Sermons | Congregation Beth Am




Watch, listen or read the sermons in our listing of recordings below. Alternatively, you may subscribe to the Beth Am Sermons Podcast.

Watch, listen or read the sermons in our listing of recordings below. Alternatively, you may subscribe to the Beth Am Sermons Podcast.



Rabbi Janet Marder
May 8, 2004

How Do We Know When to Follow the Torah? (For Emma Berke-Williams)

If you ever spend time with little kids, you’ll notice immediately that they tend to ask a lot of questions. They wonder about everything they see; everything makes an impression on them, and their favorite words are “why” and “how come”? Sadly, asking questions is a habit that we tend to grow out of as we grow up. That’s a pity, because curiosity – the ability to wonder about the world – is the seed of all true learning.

Here at Beth Am we want to cultivate our...

Rabbi Janet Marder
May 7, 2004

A Test of Character

Parkinson’s Disease

While spoon-feeding him with one hand
she holds his hand with her other hand,
or rather lets it rest on top of his,
which is permanently clenched shut.
When he turns his head away, she reaches
around and puts in the spoonful blind.
He will not accept the next morsel
until he has completely chewed this one.
His bright squint tells her he finds
the shrimp she has just put in delicious.
Next to the voice and touch of those we love,
food may...

Cantor Kay Greenwald
April 30, 2004

It was 25 years ago. My BFF from high school – I’ll call her Mary -- was home from college for the summer. This was a big deal because Mary hardly ever came home for the summer – she usually stayed in Walla Walla where summer jobs for college students were plentiful. Her family did not have a lot of money and those summer jobs helped to keep Mary in college.

Somehow, Mary had found a cheap sub-let for the summer. She invited me to join her and help out with the rent. In truth, over the few...

Rabbi Janet Marder
April 25, 2004

Two days ago, on my last day in Jerusalem, I went for a walk in one of my favorite areas: Mishkenot Sha’ananim --- the words mean “Dwellings of Tranquility.” It is a beautiful neighborhood of terraced apartments, all built of pale Jerusalem stone and paved in the same material. In the late afternoon the neighborhood streets were quiet and peaceful, framed on both sides by flower gardens. You descend a central staircase until you reach the bottom, then walk along a path that leads into “Bustan Avraham,” a lovely little park created to honor the lost Jewish community of Marrakesh....

Rabbi Josh Zweiback
April 16, 2004

Shabbat Shalom.

I have three daughters. My four and a half year old and my two and half year old us ually play beautifully with one another. Except when they don’t which is frequently.

I was sitting in the living room the other day and I saw Isa, my oldest, push her little sister Ariela down. Ariela got up and ran over to me, crying. “Isa pushed me,” she sobbed.

“Isa,” I hollered. “Come here please. Did you push your sister?”

“No,” she replied. “Are you sure you didn’t push her?” “No,” she insisted. “Well, she says you did....

Rabbi Janet Marder
Yizkor Pesach 5764
April 12, 2004

Many of our Jewish festivals come at the cusp of seasons, when we move from one climate into another. Shavuot marks the passage into summer; Sukkot leads us into the fall, Chanukah lights up the darkness of winter, and Pesach, the festival which concludes today, stands at the gateway to spring.

The seasonal transition which Passover marks is reinforced by a change in the liturgy. It is at Pesach that we change the words of theGevurot, the second blessing of theAmidah. Instead of praising God “who makes the wind blow and the rain to fall –mashiv ha-ruach umorid ha-gashem,” we...


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We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).