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 Heath Watenmaker
December 29, 2017

This week, NPR’s politics editor created a fun game for all of us to play as 2017 comes to a close: a NCAA March Madness-style bracket in which readers can vote on the biggest political stories of 2017. Domenico Montanaro compiled a list of 64 major stories in politics from this past year, and pitted them against each other in a head-to-head competition. The bracket was complete with four regions, with the #1 story in each region facing the #16 story. Readers could vote on Twitter to decide which story was most significant. The top two stories that dominated their...

Rabbi Janet Marder
December 22, 2017

Yesterday, in Fairbanks, Alaska, sunrise came at 10:50 in the morning. For the next three and a half hours, the sun barely skimmed the horizon; by 3:40 it was already dark. Even here, much farther south of the Arctic Circle, there were less than 10 hours of daylight yesterday. December 21st marked the winter solstice, the moment when the northern hemisphere tilts farthest away from the sun; the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

For us the solstice is an astronomical phenomenon; for our ancient ancestors, it was an existential crisis, marked by fear that the sun...

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
December 8, 2017

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:  A boss propositions a subordinate.  The subordinate says no.  The boss tries again and again, but is rebuffed each time.  Finally, the boss spreads lies about the subordinate and has the subordinate fired, ruining the subordinate’s reputation and career.  You may have read this story in the New York Times, but you can also find it in this week’s Torah portion, Vayeshev.  Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and is eventually brought to serve Potiphar, one of pharaoh’s officers.  Potiphar’s wife sees that Joseph is handsome and...

Matt Kahn
December 1, 2017

Shabbat Shalom. Thank you to Rabbi Marder for inviting me to return to Congregation Beth Am this evening. I had the pleasure of speaking to your synagogue as part of an interfaith response to Charlottesville, and it is wonderful to be back to discuss Global Jewish Advocacy – the heart of what I do.

A little over 111 years ago, on November 11, 1906, 31 individuals, including such noted American Jews as Cyrus Adler, Louis Marshall, Jacob Schiff, and Mayer Sulzberger, gathered at the Hotel Savoy in New York, following six previous exploratory meetings earlier that year. They officially formed...

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
November 24, 2017

That graveyard was about the loneliest place you could imagine.  If I were to say it was going back to nature, you might get the idea that there was some sort of vitality about the place.  But it was parched and sun-stricken.  It was hard to imagine the grass had ever been green.  Everywhere you stepped, little grasshoppers would fly up by the score, making that snap they do, like striking a match….  And this is something I remember very well.  At first I thought I saw the sun setting in the east….  Then I realized that what I saw...


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