Learn & Prepare

Ruminate, appreciate, get irate, activate: our rabbis guide us through the spiritual journey of the Holiest of Days.

Sermon
9 months ago • Sep 25, 2023
Loneliness, Community, & Why We Need One Another: Surgeon General Vivek Murthy & Rabbi Sharon Brous
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy & Rabbi Sharon Brous in conversation.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
9 months ago • Sep 25, 2023
This is the Moral Earthquake
How must we respond to the danger posed by Israel’s extreme, ultranationalist government?
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
9 months ago • Sep 24, 2023
In Search of You — Kol Nidre Sermon
Kol Nidre Sermon 5784.
By: Rabbi Morris Panitz
Sermon
10 months ago • Sep 17, 2023
Repair and Reparation for America: the Spiritual Work of Building the Beloved Community
Pastor Eddie Anderson, Reverend Zachary Hoover, and Rabbi Sharon Brous in conversation on Rosh Hashanah day 2 5784.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
10 months ago • Sep 16, 2023
What Matters Most — Rosh Hashanah I, 5784
Some reflections on ending well, and what we pray will never end, offered on my father’s shloshim—the end of the most intense period of mourning.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
10 months ago • Sep 15, 2023
More Perfect than Before
Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon. Engaging fully in the introspection of this High Holiday season can land us deep in shame and unable to move. But there is another way: be honest about our shortcomings, witness them and embrace them, and then transform them into something else entirely.
By: Rabbi Hannah Jensen
Sermon
1 year ago • Oct 5, 2022
Ban The Bible — 5783/2022
Yom Kippur 5783/2022. I spent the summer reading banned books. Here’s what I learned: empathy poses the greatest threat to tyranny. Art is the antidote to numbness. And Torah is the most dangerous book of all.  
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
1 year ago • Sep 26, 2022
We Need a Subversive Sequel — Rosh Hoshanah I, 5783
Rosh Hoshanah I, 5783. Our world is crying out for a subversive sequel, a redemption narrative. It’s time to write a new and better, more just and more inclusive version of our story. We must plant seeds for the future now, before it’s too late.    
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
1 year ago • Sep 25, 2022
The Earth Speaks — Erev Rosh Hashanah 5783/2022
The Earth’s chorus of voices demands moral engagement, a new approach to our planet in peril.
By: Rabbi Morris Panitz
Sermon
2 years ago • Sep 16, 2021
We Belong to One Another: Living in the Plural
Yom Kippur 5782/2021 Sermon. In this time of us vs them, tribalism and violence, dehumanization and cruelty, we must remember: we belong to each other.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
2 years ago • Sep 15, 2021
The Angels Among Us
Kol Nidre 5782/2021 Sermon. Angels appear in moments of vulnerability and fear. They are sent on sacred missions at particular moments to offer moral strength, clarity and hope. This is a call to recognize the angels among us, and to hear when we, too, are called to step forward on a sacred mission of our own.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
2 years ago • Sep 8, 2021
Searching for Faith
Rosh Hashanah II, 5782 Sermon. My brother and I have been having this recurring argument, for the last five years or so. And he always wins. And the basic question always being debated is, “Are we doomed?
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
2 years ago • Sep 7, 2021
The Still, Small Voice
Rosh Hashanah I, 5782 Sermon. We’re taught calculus and economics, US History and British Literature in school, but we’re hardly taught anything at all about how to get quiet, how to find awe, to cultivate conscience, to develop a moral compass. We start the year with a call to stillness: a reordering of our inner world. A discernment practice that is both spiritually and morally audacious, and utterly essential today.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
2 years ago • Sep 6, 2021
From Deluge to Dove
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782 Sermon.
