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 Chuck Briskin
March 14, 2003

Let me tell you a joke:

On the Upper West Side of Manhattan lived an assimilated Jew who was a militant atheist. But he sent his son to Trinity School because, despite its denominational roots, it was a great school, and completely secular. After a month, the boy came home from school one day and said casually, "By the way Dad, do you know what Trinity means? It means the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." The father could barely control his rage. He seized his son by the shoulders and declared, "Danny, I'm going to tell you something...

Rabbi Janet Marder
March 7, 2003

Last May the following obituary appeared: “Suzanne Bloch, 94 years old. Born in Geneva in 1907, she moved with her family to New York in 1916 when her father, Ernest Bloch, began a series of conducting and teaching posts…Ms. Bloch often played chamber music with prominent scientists. One participant was Albert Einstein, who sometimes irritated the other musicians by not coming in on the beat. ‘He couldn’t count,’ Ms. Bloch once said.” [The American Organist, May 2000]

That’s sort of comforting, isn’t it? Albert Einstein couldn’t count. He always came in late on the beat. His playing was...

Rabbi Josh Zweiback
February 14, 2003

Shabbat Shalom.

Isn’t it romantic? Davening by candlelight. Gets you in the Shabbos mood, no?

Actually, these candles really should get us in the mood for this week’s Torah portion.

Parashat Titzaveh, begins: “And you shall command the people of Israel, that they bring you pure pressed olive oil for the light, for the lamp to burn always.” (Ex. 27:20) In its most literal sense, the verse commands us regarding the special menorah that was situated inside the tabernacle and then later in the Temple in Jerusalem. This menorah is to be a ner tamid, an eternal light. It should...

Rabbi Janet Marder
February 7, 2003

It was a week without rain, without a single dark cloud on the horizon. After days and days of foggy, overcast gray, the sunshine seemed like a gift. Clear blue skies, afternoons that were almost balmy, and flowers exploding up and down the streets, trees blossoming in pink and white, a foretaste of spring.

Not a dark cloud on the horizon…except in our hearts. We spent this beautiful sunny week listening to talk of war and biological poisons; mourning tragedy in the high heavens that scattered its debris all over the country; and sharing in the very quiet and...

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
January 31, 2003

Thirty Years of Roe vs. Wade

One afternoon thirteen years ago the local Ku Klux Klan paid a visit to the rabbi. Dressed in full regalia, they appeared in the parking lot of his Shreveport Louisiana synagogue. Around that time as well, the rabbi received several death threats. His family was terrified, his congregation shocked. What had this rabbi done to attract so much undesired attention to his tiny shul in this small Louisiana parish? Rabbi Michael Matuson had joined an ACLU lawsuit against the state of Louisiana. Its legislature had passed a sweeping anti-abortion law that would criminalize doctors,...

Rabbi Janet Marder
January 3, 2003

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Or maybe it wasn’t really love, but you thought it was. Your heart would start thumping, your pulse would start racing when you saw that special person. Your face got hot and your throat was dry; if you were within speaking distance, all intelligent conversation fled from your brain. Your metabolism went haywire. You lost your appetite, lost all interest in food. You couldn’t concentrate on anything, couldn’t do your homework, couldn’t sleep, and when you did conk out you had wild, vivid dreams, and you kept waking up. Most...


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