The Brokenness We All Feel Inside

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778 Sermon By Rabbi Scott Gellman There is a Japanese philosophy known as “wabi-sabi,”which embraces the flawed or imperfect. It values marks of wear that arise due to the use of an object.  It treasures the visible cracks and glue that went into the repair. Wabi Sabi promotes keeping an object around even after it has broken. …

Shavuot Letter

Dear Temple Sholom Members, Soon comes a special day for all of us in the series of holidays throughout the year.  Fifty days after Passover, which is called the festival of our freedom, begins Shavuot, the celebration of God’s gift of the Torah to the Jewish People. Freedom is the central theme of Passover but Shavuot reminds us that there is no …

Therefore-Choose Life

Can we talk about things that annoy us?
Every day brings us an array of stuff that tries our patience. You buy something that needs to be assembled, and the instructions don’t make sense. You’re out on a golf course and you hit a straight drive; but when you get to where it ought to be lying, the ball is not there. You toss 16 socks into a clothes dryer and you get only 15 back.

Nitzavim- Our Stories of Plain Old Ordinary Holiness

Atem Nitzavim Hayom— You stand here this day…
These words which open our Torah portion, capture our attention— past and present converge as we stand shoulder to shoulder with all the wilderness wanderers, amassed on the border of a new land of promise— our heads of tribes, our elders, our officers, all the men of Israel, our youth, our women, the non-Jews who are part of our community; from the hewer of wood to the water drawer; those who lived in Biblical times and those of us alive today.

A Passover Message from Rabbi Goldberg

The Haggadah teaches us that בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים: In every generation a person is obligated to see themselves as if they were liberated from Egypt. In Hebrew, Egypt is known as ‘Mitzrayim,’ a narrow place. The seder asks that we identify with those currently oppressed, marginalized, or restricted; those who yearn and fight for freedom. Not out of pity, but because we are or have been them.

What an Atheist Belgian Musician Taught Me about Judaism

As a teenager, I would sit on my bedroom floor listening to old records of Belgian singer-songwriter, poet, and performer Jacques Brel. I didn’t need to keep a journal, because his lyrics wove together everything I felt at the time. Brel had a fire within, and his anger, longing, passion, and truth blazed through every word he sang. His music, raw and real, transformed and fed my soul; it informed and shaped who I am today.

Rabbi Conover’s Yom Kippur Sermon – Make Them Hear You

Every year, when I get up here to speak, I know exactly what you’re thinking about right at this moment– your break-fast. Am I right? We started off strong earlier in the dayNow, let’s be honest, we drifted a bit during the Torah reading– who can blame us, really? But then we came back strong, as we listened to the Consul General. Yet, now that you’re sitting– and we’ve had some quiet moments, who can blame your stomach for growling, who can blame your mind for drifting? I’ve done it before…

Rabbi Goldberg’s Yom Kippur Sermon – The Face of A Gardener

A Yom Kippur confession: as many of the readings in our new Machzor demonstrate, I don’t believe life-changing wisdom is limited to Jewish sources. As the ancient rabbis declared, Torah was given to the Jewish people but wisdom was given to all people. (Midrash Lamentations Rabbah 2:13) I am not just speaking about Shakespeare or various modern poets. I am …

Rabbi Weisblatt’s Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon – “To A Dream Deferred No More”

Before I begin this evening, I’d like to ask a favor. If you have a watch on, smart, analog, digital, or, what may be more common in 2015, are sitting next to someone with a watch on, take note of the time. According to my watch it is (LOOK AT WATCH!) …. Just keep note of the start time for now, and we’ll return to it at the close of my words this evening. OK, now I can really begin.