And Your Children Shall Know Abundant Peace Re’eh 5777

By Rabbi Shoshanah Conover I so enjoy reading and rereading books and poetry that I love.  Sometimes, lines that I almost skipped over in the first reading seem to jump up off the page in a second or third reading.  This often happens to me while reading and rereading Torah.  And this is what happened to me while reading this …

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. …

Rabbi Goldberg’s Rosh Hashanah Sermon – Keep the Conversation Going

A story: There once lived a king much beloved by his subjects. He ruled a little kingdom tucked away in a corner of Europe.

One day an army came and overran the castle, making off with half the treasury. The king decided he had to increase taxes to make up for his losses, and called in one of his wise courtiers to ask how to tell the people the news without inciting a revolt.

Nobless Oblige Is Always Noble but Not Always Obliged Sermon for Rosh Hashanah Morning 2013

Shanah Tovah! What an honor it is to be here as your new rabbi. I am so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to greeting the New Year with you. Offering a sermon this morning from this bima is very daunting. For one thing, I still need to introduce myself to you. In addition, I am frankly intimidated by the history of preaching here. But I am also inspired! We all have our strengths to bring, after all. Many years ago I attended the groundbreaking for the Skirball Jewish Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The featured speaker was the head of the J. Paul Getty Museum, soon to be the neighbor of the Skirball. The director admitted that the Getty felt a twinge of insecurity to be located near an institution of 4,000 years of history. Then again, declared the director, “We have Getty’s money, so we’re not too concerned.” I don’t have Getty’s money or four thousand years of heritage in my personal portfolio. But I do have a passion to share with you. It’s a passion about my own story and what it means for me and I hope for you. The Torah portion this morning was a story about our ancient family. Today I would also like to share with you my family story. It’s an important one I think. I will make a complicated tale brief: My mother was born in 1926 in a small town near Berlin, Germany. She had four older brothers and one older sister. In the 1930s her eldest brother, Leonard Ohringer, graduated medical school but as a Jew could find no residency in Germany. He was able to find one in the States. The three younger brothers also left Germany. My mother, Reggie, and her sister and parents stayed behind. In October 1938 my mom was called to the principal’s office and told she was being taken to jail. She met her parents and sister there. Soon after they found themselves dumped unceremoniously over the Polish border, literally in No Man’s Land.