DJC Blog, Rabbi's Message, Sermons

Yom Kippur Sermon 5781 – Building Anew

I was going to give this sermon on Rosh Hashana day, when our theme was Dismantling and Building Anew, but between all the challenges with technology and timing, I didn’t share it then.  I want to share it tonight.  The

Erev Rosh Hashana 5781 – Dismantling (and Building Anew)

A cluster of 4 rabbis made their winding way to Jerusalem. When they reached Mount Scopus, they looked out across the valley and could see what was once the magnificent and holy Temple, the centre of Jewish life, now destroyed,

Failing Wisely

The following sermon was given by Rabbi Miriam Margles on Yom Kippur, 5779. The first sin, the original human sin, from a Jewish perspective, is not Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Judging Others Wisely

The following sermon was given by Rabbi Miriam Margles on Rosh Hashanah Day, 5779. “Ha’dan chavero le’kaf zechut/הדן חבירו לכף זכות – Anyone who judges others favourably, danin oto le’zechut/דנין אותו לזכות – that person is themselves, judged favourably.” These

Judging Ourselves Wisely

The following sermon was given by Rabbi Miriam Margles on Erev Rosh Hashanah, 5779. I want to think with you about judgement. Our theme this Rosh Hashana is Judging Wisely and on this Yom Ha’Din, this Day of Judgement, which


Most of the prayers of Yom Kippur and the practices of teshuvah, of repentance and return, are opportunities to ask for forgiveness.  We surface remorse for the ways we messed up.  We become attuned to harmful behaviours we weren’t conscious

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


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