We are happy to provide the inspirational and rich sermons given by our clergy during these High Holy Days. Rosh Hashanah 5784 Sermons Rabbi Eve Posen’s RH Sermon (text) Rabbi Daniel Isaak’s RH Day 1 Sermon (text) Rabbi Daniel Isaak’s Day 2 Sermon (coming soon) Yom Kippur 5784 Sermons Rabbi David Kosak’s Yom Kippur Sermon (video and text) Rabbi Eve Posen’s Yom Kippur Sermon (text)
MY PHONE DOESN’T KNOW ME AND I HAVE QUESTIONS, TOO By Rabbi David Kosak My phone and I are going through a breakup; it claims it doesn’t recognize me anymore. It all started on August 29th, the day Bell’s Palsy hit my face. Suddenly, my face was terribly lopsided, like one of those melted watch faces in the famous Salvador Dali painting, drooping over a table edge and a tree branch, like ... Read More
How do we carry people with us? Like the Israelites carrying the Tabernacle through the wilderness, we have a history of looking for tangible ways to carry the intangible in our hearts. We carry people through their tallitot. Through their dining room table. Through stories of family vacations, weddings, retelling of old terrible jokes. And through names.
These words from Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence incorporate the highest aspirations of a newly constituted state in the midst of its becoming. They were not simply empty sentiments. In fact, there were fierce arguments over the meaning and intent of virtually every word.
Repentance is first and foremost about personal change. What’s remarkable in this, as in the Hineni, is that it’s built on trusting the true intentions of another person. We are not commanded to “forgive and forget.” Instead, we’re given steps to follow to change ourselves and work towards earning forgiveness.
As many of you know, I am currently contending with Bell’s Palsy, an idiopathic form of facial paralysis and associated symptoms. Although its causes remain largely unknown, multiple generations of my family have succumbed to a bout with it. Apparently, this is now my turn.
As God is giving instructions to the people about how to live and work together in the Land of Israel, we are reminded: “No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.” What a perfect way to illustrate the notion of being in sync with yourself.