Clergy Sermons

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Michael S. Friedman
Parashat T’rumah

Michael S. Friedman  |  February 24, 2012

?Parashat T’rumah, which we read this week, asks us what makes a place holy. In the opening lines of the parashah, we read about the building of the Mishkan or the Tabernacle or the tent that we, the Jewish people, carried through the desert for forty years and that’s where we worshipped God and it says in the eighth verse of the Torah portion, “Ve’asu li mikdash veshachanti betocham.” “Make me literally a makom kadosh, a holy place, and that’s where I,” God says, “will dwell among you.” But it doesn’t say exactly what qualifies as a holy place.

Angela W. Buchdahl
Parashat Mishpatim

Angela W. Buchdahl  |  February 17, 2012

?The last two weeks we have had some of the most wonderfully memorable, fantastic Torah portions in our tradition. In fact, the Song of the Sea, which we had two weeks ago, and the Ten Commandments, which we read last week, are so important that we are instructed to stand up when we hear them read. But this week, you can sit down. Because in this week’s Torah portion, it’s time to read the fine print.

Peter J. Rubinstein
Parashat Yitro - Jethro Shabbat

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  February 10, 2012

The nature of the Torah is always that its anomalies provide the commentaries with the greatest grist to the mill of their midrashic expedition and with their fierce debate both about textual minutiae about which we probably (those of us who study) may care very little. But certainly we pay attention to the matter of pervading principles, which is very much the meat of what the commentators and responses debate about.

Angela W. Buchdahl
Israel (Parashat Lech L’cha)

Angela W. Buchdahl  |  November 4, 2011

If we judged America only by its politics, you better believe that we could feel disconnected, embarrassed and feel that America didn’t align with our values. But we know better: we know this place, we love this land, and we love our democratic history, too. What if we spent less time focusing only on the politics of Israel and got to know Israel in all its facets?

Maurice A. Salth
Who Do I Want to Be? (Yom Kippur 5772)

Maurice A. Salth  |  October 8, 2011

Deciding who we want to be is not only a game children play. It is one of life’s great challenges and it is a central question of this holy day of Yom Kippur. We take time today to reflect on what we have done with our lives and imagine what still might be.

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