrow.

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KOL NIDREI – 5780/2019

Leaning Into Yom Kippur is about leaning into our growth edges.  Rosh Hashanah lifts the veil to reveal our inadequacies. Noticing where we’ve failed, missed the mark, becomes our opportunity to notice where we can make adjustments, recalibrate, do better.

Yom Kippur is about shedding the layers of the past that no longer serve us as we make choices in the here and now that impact our future. Our liturgy for the next 23 or so hours articulates our sins over and over again: our errors in judgement, our culpability in whatever challenges we face in work or relationship, our repeated failure to focus on what really matters.

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ROSH HASHANAH MORNING – 5780/2019

Another Rosh Hashanah morning. Another reading of the Akedah, the Torah story of Abraham who leaves his homeland to father a nation and God’s final test of his faith. Will Abraham agree to take his son, his only son, the son that he loves into the wilderness and slaughter him?

Of course he will. He always does. Year after year. And, year after year, I find myself, rabbi, turning the text…turning it and twisting it. What can I learn, this year? What can I speak to, this year? How can this dreadful, barbaric story speak important truths to us? Or speak truth to power?

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EREV ROSH HASHANAH – 5780/2019

Erev Rosh Hashanah. Here we are. One year ends as yet another begins. Did the past year fly by? Or was it a struggle, hour-to-hour and day-to-day? What is different this Rosh Hashanah from last Rosh Hashanah? Who are we missing dearly? Who is new in our lives? What haven’t we done in ages? What are we doing that we never imagined we would?

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