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.



Lisa Steinback
July 27, 2018

Shabbat Shalom

I’ve lived in the Bay Area all my life.  My childhood home in the south bay was a place I could always come back to if I got really sick, had a traumatic breakup or just needed some extra help with math.  I could see the love between my parents and felt their love for me.  I was part of a family that ate dinners together and shared sections of the newspaper.  I remember a cigar smoke-filled family room, watching 60 Minutes and arguing about politics.  I will never forget the constant reminders like “Stand up...

Barry Asin
July 20, 2018

Say Hi To A Guy

Shabbat Shalom.

As this week’s Torah portion is Devarim, which is the culmination of the story of the Israelites preparing to enter the promised land, it reminds me of an old Jewish joke which goes something like this.

Why did Moses let the Israelites wander in the desert for 40 years?

Because men don’t ask for directions.

More about that later.  But it does bring us to tonight’s service, which is brought to you by Beth Am Men.  I think that makes this service a slightly different take on guys night out!

Given that, I...

Shelley Hebert
July 14, 2018

Shabbat shalom.  It is an honor to have the opportunity to share some words of Torah with you on this special Shabbat. 

Today’s double portion of Mattot-Masei takes us to the conclusion of the book of Numbers (or as it is known in Hebrew, Bamidbar).  This parsha is packed with all the things I love about Torah—drama, meaning, history, stories, mitzvoth and allegory—and we could easily spend 10 more weeks, or maybe 10 months, exploring it. 

However, this morning I’ve been given 10 minutes, so in keeping with the wonderful spirit of our weekly Beth Am Torah study, I’d like...

Jill Rubin
July 13, 2018

About one year ago, I left sunny, tranquil Los Altos for magnificent but strife-ridden Jerusalem. I took the United nonstop from SFO to Tel Aviv, unsure of what to expect from my first year of rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College. After one year in Israel, I have not only left with a great appreciation for my year, but I have come to understand a great deal about the American Reform Movement’s relationship to Israel, and how we’re getting it wrong.

This week’s double-parsha, matot-masei, is a fascinating reflection of how we, as progressive American Jews, relate to the land...

Steve Beitler
July 6, 2018

Shabbat shalom.  

In the Spring of 1970, I was about to graduate from college.

I’m sure many of you recall that time.  Student protesters at Kent State and Jackson State universities had been killed in May.  

My school, Northwestern, was one of hundreds that was on strike.

It felt like the world was lurching off its axis … just like now.

I was about to move, with four other people, to a thousand acres in southern Vermont.  Our rock-and-roll band was going to make it big.

My parents, of course, were overjoyed.  This was...

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
Families Belong Together March and Rally on Saturday, June 2
June 30, 2018

“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9).  Over and over again, the Bible commands us not to wrong those who are most vulnerable – the stranger, the widow, the orphan, the poor.  Do not wrong the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  We are called on to protect the vulnerable because we know the souls of the vulnerable.  We know their hearts, and their hearts are...


Congregation Beth Am
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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).