Sermon
3 years ago • Sep 28, 2020
The Path To Redemption: A Conversation with Bryan Stevenson & Rabbi Sharon Brous
Yom Kippur 5781 Sermon.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
3 years ago • Sep 27, 2020
Sometimes Love IS a Call to Action
Kol Nidre 5781 Sermon. At some point, we will emerge from the acute, multilayered crises of our time. We’re not there yet. Before us will be battles great and small. This will be a defining moment, not only for our nation, but for each of us. We must act with fierce determination in the coming months, and even as we confront these challenges with everything we’ve got, we must plant for tomorrow, holding faith that those seeds will eventually bear fruit.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
3 years ago • Sep 20, 2020
On Being Alone
Rosh Hashana II 5781 Sermon. I want to tell you, today, a little bit about what it has been like being alone, living alone during this pseudo-quarantine, and spending most of my time, for half a year now, alone in my house. I want to talk about it in part because I know there are a lot of you out there who have been alone during this time, and I want to lift up this experience of ours – a shout of solidarity to my brothers and sisters in solitude! But I also want to talk about it because I learned things from that solitude, and because I think there’s something important about being alone that matters for us all.
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
3 years ago • Sep 19, 2020
A World is Dying, A World Is Being Born
Rosh Hashana 5781 Sermon. Our ancestors grieved. They told the truth about the past. And they built a new future—a counter-testimony to the world that was. This is our blueprint, an ancient wisdom born of suffering, and a way forward through painful and uncertain times.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
3 years ago • Sep 18, 2020
May her memory be a blessing
Erev Rosh Hashana 5781 Sermon. Brief remarks by Rabbi Sharon Brous on the loss of tzaddeket Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
3 years ago • Sep 18, 2020
The Splash Zone
Erev Rosh Hashana 5781 Sermon. Given the harrowing year we’ve been having, you might think that the spiritual work we are called to do during this holy season, the work of teshuvah, is too much to ask of us. Haven’t we been through enough? Aren’t we just trying to survive all this? But it turns out that what we have been enduring might actually be the climate most ripe for self-reflection and transformation. While there has been so much upheaval and loss, all this forced, destructive change has also given us a chance to engage in generative change. This Rosh Hashanah, more than ever, we are galvanized for renewal and growth.
Sermon
4 years ago • Oct 9, 2019
Family Ties
Yom Kippur 5780 Sermon. After a hard year for the Jews, what can we learn about Jewish peoplehood, antisemitism, and our rightful place in a sometimes hostile world? (audio and text versions below video)
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
4 years ago • Oct 8, 2019
Life Eternal: Say My Name
Kol Nidre 5780 Sermon. Lifting up the teachings and actions of our loved ones who have died  may be the blessing, even when the dawn has yet to come. (audio and text links below video)
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
4 years ago • Sep 30, 2019
The Climate Crisis is Here: What We Do Matters
Rosh Hashanah I, 5780 Sermon. The temperatures are rising, the Amazon is burning, storm surges are devastating our cities. It matters how we respond to this crisis. Even while we can’t do everything, there is no moral or scientific calculation that justifies doing nothing. We must be part of a culture shift, a shift in consciousness. We must build islands of spiritual resistance. דבר זה תלוי בנוּ– the matter depends on us.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
4 years ago • Sep 29, 2019
Kindness: An Ethic. A Theology. An Act of Resistance
Erev Rosh Hashanah, 5780 Sermon. Why doing good feels so good. And why we must re-commit to an ancient rabbinic ethic at this moment in our nation’s history.
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 19, 2018
Dan Messinger Yom Kippur Pirate
Yom Kippur, 5779 Sermon.
By: Dan Messinger
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 19, 2018
Rabbi David Kasher Yom Kippur Intro to Haftarah
Yom Kippur, 5779 Sermon.
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 19, 2018
Rabbi David Kasher Yom Kippur Intro to Silent Amidah
Yom Kippur, 5779 Sermon.
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 19, 2018
#WETOO: DISCOMPOSING OUR CULTURE OF TOXIC MASCULINITY
Yom Kippur, 5779 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous The epidemic of sexual assault and harassment thrives on many layers of cowardice and indifference, all too abundant in our culture of complicity. Now we must attune our ears to the stories told not by those with external power, but those with inner strength.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 18, 2018
Rabbi Ronit Tsadok Viduy Introduction
Kol Nidre, 5779 Sermon.
