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 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...

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...

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Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
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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).