By Rabbinic Pastor David Daniel Klipper I was talking with a good friend the other day, and in the course of the conversation she told me about someone who had been a Catholic priest and then had gone on to study Buddhism in China. “He’s a very spiritual person,” she said. …
By Rabbi Shohama Shanah Tovah, everyone. This holy day of Rosh Hashanah is about teshuvah, about returning to our sacred center. And hope, tikvah in Hebrew, is our theme for this year. Hope is part of what draws us to return. We hope for a better quality of life, right now, …
By Rabbi David Shanah tovah! Welcome to this New Year 5777 that we hope will be full of sweet goodness and opportunity for everyone. Tonight we join together to renew a journey that is timeless. It’s a journey for Jews worldwide, and a Jewish take on a universal journey for all …
I want to share a true story about David Gregory, former host of NBC’s Meet the Press, the television forum for national and world leaders. This story came to me in two parts. The first part came from one of my teachers, Dr. Erica Brown, a leading Jewish educator; the second part came from David Gregory himself.
While many clergy who lead congregations have to write sermons on a weekly basis, the High Holidays tend to be my one big opportunity to offer a sermon each year. As such, the sermon occupies a fair amount of my attention from about the beginning of the summer.
Tonight is Kol Nidre, the eve of Yom Kippur, the most solemn service of our year. And yet, it can be the most hopeful, because it offers the possibility of a fresh start, all failings forgiven.
Whether or not we’d use the term, all of us are seekers. As Psalm 42 puts it, “As a deer pants at water brooks, so does my soul thirst for God.” Medieval mystic Avraham Ibn Ezra used these words in a chant, tzama nafshi: “my soul thirsts.”
Our theme for this year’s cycle of High Holy Days is “Seeking.” As we begin our journey through these 10 days of reflection and transformation, I want to offer a kaleidoscopic of God images – images of a multi-faceted power unseen with the eyes, calling us to seek that which is sacred. The liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur offers us a palette of verbal faces – images of God – that can help us relate to the Divine from deep within ourselves.
It is a joy to share some words of Torah with all you on this Shabbat- Shabbat HaGadol, it was named. The Great Sabbath. The Rabbis of old named this the Great Sabbath because it is the one that comes just before our holy festival of Passover. Tonight is indeed the Shabbat before the beginning of Passover, just a week away.
In this village, our spirits really do become parts of each other: I can see the joy in your eyes, reflecting the joy in my own eyes. This mingling of joy amidst joy is what I hope for all of us each Shabbat. Thank you for helping make today’s Shabbat one I’ll remember for a lifetime.