Sermons | Congregation Beth Am





Rabbi Janet Marder
June 23, 2017

A warm summer night in the small rural town of Central Point, Virginia – July 11, 1958. The newlyweds were sleeping peacefully, unaware that they were about to make history. In the early hours of the morning the police, relying on an anonymous tip, burst into their bedroom. The couple pointed to their marriage license, framed and hanging on the wall, showing that they had been married the previous month in the District of Columbia. The police told them that their marriage was invalid in Virginia. Then they arrested Richard Loving, a white...

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
June 9, 2017

After another news-filled week, I thought it might be nice to take a break from thinking and talking about American politics and instead focus on something less fraught: Israeli politics.  All kidding aside, this week marks a significant milestone: it is the fiftieth anniversary of the Six-Day War.  To refresh all of our memories: Fifty years ago, in the spring of 1967, the nineteen-year old State of Israel was on the precipice of non-existence.   As author Yossi Klein Halevi describes it, “On May 16, 1967, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt evicted United Nations peacekeeping forces along the Israeli border...

Rabbi Heath Watenmaker
June 2, 2017

Parashat Naso 5777

Six years ago, on the morning of May 15, I was ordained as a rabbi. And while that was indeed a momentous occasion, which I had been dreaming of and preparing for for many years, I hadn’t anticipated just how profound a day it would be. You see, while I was on the bimah receiving my s’michah, my rabbinic ordination, my wife Amy was entering into labor. So, after the ceremony, instead of joining my classmates for our celebratory luncheon, Amy and I headed to the hospital. About twelve hours later, our son Ilan was born. And...

The Perfect Day: Sermon by Rabbi Janet Marder
Shavuot Yizkor Service 2017 | 5777
May 31, 2017

His father once called him: “the miracle which God let be born in Salzburg” – and indeed, his middle name suggests that he was a rare and remarkable soul: in German, Gottlieb; in Latin, Amadeus, beloved of God. One of seven children, only he and his older sister, Maria Anna, called Nannerl, survived infancy. When Nannerl was seven her father began giving her harpsichord lessons. Little brother Wolfgang, three years old, climbed up to the keyboard and began picking out thirds and playing chords. By four he was playing short pieces; by five he was composing. He was discovered to...


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