Clergy Sermons

At Central Synagogue

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Parashat Acharei Mot-K’doshim

Rabbinic Intern Rachel Van Thyn  |  May 4, 2012

There is a running joke about Canadians, that we are so polite and well-mannered that if you were to accidentally knock into us, our immediate response would be to say, “Oh I’m so sorry. So sorry.” Thought it’s a bit of an exaggeration, there is some truth to it, as well. More often than not, I find myself saying sentences like, “Sorry, is that chair taken?” or “Sorry, can you tell me where the subway is?” Even an Israeli friend recently inquired, “Why do you say ‘sorry’ so much? Why do you use the word like that?” Though I tried to explain it away as a habit of North American speech, his questions got me thinking.

Angela W. Buchdahl
Parashat Tazria-M’tzora

Angela W. Buchdahl  |  April 27, 2012

?There was a pregnant congregant who came in to see me with an unusual concern. She was uncomfortable about her upcoming baby boy’s bris. But not for the usual reasons. It wasn’t the primitive cultish or perhaps even violent nature of the bris ceremony that she was worried about. She was a mother of three girls already and as a woman, she said, “What I don’t like is the more I learn about the bris, the more it makes me feel like this whole tradition is stacked against girls, and it seems to favor the boys, and I’m very uncomfortable about that.”

Maurice A. Salth
Parashat Sh’mini II

Maurice A. Salth  |  April 20, 2012

?The book of Leviticus has the unfair, in my opinion, reputation for being boring and inaccessible. But this week’s portion, Sh’mini, from the early chapters of Leviticus, has some of the Bible’s pomp and circumstance as well as drama and intrigue.

Pastor Armandus J. Derr, Saint Peter’s Church
Yom HaShoah (Pastor Derr)

Pastor Armandus J. Derr, Saint Peter’s Church  |  April 18, 2012

In the presence of eyes which witnessed the slaughter which saw the oppression the heart could not bear, and as witness the heart that once taught compassion until the day it came to pass that crushed human feeling, I have taken an oath: To remember it all, to remember, not once to forget!

Peter J. Rubinstein
Our Mission as Survivors (Yom HaShoah)

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  April 18, 2012

I am aware that this commemoration of remembrance, this year especially and perhaps somewhat uniquely, quickly follows both the festival of Passover and the celebration of Easter. Therefore, it is for both Christians and Jews that this is a season of renewal.

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