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
May 4, 2002

For the last several weeks, really the past several months, we have been living through trying times as Jews and as Americans. The news from Israel remains dire. In Washington, President Bush continues to brace the American people for a protracted fight against terrorism. In Silicon Valley many continue their struggle against the changing economic tide. And at home, our loved ones-family and friends cope with illness and loss. Life is unusually hard these days. There are many things keeping us down. Even the weather this past week has been unusually gloomy.

What can we do to break free from...

Rabbi Janet Marder
April 28, 2002

State of the Congregation

"Ma tovu ohalecha Ya'akov. How good, how beautiful are your tents, O Jacob." Traditional words for entering the sanctuary, for giving thanks to be standing in a holy place. We gather this afternoon in a sanctuary encircled by walls of glass, designed to evoke the ancient tents of our ancestors in the wilderness. For many years this has been a tent of tranquility, its brilliant windows opening our eyes to the stillness and serenity of the natural world around us. Sunlight pours through these windows; golden sunsets set them aglow; through them we have seen...

Rabbi Janet Marder
April 20, 2002

On March 12, 1911, the body of a 12 year old Russian boy was discovered in a cave on the outskirts of Kiev. The local right-wing press immediately launched a campaign accusing the Jews of using the boy's blood for ritual purposes. At the boy's funeral, leaflets publicizing the blood libel were handed out. Meanwhile, the police investigation traced the boy's murder to a notorious gang of thieves. But the chief district attorney of Kiev disregarded the police information and instead decided to pursue the case as a ritual murder charge.

In July, 1911, a lamplighter testified that...

Rabbi Janet Marder
Pesach Yizkor
April 3, 2002

By the seventh day of Passover, I've had a bellyful of matzah. I've eaten it in all kinds of forms this week: matzah balls and matzah brei, matzah kugel and matzah meal rolls, as well as a delicacy I only learned about when I got married: gabritte matzah, a speciality of the Marder men, which seems to consist of matzah pieces soaked in hot water, salted and eaten with scoops of cottage cheese.

During this week of deprivation, I seem to think about food more than any other week of the year. I remember the seders of my childhood,...

Rabbi Josh Zweiback
March 30, 2002

Yael, the oldest daughter of my friends Leon and Bruria, turned four on March 12. I happened to be in Israel at the time so I had the pleasure of celebrating this birthday with her atgan, at her Israeli pre-school.

What a break from an otherwise tense week of suicide bombings in Jerusalem. There in Nataf, about 20 minutes outside of Jerusalem on the way to Tel Aviv, everything was quiet and peaceful.

Yael's birthday party was great fun. Theganenet, the preschool teacher, sang all of her favorite songs. Her parents acted out her favorite book,Tiras Cham, "Hot Corn," whose...

Rabbi Janet Marder
March 23, 2002

One of my favorite places to get away is the Elizabeth Gamble community garden. It's a green oasis on Waverly Street in the heart of Palo Alto. You can hear the noise of traffic on the surrounding streets, but if you sit very still on a quiet afternoon and focus your eyes on the flowers you can forget you're in the middle of a city.

A young boy is lying on the floor of the gazebo doing his math homework, his scooter lying nearby. The flowerbeds, quiet all winter, are beginning to heat up as spring arrives. There are irises,...


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).