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Reading Rainbows

Noah 5776 / 17 October 2015

One of the best-known scenes in this morning’s parshah comes when God promises Noah never to destroy the earth again by flood. As part of the post-flood covenant between God and humanity, God explains: Note the repetition of terms: In this brief passage we have the word קֶּשֶׁת, “bow,” and אוֹת, “sign,” three times each,… Read More

Posted: October 19, 2015 by

Satisfaction and Temptation

Sermon: Beresheet 5776 / 10 October 2015

This morning’s parshah stands as one of the great literary tragedies: in just over five chapters, we go from a world that is טוב מאד,“very good,”[1]  to one so evil, so full of violence and inhumanity, that God sees no choice other than complete destruction and a fresh start. Reading parashat Beresheet raises the question of… Read More

Posted: October 15, 2015 by

The Sermon I Am Not Going to Give

Hol HaMoed Sukkot / 3 October 2015

The sermon I am not going to give today is about the ancient ritual of hoshanot, and the significance of our reciting the hoshanot prayers on Shabbat without a procession or a lulav, and without taking the Torah out of the Ark. It draws on insights from some of the greatest Jewish scholars of the 19th… Read More

Posted: October 15, 2015 by

Holy Anger

Yom Kippur 5776

Most of us have been there at some point — a nasty email from a co-worker, a fight with our partner, some exasperating thing our kid does that’s just the last straw in a long, tiring day. We get angry, really angry, the kind of anger that takes over our whole body. For me, it starts… Read More

Posted: September 25, 2015 by

Remembering Those in Search of Refuge

Rosh Hashanah 5776

In honor of Sheri Rosenberg, of blessed memory. Shana tovah. I feel so blessed to stand here with you today to welcome in the New Year with the BZBI community to sing, to celebrate, to reflect, to connect and to create memories together. The period around the Days of Awe is a time rich with… Read More

Posted: September 16, 2015 by