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.



Lorri Ford
June 9, 2018
On the no longer ticking
   side of my twin-faced
   wristwatch it’s always
   five o’clock in Paris.
The hour-and-minute hands
    are stuck.
The ticking side
    keeps perfect Eastern Standard 
    If asked the hour anywhere, 
    I’d like to say, “It’s five o’clock
    in Paris.”
            I won’t, of course.
    Wit and the myths of punctuality 
    that rule our lives do not often mix…
But five o’clock in Paris resurrects
    an evening that was just...
Rabbi Heath Watenmaker
June 8, 2018

After forty days of waiting, wondering what the future might hold, the scouts finally returned to the Israelites camped in the wilderness of Paran. Moses had sent twelve scouts to survey the land of Canaan, not too much further from their camp, to determine what lay ahead and whether or not it was, in fact, a “Promised Land.” At first, their report seemed to indicate a land of true promise and possibility: “We came to  the land you sent us to; it does indeed flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit,” at which point they...

June 2, 2018


Okay -- so here I am.  What ever possessed me to do this?  Certainly my mother and father didn't make me do it -- now -- or then.  It's my understanding that Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan who started the Reconstructionist Movement -- his daughter was the first bat mitzvah in the U.S. around 1935.  But, growing up orthodox, girls weren't expected to or for that matter allowed to become a bat mitzvah.  So what brought me to this moment?  What has been my path?  My motivation?  I really don't know.  I was quick to latch onto the controversial idea...

Rabbi Janet Marder
June 1, 2018

Today, in 2018, more than 7000 languages are spoken on this planet. Among them are Arabic and Hebrew -- two distinct, mutually unintelligible tongues, though both belong to the larger family of Semitic languages and have structural similarities. Several words – especially those related to essential elements of human life – are virtually identical in the two languages. Such words are primitive remnants of a time before the two split apart, perhaps 6,000 years ago.  Words like “mother,” “father,” “sister,” “brother,” “daughter,” and “son”; words like “head” and “hand,”  “blood” and “bone.” Words like “day,” “night,” “water,” “earth,” and “sky.”...

Rabbi Janet Marder
May 25, 2018

It was the wedding of the century; a fairy-tale wedding, and all the details were perfect. The day dawned bright and pleasantly warm; sunlight bathed the honey-colored stones of St. George’s Chapel, a 15th century Gothic masterpiece  on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The ceremony began at noon. The groom wore the dress uniform of the Blues and Royals cavalry regiment; the bride was elegant in a boat-neck, long sleeve mermaid gown with a sweeping train and a white silk veil just over 16 feet long. 100,000 people thronged the narrow streets of Windsor to get a glimpse of the...

Rabbi Shelly Marder
May 25, 2018
My peace – my shalom –  is tied by a thread
to yours.
And the beloved holidays
and glorious seasons of the year—
with the wealth of fragrances, flowers,
fruit, leaves, and winds,
the fog and the rain,
the sudden snow
and the dew—
are suspended on a thread of longing.
I and you and the Sabbath.
I and you and our lives . . . 
I and you 
and the Creator
of the heavens that have no shore . . . 
I and you . . . 
What ties one person to another?  


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