Some of you will remember the old Art Linkletter show. His signature piece on the show was his interviews with children which he later compiled in a book called, Kids Say the Darndest Things. I thought of this when I recently picked up a book entitled, Children’s Letters to God. Here are a few excerpts:
Dear God: read more »
- Thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy. Joyce
- Maybe Cain and Abel wouldn’t kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. Larry
Hospitality, true hospitality takes those who are vulnerable and raises them up, supporting them in such a way that they are more likely to meet the unexpected with strength and dignity to fight on. They see themselves as having worth and value and that they have something to offer to the world.
Here is an excerpt from Rabbi Steve Booth's Rosh Hashanah sermon from this year. Download the complete sermon.
A couple summers ago, I was sailing a large rented sailboat on Lake Dillon with Rabbi Soloway from Boulder. I was thrilled to discover he was as experienced and skilled a sailor as I, as he grew up ocean racing in England. It was just the two of us, a somewhat blustery late spring day, but we were doing fine. As the wind slowly built up however, I was steering, and I said: “Marc, I know its a pain, but if we reefed the main down a bit, it would be easier to steer and we’d have more control.” He agreed, and we did it. read more »
As he finished with the sail and looked back to me from the deck, as we both started to nod that yes, this was better, ....BOOM! -- ....we heard something pop....
Remember the media craze surrounding Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina in last month’s Miss Teen USA pageant, the young woman who stumbled into notoriety through a blunder on national television. That episode offered many lessons to reflect on, the first being the idea that we all stand under the bright lights of judgment, dumbstruck and speechless, without a clue how to account for ourselves. read more »
There’s more for us to learn from Caitlin’s gaffe. How did we get to the point where such absurdity draws so much of our attention? Why do we shine the spotlight on rather unremarkable people and then reap some kind of sadistic pleasure when they prove themselves to be seemingly unworthy of our focus?
Below is an excerpt from a sermon I gave Rosh Hashanah morning. Download a pdf to read the sermon in its entirety. read more »
We are praying here today in the language and telling the stories of the ancestors we share with our Israeli sisters and brothers, with the sancta and canon passed down ledor vador/from generation to generation, beginning with our peoples’ experiences in that land.
Below is an excerpt from Rabbi Lina Zerbarini's Rosh Hashanah sermon delivered at Yale this year. She is a 1997 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Associate Rabbi at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University. Download the sermon in its entirety. read more »
I do believe in possibility, in growth and change. And yet, the process of change is frightening, marked by fits and starts and two steps forward and one - or three - steps back - in myself and in others.
In this Yom Kippur Sermon written for this year, Rabbi Bonnie Koppel draws on the work of Maimonidies' Hilchot Teshuva, the Laws of Repentance, and Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas' 2006 book, The Five Languages of Apology to unpack the process of apologizing in order to get us to do more of it.
Rabbi Bonnie Koppell is a 1981 Graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She has served the Jewish community of Phoenix for the last twenty years as a congregational rabbi, and, additionally, as a teacher at the Jess Schwartz Community High School. She was the first female rabbi to serve in the US military and currently holds the rank of Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. Read more about Rabbi Bonnie Koppell.
The following is an excerpt from a sermon I gave on Rosh Hashanah called, Bible Bullies. You can read the sermon in its entirety on my blog:
The pediatrician who supervised the assessment that our son had Asberger's Syndrome broke the news to me gently as though he was waiting for me to burst into tears. read more »
But the son I brought home that day was the exact same child I've loved his entire life. In receiving the diagnosis, Bobby (my husband) and I strode right past denial, anger, bargaining, and depression and went straight to acceptance of Yonatan's condition. What we really wanted to figure out was how he was going to make his way in the world.
Following is an excerpt from a sermon I gave on Rosh Hashanah. You can read it in its entirety at my blog:
I will confess I that there are times when I fall victim to this cynicism as well. Like everyone, I’ve often been overwhelmed by the knowledge that the systemic roots of these problems are just so enormous, so pervasive in our world. read more »
Still, I cannot surrender the conviction that individual actions do indeed make a difference in our world, and that such actions such as these are occurring around the world, every day, every moment, every second, in ways we often cannot quantify or understand.