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 18, 2018
Rabbi Keilah Lebell Kol Nidre Introduction
Kol Nidre, 5779 Sermon.
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 18, 2018
MOON PEOPLE: FINDING HOPE IN THE DARK OF NIGHT
Kol Nidre, 5779 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Darkness may surround you, but it need not consume you. We are moon people: trained in heart and mind to find hope in the new light rising from the east.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 11, 2018
The Cries of the Shofar
Rosh Hashanah 2 5779 Sermon. Rabbis David Kasher and Ronit Tsadok One of the many reasons given for why we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is that we want to connect ourselves to the story of Akeidat Yitzhak, the Binding of Isaac. What about that story might we tap into and how can it inform our experience of listening to the shofar?
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 10, 2018
Building a New America
Rosh Hashanah 1 5779 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous These are trying times, but we must not let exhaustion or cynicism dull our senses. Our history has taught us: either you work to dismantle oppressive systems, or your inaction becomes the mortar that sustains them. Together we must build America anew: fierce, fair, and full of promise, equipped to hold us in all our diversity, complexity and beauty.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
5 years ago • Sep 9, 2018
The Roar
Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon. Rabbi David Kasher What is Rosh Hashanah really about? It is never actually called ‘The New Year’ in the Torah itself. Instead, it is mysteriously referred to as, ‘A Day of Rest, In Memory of the Teruah Sound.’ But what exactly is that sound, and why would it be so important to remember it? A little detective work reveals the first time this sound was ever heard, and unlocks for us the true meaning of Rosh Hashanah.
By: Rabbi David Kasher
Sermon
6 years ago • Sep 30, 2017
Loving Ourselves to Death: The Perils of Denialism
Yom Kippur 5778 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Only when we confront the challenges — honestly and lovingly… when we open our eyes and our hearts, will new paradigms of possibility emerge.  
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
6 years ago • Sep 29, 2017
I Need You to Breathe
Kol Nidre 5778 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous LOVE is the good news.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
6 years ago • Sep 22, 2017
Our Country Was Built on a Stolen Beam: The Call for a National Reckoning
Rosh Hashanah 2 5778 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous We can’t undo the past. But we can name it, take responsibility for it, and do everything in our power to fix what’s been broken. A Jewish case for REPARATIONS.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
6 years ago • Sep 21, 2017
The Bug in the Software of the West
Rosh Hashanah 1 5778 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous America is turning from a place with an undercurrent of antisemitism, to a place in which antisemitism is condoned by the state. What are we going to do about it?
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
6 years ago • Sep 20, 2017
Reclaiming Our Time
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778 Sermon. Rabbi Ronit Tsadok Our perception of time affects our decision-making, our compassion, and our overall well-being. It’s time to reframe and reclaim our relationship to time and the High Holy Days offer a model of how to do exactly that.
Sermon
7 years ago • Oct 12, 2016
Try a Little Tenderness
Yom Kippur 5777 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Can we break the cycle of fear -> anger -> cruelty-> fear? Non-complementarity, aka GRACE, as a spiritual practice
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
7 years ago • Oct 11, 2016
In the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Kol Nidre 5777 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Talking about dying, death, grief and what comes after can imbue our lives with meaning, purpose and love.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
7 years ago • Oct 4, 2016
Awakenings
Rosh Hashanah 2 5777 Sermon. Rabbis Sharon Brous and Ronit Tsadok (text study) Blessings are miseries are unfolding before our eyes. Let us not sleep through the revolution.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
7 years ago • Oct 3, 2016
America Needs to Find its Way Again
Rosh Hashanah 1 5777 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Race, violence and madness in an election year. How can we reclaim the soul of our country?
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
7 years ago • Oct 2, 2016
What’s Your Story?
