Sermons Category

Yom Kippur Morning 5780: Bruchim Habaim

“My, you throw a lot of dinner parties,” said my mother’s neighbor. My Mum was puzzled. See, my Mum lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building, with three towers each with their own secure entrance. The neighbor did not live in the same tower. And to add to my Mother’s confusion, although my […]

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Yom Kippur Evening 5780: The Knower of Secrets

Over half-a-million secrets. It began nearby in Germantown MD, as a group art project. Frank Warren used his home address and invited people to write him their secrets, on a post card, anonymously. He only had two rules: The secret must be true, and, it must be something never revealed to anyone else before. More […]

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Rosh Hashanah Morning 5780: A Midrash

After the Akedah: In Abraham’s Tent Two weary dust-worn travelers, elder and younger, wandered home into Abraham’s Tent, relocated to Kiryat Arbah. Sarah took one look at them both, and her kishkes knew. This had not been an ordinary journey from which father and son returned. So is the insight of a wife’s mind, such […]

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Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon 5780

Into Yourself It was the beginning of High Holy Day services: the eve of Rosh Hashanah.  The congregation was ready. The bima was dressed in white. The welcome tables were set outside the doors of the synagogue. The High Holy Day prayer books were on the shelves to be distributed. The ushers had been coached […]

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Spiritual Sustenance In Dark Times

Rabbi Israel Spira told of a dark, cold night at the Janowska Road Camp. All were ordered to leave the barracks or be shot on the spot. The prisoners stampeded their way out the door towards an open field. With their last drop of energy, they realized where they were running. And breathless, they saw […]

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Our Jewish Identities[i]

Diane Gabaldon’s well-read NY Times, best-selling novel, and now a STARZ TV series, Outlander, is, for those that like historical romance, a double historical-time setting whammy. In 1945, a retired World War II nurse, Claire Randall is on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank in Scotland. She finds herself suddenly transported to 1743 – […]

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Gender in the Image of God

Like all interesting television, there was a cutting edge premise. In 2014 Jill Solloway produced a comedy drama for Amazon studios that went on to win multiple Golden Globe Awards. The series was based on her own experience of her father coming out as transgender. In the series, Transparent, the story was told of a […]

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I Am Because of You

Why be part of a congregation? Can’t I just be spiritual by myself? Why do I need organized religion? Why do I need a Har Sinai Congregation? Let me begin in Africa. Boyd Varty grew up on the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa and he tells the story of a baby elephant called Elvis. […]

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Kehillah Kedosha – Building Our Holy Community

Drama. The Yiddish writer S. Ansky, in his play The Dybbuk, described it with these words: “Once a year… the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies in order to pronounce the ineffable name of God. And at this immeasurably holy and awesome moment the High Priest and the people of Israel are in the […]

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5779: A Year of Sacred Opportunity

I think you might know this one:   Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For […]

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