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High Holy Days Sermon Archives

Yom Kippur
Rabbi Andrew Straus - Yom Kippur 2016 / 5777
'If religion is so great, why does it so often fail to do its job of forming good people? Look at some of the people who claim to be religious. Throughout the world...

Yom Kippur
Rabbi Andrew Straus - Yom Kippur 2016 / 5777
'The competition to get into New York City’s top preschools is fierce. I spent a year as the interim Rabbi at Central Synagogue in Manhattan before I joined TAE...

Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Andrew Straus - Rosh Hashanah 2016 / 5777
'We were too young and too stupid to know that it was impossible.” Ed Pauley the first President of Temple Adat Elohim said, reflecting back on starting a temple 50 years ago...

Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Andrew Straus - Rosh Hashanah 2016 / 5777
'In our pockets, each one of us has one of the most transformative instruments ever created by human beings. We each have more computing power than was on the Apollo spacecraft that landed a man on the moon...

Yom Kippur
Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe - Yom Kippu 2013 / 5774
'There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Waking up in Kansas—Dorothy returns to the Farm! Aunt Em says: Wake up, honey. And Dorothy keeps saying: There's no place like home. There's no place like home....

Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe - Rosh Hashanah Day 2013 / 5774
One of my favorite Jewish memories as a child and to this day is observing the High Holy Days. On Erev Rosh Hashanah we would partake in a delicious festive meal which included the round challah with raisins, apples dipped in honey . . . .

Yom Kippur
Rabbi Ted Riter - Yom Kippur 2012 / 5773
In a few minutes we are going to read a Torah text from Deuteronomy, and I’d like to look at it now before we actually read it from the scroll. [pp343-344] “You stand this day . . . to enter into the sworn covenant . . . .

Erev Yom Kippur
Rabbi Ted Riter - Erev Yom Kippur 2012 / 5773
A little boy’s story: One day, this little four year old was playing with his friends in the school yard of the Mayflower nursery school. They were playing the usual games that little boys play, perhaps with a bit too much energy and even a bit rough. They were centered around this large tractor tire. The boys loved to play here. They would hide in the tire, make forts, look for bugs and frogs. One minute everyone was having fun, and the next ... .

Erev Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Ted Riter - Erev Rosh Hashanah 2012 / 5773
I am so excited to show you what I just received in the mail. [holding a large canister]. It may be hard to see from the back so let me walk it around a bit. I actually bid for this on Ebay in July and decided to spare no cost. Can you see it?

Just Smile!
Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe, Rosh Hashanah 1 Tishri 5773 - September 17, 2012
I love this Smiley Face. Do you remember this? This big yellow perfectly round face with no body, black ovals for eyes, and a big corny grin. When I was a young teen in the early 70’s, these Smiley face stickers were everywhere. Millions of them were posted on notebooks, lunchboxes, t-shirts, jewelry, key chains- you name it and they had them. How did a simple yellow face with two black dots and a smile become such an exceptional item in our commercial world?

A Sacred Community
Rabbi Ted Riter - Yom Kippur 2011 / 5772
A friend just recommended this book to me. He knew that I had already purchased this one and this one and he thought this would be a natural next read. Another friend, saw that we buy almond milk and a few other specific groceries and gave me these coupons for my next trip to the store. Added to all this, I was just told about an amazing deal to Fiji by a friend who knew I was looking into a new mask and snorkel. It’s so great to have friends like this who are looking out for me...

Holy Gardening
Rabbi Ted Riter - Kol Nidre 2011 / 5772
There was once a Royal Gardener who was tasked with the job of taking care of all of the grounds at the royal palace. He took his job very seriously. For he knew that wherever the King should walk inside the walls of the castle, he should be surrounded only by beauty, and he should never have to see what the gardener deemed as the ugliness that existed outside the confines of the King’s home...

Are There Answers To Such Difficult Questions?
Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe - Rosh Hashanah Day, September 29, 2011 ~ 1 Tishrei 5772
Listen to this haunting melody…(Choir singing first refrain of Unetaneh Tokef) “On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Who shall live and who shall die? Who at a ripe age and who before their time?” Why must we hear these somber words of Unetaneh Tokef? Why must we ask these questions in the midst of our celebration of the New Year? Why must we face more questions than answers throughout our lives?

