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 2, 2003

Did you hear about it? It was in all the papers. Investigators found a wealthy family  -- parents and five young children under the age of 3 -- living in a beautiful home. Four of the kids had everything a child could want - a warm, comfortable bedroom, plenty of food and a nice wardrobe. But the parents kept their fifth child in a small, cold room in a corner of the house. Some nights they even made her sleep outside on the street. They fed her a meager diet. Sometimes, while the rest of the family ate, they let...

Rabbi Janet Marder
April 27, 2003

A story for Yizkor, written by Isaac Bashevis Singer. It's called in Yiddish "Der Palatz - The Castle."

 Menashe was an orphan. He lived with his uncle Mendel, who was a poor man who couldn't even manage to feed and clothe his own children. Menashe had always been a curious child. He had begun to ask questions as soon as he could talk. How high is the sky? How deep is the earth? What is beyond the edge of the world? Why are people born? Why do they die?

It was a hot and humid summer day. A golden haze...

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
April 25, 2003

Will Rogers was famous for saying, "All I know is just what I read in the papers." Consider what we'd know from reading the papers recently. An airline CEO--former CEO--tricks poorly paid flight attendants into taking pay cuts while protecting lavish benefits packages for his top executives.  A top investment banker, not long ago the darling of Silicon Valley, is charged with obstruction of Justice, destroying documents that might reveal a paper trail of fraud and deception. A clean-cut, all-American young man is charged with murdering his pregnant wife and dumping the body in the bay. A teenage driver...

Rabbi Janet Marder
April 19, 2003

Listen to a story. A young man imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II is one day taken from his labor brigade into a hospital room. There, lying in bed, is a man who identifies himself as Karl, a Nazi soldier who has requested his presence. Karl gives the young man a gruesome account of his crimes during the war - the torture and murder of hundreds of Jews, including the killing of one family with a small child. Now mortally wounded and close to death, Karl wants to gain absolution for his deeds.

He tells the young...

Rabbi Janet Marder
March 29, 2003

Kos Y'shuot Esa: I Will Lift Up the Cup of Salvation

They were all together - all the great sages and teachers of Jewish history, gathered in theyeshiva shel ma'alah - or perhaps it was at a rabbinic convention somewhere in the Twilight Zone. Their attention was focused this night on events transpiring far below, in a small but self-important city on the Potomac, in a hotel whose very name suggests the all-encompassing and universal: Omni, it was called.

There our Sages witnessed the changing of the guard at the CCAR, and, as is usually the case with rabbis, they...

Rabbi Janet Marder
March 16, 2003

She was beautiful. That was the first thing people noticed about her. She was, as they say, a feast for the eyes – so spectacular she took your breath away. In all her moods, stormy or bright, she was a radiant presence – full of vivid color and light, intensely alive. You wanted to be near her.

The next thing you noticed was her smile, so full of affection and humor and the sheer joy of being. Some beauties are remote and distant, intimidating in their perfection; but she was down to earth and touchable. She was a hugger, always...


Congregation Beth Am
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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).