Sermons | Congregation Beth Am

Sermons

Sermons

Sermons

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.

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Sermons

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
December 21, 2002

Several months ago when we were gathered in the Beit Kehillah for Shabbat services, I witnessed a touching exchange. Rabbi Marder asked the parents in the congregation to place their hands on their children as she was introducing the parents’ prayer. I am always touched when I see parents holding their squirming children lovingly. But what happened next was spontaneous and unexpected. As Cantor Kay, Rabbi Josh and I began to sing, Rabbi Janet stepped away from the reader’s table and made her way to the back of the Beit Kehillah. She stood behind her teenage children, placed her hands...

Rabbi Janet Marder
December 20, 2002

Jerusalem…December, 2002. “Being in a sealed room or bomb shelter at the best of times is not easy for an adult, but should we have to go into our sealed rooms in the next war, how can we make this an easier experience for our children?

“Most children will cope very well with being in a shelter, as they will be with their parents. Assuming that parents remain calm and are in control, children will feel very safe. It is important to remember that if you are calm, they will be calm. You can make this a ‘fun’ experience,...

Rabbi Janet Marder
December 14, 2002

There’s a famous Chinese story that begins like this: Once upon a time a poor boy in a village received an unexpected gift. A nobleman singled him out and made him a present of a horse. The boy was thrilled with his good fortune and ran to his father to tell him. But the father said, “Be careful, my son, for what at first appears to be a blessing may turn out to be a curse.” Soon afterwards the boy, riding his horse in the forest, took a bad fall and broke his leg. His father found him weeping, and...

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
December 6, 2002

Just over one month ago I stood on this Bimah and received a blessing for a safe trip. I was departing for Israel and was strengthened by this prayer. But it also provoked some worried looks from our congregation. After services, many approached me to ask why I was going? “To express my support and solidarity with Israel and to see with my own eyes what is happening there.” Was my reply. Some said I was crazy for going, and many worried for my safety. I received an unusually large number of hugs. I hadn’t felt anxious about my trip...

Rabbi Janet Marder
November 29, 2002

Every year at this season, when I was a child, my parents would take us out to see the Christmas lights. If you lived in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, that meant a drive to Candycane Lane – a neighborhood where all the homes featured incredible outdoor displays – illuminated Santas and reindeer-driven sleighs, giant snowmen and motorized hordes of frolicking elves – all awash in nonstop Christmas carols piped through every street. Hundreds of cars would be lined up, inching their way through the neighborhood – but it was one traffic jam that nobody ever complained about.
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Rabbi Janet Marder
November 23, 2002

In the middle of this week’s Torah portion there is a sigh of relief. “And Jacob arrived safe in the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan,” says the verse, in Genesis chapter 33 [v.18]. Jacob is a survivor of trauma – a man who has endured two profound ordeals. He has wrestled through the night with a mysterious adversary who wounds but does not kill him; and he has come through the stress and anxiety of meeting again with his brother, Esau – the man he cheated years before out of what was rightfully his.
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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).