Sermons


5777 Kol Nidrei Sermon – REACHING THROUGH ANGER

Yehudah Amichai, Israel’s great modern poet, wrote this… From the place where we are right flowers will never grow in the spring. The place where we are right is hard and trampled like a yard. But doubts and loves dig


5777 Rosh Hashana Day Sermon – THE WHOLE TORAH ON ONE FOOT

Two of the greatest Jewish scholars of the mid-first century, Shammai and Hillel, are approached by a proselyte. (A proselyte, by the way, is not a low calorie prosle.  A proselyte is a potential convert to Judaism).  So, the proselyte


5777 Erev Rosh Hashana Sermon – SWIMMING IN THE WATER OF LIFE-LONG LEARNING

A group of yeshiva students are traveling through the countryside on a hot summer day.  They spot a cool, fresh pond just on the other side of a fence and all decide to go in.  They jump over the fence,


5777 Erev Rosh Hashanah – RADICAL WELCOME

It’s my tradition to read these words of welcome on Erev Rosh Hashanah, inspired by my mentor and colleague, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler. Tonight, all over the world, all kinds of people are gathering to celebrate the Jewish New Year.  Right


5776 Kol Nidrei Sermon – WHAT DO WE HUNGER FOR?

A book came out this year by Mark Schatzker called The Dorito Effect.  In it, he describes how the giants of the food industry and commercial agriculture have conspired to construct our hunger. They did not develop as a deliberate


5776 Rosh Hashana Day Sermon – CONNECTING TO COMMUNITY: WHAT WE BUILD TOGETHER

In the middle of the night, an Iowa corn farmer who’s down on his luck hears a voice:  “If you build it, they will come.” He dismisses it as a dream.  He thinks he’s losing his mind. But it keeps


5776 Erev Rosh Hashana Sermon – BELONGING TO EACH OTHER

Dedicated to my mentor and my rabbi, Sheila Weinberg (rabbi u’morati). A little over a year ago, here at the DJC, we celebrated our first individual bar mitzvah as part of a DJC Shabbat morning service.  This might not sound


5775 Kol Nidrei Sermon – AYEKA? WHERE ARE YOU?

I don’t know how many of you have vivid memories from early childhood, but I want to ask you to search back to when you were around three years old. Do you remember the first time you lied to an


5775 Rosh Hashana Day Sermon – CHOOSING LIFE! THREE PATHS TO ALIVENESS

I want to run a brief multiple choice survey with you all. Just note in your mind what you choose of the options presented. Ready? Do you choose white, rye, whole wheat, or challah? Next, of the best quality organic


5775 Erev Rosh Hashana Sermon – THE DJC AT EIGHTEEN – WHAT ARE WE READY FOR?

I want to ask you something – you’re not required to raise your hand but you’re invited to. Who here is 5 years old? 10? 13? 15? 18? In your 20s? In your 30s? In your 40s? 50s? 60s? 70s?