A New Relationship With Israel
Rabbi Ted Riter - Erev Rosh Hashanah 2011 / 5772, September 29, 2011 ~ 1 Tishrei 5772
On June 25, 2006, Corey and I were leading a Temple trip to Israel. On this day we traveled from Tel Aviv north through the Galilee and Golan, toured Bet Alpha (a synagogue dating back to the 6th century), took a boat ride on the Kineret, the Sea of Galilee, and spent the night on a kibbutz. On this same day, while we explored the northern part of Israel, Hamas terrorists in the South crossed the border into Israel and kidnapped Gilad Shalit. The International Red Cross and human rights agencies have been denied visits with Gilad. And now, over 5 years later, we still know very little about his location, his condition, or even if he is still alive...

Israel Fatigue
By Rabbi Ted Riter, Kol Nidre 2010/5771
This week, Time Magazine arrived in our mail boxes and grocery stores with this front cover. From where you are sitting, it probably looks very lovely (and for some of you in the back probably looks like a blur). It is a Jewish star made of daisies. What a nice welcome for Yom Kippur. Then, inside the star, it reads, “Why Israel doesn’t care about peace.”

Judaism – An Intentional Way of Life
By Rabbi Ted Riter, Yom Kippur 5771/2010
Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai EchadFor the past 12 years, faculty of Beloit College in Wisconsin have published the “Mindset List”. This list, now focusing on the class of 2014, was originally created to remind faculty of the worldview of the incoming Freshman Class. Of note, this year’s Freshmen have experienced the following:

Shema Yisrael + Adonai Eloheinu = Adonai Echad
Rabbi Ted Riter - Rosh Hashanah 5771/2010
Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad – Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One. What a great way for a rabbi to lose a congregation with the first words of his sermon.

Gratitude - Ashray Yoshvay Vaytecha
Rabbi Ted Riter - Rosh Hashanah 5770/2009
Some look forward to long, grand sermons on the High Holy Days. Some pray that sermons are neither too long nor too grand. So today, I would like to try something different. A song. . .

Rabbi Ted Riter - Yom Kippur 5770/2009
We're taught that every day should be a day to atone and ask forgiveness from another. And, the days leading up to and including the High Holy Days should be an especially focused time to seek the forgiveness of others. . .

Let Us Affirm Life!
Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe - Yom Kippur 5770/2009
Last week, on Rosh Hashanah, I spoke about the value of how important it is to take care of ourselves both physically and spiritually especially at this time of the New Year. We have the ability to change for the better however there is one part of our lives that we have no control over and that is our own mortality. On this day of Yom Kippur we are required to acknowledge that one day we will die therefore it is worthwhile to determine how we wish to live. . .

Go Slowly - Articulate Clearly - Mouth Shapes - Ground Myself Breathe and Stay Loose
Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe - Rosh Hashana 5770/2009
This summer, Michael and I had the opportunity to visit the Catskills in New York to attend a cousin's wedding At first, I did notunderstand why would one want to get married in the Catskills because it is so far away from New York City and most of us were from out of town. The entire mishpocha was going so off we went to the Catskills. . .

Hineini - Being Fully Present
Rabbi Ted Riter - Rosh Hashanah 5769/2008
What a year it has been. . . The summer of the "Stay-cation". Home values are falling and gas prices are rising. Banks and airlines are open one day and closed the next. Elections are a month away. We continue our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hurricanes pound our coasts. Of course, the news yesterday. . .

Being With. . .
Rabbi Ted Riter - Yom Kippur 5769/2008
Three years ago, on Erev Rosh Hashanah, I stood on this bima in pain. It was a pain I could not yet speak about, certainly not from this bima on my first High Holy Days at TAE. And, it was a pain I had already lived with for years. . .

Keeping the Faith
Rabbi Ted Riter - Rosh Hashanah 5768/2007
I would like to begin this morning by referencing a traditional Jewish dessert the fortune cookie. Actually, it is not so much the cookie that I am interested in, but rather the fortune. The last time Corey and I had Chinese food, we were thrilled with our fortunes. Her's read: You will always live on mountain tops and in seaside resorts. Mine read: Follow Your Beliefs! Perfect, we thought. We're set. . .

Oil Paintings
Rabbi Ted Riter - Yom Kippur 5768/2007
At the beginning of August the art world was shocked by the announcement of a newly discovered painting by Vincent Van Gough. This painting, probably created in the summer of 1889, has been on display for years, yet hidden in plain sight at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. . .

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