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5777 Sermon. Rabbi Ronit Tsadok
Sermon
8 years ago • Sep 23, 2015
Holding On: A Plea to Stay in the Conversation
Yom Kippur 5776 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous This is a sermon for those who have had enough.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
8 years ago • Sep 22, 2015
Letting Go: Permission to Grieve, and Live Again
Kol Nidre 5776 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Sometimes, holding fast to a dream can consume you and prevent you from living fully.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
8 years ago • Sep 14, 2015
Wide Awake: A Spiritual Response to the Collapse of Compassion
Rosh Hashanah 1 5776 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous So are we better or worse off than we were one hundred years ago?
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
8 years ago • Sep 13, 2015
#LoveWins
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5776 Sermon. Rabbi Ronit Tsadok As it turns out, not only are we supposed to love God, but this is a reciprocal relationship. God actually loves you.
Sermon
9 years ago • Oct 4, 2014
Fire on the Mountain
Yom Kippur 5775 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Our generation is called to holy excavation. Dig beneath the edifice and the artifice to rediscover the foundational Jewish ideas.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
9 years ago • Oct 3, 2014
What Are You Waiting For?
Kol Nidre 5775 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Because somewhere in our hearts we know that it really ought to matter if we sneeze.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
9 years ago • Sep 25, 2014
Edgers
Rosh Hashanah 1 5775 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous It’s in our DNA to be edgers — to see the world both with the privileged assumptions of an insider and the sensitivity and wakefulness of an outsider.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
9 years ago • Sep 24, 2014
Prayer: The Ultimate Equalizer
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5775 Sermon. Rabbi Ronit Tsadok By giving us a glimpse into the Divine perspective, prayer can transform the way we walk through the world by reminding us that we are as valuable as any other person – no more, no less.
Sermon
10 years ago • Sep 14, 2013
Breaking Script
Yom Kippur 5774 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous  Flawed stories of the past shape our view of the world and our expectations of the future. It’s time to break the script.    
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
10 years ago • Sep 13, 2013
The Amen Effect Sermon
Kol Nidre 5774 Sermon.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
10 years ago • Sep 5, 2013
Guns, Gays and God: The Politics of Spiritual Connectedness
Rosh Hashanah 1 5774 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous We are brought together by a sacred urge to make sense of the chaos of our lives so we can live more meaningfully, more aligned with our purpose in the world.
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous
Sermon
11 years ago • Sep 26, 2012
The Prophets Shudder
Yom Kippur 5773 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous “ITS NOT MY PROBLEM” – IS THE PROBLEM.  As the world grows smaller –our responsibility grows bigger.
Sermon
11 years ago • Sep 25, 2012
Cliff Hanger
Kol Nidre 5773 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Who is wise? Halomed mikol adam – one who learns from everyone.
Sermon
11 years ago • Sep 17, 2012
Moral Conundrum Ahead
Rosh Hashanah 1 5773 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous What if this decision is the one that comes to define you? Every moment, great and small, holds the opportunity for growth in strength and courage.
Sermon
11 years ago • Sep 16, 2012
Enough
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5773 Sermon. Rabbi Sharon Brous Our goal is nothing less than to achieve, simultaneously – a deep and profound gratitude for what we have (sameah b’helko) – and also a wakeful recognition of what is not yet (od lo). You are enough. And yet enough is not nearly enough. Now let’s get back to work.
Sermon
2 years ago • Aug 30, 2021
High Holiday Sermons: 2020/5781
Ruminate, appreciate, get irate, activate: our rabbis guide us through the spiritual journey of the Holiest of Days. Sermon. The Path to Redemption – A Conversation with Bryan Stevenson, with Rabbi Sharon Brous Sometimes Love IS a Call to Action – Rabbi Sharon Brous On Being Alone – Rabbi David Kasher A World is Dying, A World is Being Born – Rabbi Sharon Brous The Splash Zone – Rabbi Keilah Lebell May Her Memory Be a Blessing – Brief Remarks by Rabbi Sharon Brous on the Loss of tzadeket Ruth Bader Ginsberg
By: Rabbi Sharon Brous