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
Erev Yom Kippur
October 5, 2003

“Once upon a time, before MTV, before remote controls, before books on tape and Internet streaming media, …a person would sit down and listen to an entire symphony, for however long that took….Listeners…paid money to occupy a seat in a concert hall for a set time. [They] were enclosed in ritual spaces, with nothing to do but listen and watch. Now there are other temptations.”

“…Your life is lived with the kind of excitement that your forebears knew only in battle. They, unlike you, were the prisoner of mundane tasks. They wrote with pens; they did addition; they waited...

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
October 3, 2003

There are very few places that are prettier than Vermont in Autumn. Come October the lush green canopy of leaves that covers the gently rolling landscape during the spring and summer months is transformed into a vibrant palette of deep reds, vibrant oranges and fiery yellows. For a few weeks every fall, day-trippers and weekend trekkers are able to witness one of the nature’s most spectacular displays. How strange it is that such a great visual array is the result of the death of millions of leaves, an annual event which after a few fleeting moments of breathtaking beauty leaves...

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
Rosh Hashana morning 5764
September 27, 2003

A simple villager visited the big city for the first time, taking a room at the local inn. In the middle of the night, the loud beating of drums interrupted his sleep. He inquired sleepily, “What’s all this about?” He was told that a fire had broken out and that the drum beating was the city’s fire alarm. He returned to his room and went to sleep.

On his return home, he reported to the leaders of the village: “They have a wonderful system in the big city; when a fire breaks out, the people beat their drums and...

Rabbi Janet Marder
Erev Rosh Hashana 5764
September 26, 2003

Happiness, said George Burns, is having a large, caring, close-knit family …in another city. So our large and close-knit extended family gets together every summer and spends a few days in Mammoth enjoying the simple pleasures of nature – hiking, fishing, playing cards, drinking beer. Our trip this past summer brought us a little too close to nature. One dark night Shelly and I were waiting to use the pay phone at Red’s Meadow when we spotted something out of the corner of our eyes: a large, bulky, shaggy shape…something massive moving ominously in the shadows just a few...

Rabbi Janet Marder
September 13, 2003

Each week we ask our Bar Mitzvah to let us know a Jewish question that is on his mind. Here is Jonathan’s:

“How do we know God exists? Maybe we are just wasting our time. Maybe some rabbis made up God just to give us hope and make us live a good life, without doing bad things. I sometimes doubt if God is really up there, because I am very logical, and to me it doesn’t seem to make sense.”

You are indeed a logical person, Jonathan, and so I will give you a logical answer. We don’t...

Cantor Kay Greenwald
September 5, 2003

Shabbat Shalom.

A founder of the state of Israel once asked, “What is the Day of Atonement to us, to those who do not observe the forms of religion?”

And he wrote:

The nation set one special day aside . . . a day for the contemplation of the self, and as members of a definite people, for weighing the values of life, for the complete devotion to the most lofty demands of the spirit of humanity . . . . Herein is the core of the matter: the individual as an individual is able to take stock of himself...


Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

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).