Don’t Let Antisemitism Poison the Movement – Rabbi Sharon Brous
There’s no place for antisemitism in movements to build a just and sustainable future. Collective liberation means everyone. And the only way to grow in empathy is by encountering one another, so let’s stop grandstanding and get to work.
What It Takes to Discover Our True Selves – Sammy Kanter, Rabbinic Intern
The Torah portion this week, Lech Lecha, is a call to go to be your true self in the world. For me in my struggle over my sexuality, the Torah offers a guidebook for how to truly be the blessing we are meant to offer in the world.
When Doves Sigh – Rabbi David Kasher
Rabbi Kasher leads a short text study of the lyrics to a Shabbat song inspired by this week’s Torah reading and written by the great Spanish medieval poet, Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi. The poet’s theme? Exhaustion.
This is the Natural Order: Grace, Gratitude, Generosity – Rabbi Sharon Brous
What are we to do with the gifts we’ve been given?
A Time to Dance: Simchat Torah, The Last Happy Memory! – Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson
As health conditions permit, the deep human need to connect and to celebrate must also re-emerge. Simchat Torah offers the opportunity to claim our freedom through dance: on Zoom, in pods, or socially-distanced. But the time has come to rise up and dance our light and our power.
The Poetry of Torah – Rabbi David Kasher
The Rabbis of the Talmud teach that the whole Torah can be thought of as a poem. What can they mean by that, when the Torah clearly isn’t written in poetic form throughout? And if they’re right, how would that affect our conception of the truth of Sacred Scripture?
A Time to Mask and a Time to Unmask – Rabbi Doctor Dvora Weisberg
For many of us, wearing a mask has become a daily occurrence. Physical masks can protect us. But what happens when we also go through life with an unseen mask, hiding our thoughts and feelings from those around us? What would it mean to enter Yom Kippur ready to reveal our truest selves to God and to those whom we love?
Midwives For a New World – Rabbi Morris Panitz
Rosh Hashanah is described as “Ha-Yom Ha’rat Olam,” the day the world is born. What would it mean to picture God in labor, trying to bring a new world into existence? How do we support God, and each other, in birthing new possibilities into existence? We are the midwives, and we are desperately needed.
Got Any Stories to Tell? – Rabbi Ronit Tsadok
To show up fully with his bikkurim (first fruits), the Israelite farmer told the story of how he got there. We, too, have stories of highs and lows from this past year and a half, and we may not realize how important it is to share them, especially as prepare for the High Holy Days.
Not For the Birds – Rabbi David Kasher
This week’s Torah reading, Ki Teitzei has more laws in it than any other Parsha. From laws of war to laws of farming, it’s a veritable laundry list of Mitzvot. But of all the laws on the list, one catches the attention of the commentators as the strangest and most random of them all: Kan Tzipor, The Law of the Bird’s Nest! What in the world is it coming to teach us?
Carrying Each Other’s Prayers – Rabbi Morris Panitz
What would it feel like to move through the world knowing that someone else is holding your hopes, pain, and dreams? Prayer can help move us beyond our individual concerns and into the realm of a shared collective– a healing and hopeful collective.
On Rabbinic Authority – Rabbi David Kasher
Where do these rabbis get off, telling us what to do?! Well, the official source for rabbinic authority can be found in this week’s Parsha. The question is, just how far does that authority go?
Between the Ideal and the Real – Rabbi Sharon Brous
Navigating the space between what is and what ought to be, with increasing urgency as our worlds again grow smaller.
I Am My Beloved – Rabbi Ronit Tsadok
It’s time again for the spiritual accounting of Elul and the High Holy Days. Let’s just not forget the love.
Setting Aside Time – Rabbi Ronit Tsadok
Grief, consolation, growth. How the Jewish calendar offers a framework for moving through this time of transition.
Why Is Everyone So Angry These Days? – Rabbinic Intern Sammy Kanter
Have you noticed Americans are particularly angry and mean these days? Especially on social media. In this sermon, I explore what we can learn from the Talmud’s explanation for the cause of Jerusalem’s destruction on Tisha b’av. I ask, how can we be humbler?
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone – Rabbi David Kasher
This Shabbat comes a day before the greatest day of mourning in the Jewish calendar year, Tisha B’av, on which we read the book of Lamentations. That’s what we call it in English, anyway. But in Hebrew, the book is simply called Eikha, or “How?” To understand the full meaning of this existential question, we have to go back to the first time it was asked.
Don’t Turn Away – Rabbi Sharon Brous
Even after all we’ve been through, we must not succumb to compassion fatigue. Our humanity rests in our ability to feel for one another. And our Rabbis promise: those who identify with the suffering of the community will merit seeing its consolation.
Confronting the Moral Stain – Rabbi Sharon Brous
Only when we reckon honestly with the past can we be liberated us from its grip. #Juneteenth must be more than a symbolic gesture. We must not only remember slavery, but work to upend its legacy in America and build a truly just and equitable society in its place. Kaddish for Black Lives can be found here.