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Yom Kippur Morning 5783 Finding Resilience: Consecrating Our Sanctuary’s Ark

10/06/2022 08:57:33 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown, D. Min.

A martial arts student seeks out his master, seeking physical and spiritual resilience: "Master, forgive my intrusion, but I require your aid. I haven’t advanced in my training for many months now.”

After silently reflecting, the wise master calmly speaks: "Have you witnessed the blue moon illuminating the darkest depths of the ocean?"  "Yes,...Read more...

Kol Nidre 5783 On (Authentic) Teshuvah

10/06/2022 08:45:55 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown, D. Min.

Each year before the holidays, the founder of Hasidism - the Baal Shem Tov – would hold a competition to determine who’d blow the shofar.     

         To qualify, of course you had to blow shofar like a virtuoso.  But you also had to master a series of complex prayers, called kavanot....Read more...

Rosh HaShanah Morning Day 1 5783 On Gender and Power

09/29/2022 10:23:30 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown, D. Min.

A woman brings special fabric to her friend the tailor and asks for a custom pair of pants. She returns a week later, only to find that the pants aren’t ready. Two weeks later - they still aren’t ready. Finally, after six weeks, they’re ready. They fit perfectly. Nonetheless, when it comes time to pay, she can’t resist needling her friend.   

“You...

Erev Rosh HaShanah 5783 Finding Sweetness In the Midst of the Bitter

09/29/2022 09:21:04 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown, D. Min.


Our experience of Rosh HaShanah is grounded in all of our senses. 

         We listen to the blasts of the shofar.

         We touch the crumbles of bread that are tossed into the water for the ancient ritual of tashlich as we release ourselves of our mistakes in the year that has...Read more...

Yom Kippur Morning Service 5782/2021

09/16/2021 09:02:32 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown

Good Yuntuf.

         Among the least understood customs associated with Yom Kippur is the practice of wearing white.  In traditional circles, many wear kittels, the ritual robe that men historically wore on their wedding days, on Yom Kippur, and to conduct Passover seders.  Cantor Becker and I, and many of our colleagues around the...Read more...

Kol Nidre 5782/2021

09/15/2021 09:00:46 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown

Good Yuntuf.

         1500 years ago, the rabbis of the Midrash told the story of a group of neighbors who went sailing.  One of the passengers unexpectedly picks up a blade, and begins carving a hole into the bottom of the boat, immediately underneath his seat. 

         The other...

Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5782

09/15/2021 10:57:03 AM


Shanah Tovah.

          The setting: somewhere in the Judaean Desert.

          The time: 3800 years ago.

          The principal characters: Abraham, founding father of the Jewish People.  And his and Sarah’s only son:...Read more...

Yom Kippur Morning 5781

09/28/2020 08:22:45 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown

Kol Nidre 5781: A Sermon on Racial Justice

09/27/2020 07:00:57 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown

In spring 1963, 25 years after being rescued from Germany, Abraham Joshua Heschel left his office at Jewish Theological Seminary. He walked south toward Columbia’s campus, to send a telegram.Read more...

Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5781:  Forgiving Ourselves

09/20/2020 06:31:59 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown

Psalms 51:4-5

(4) Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity, and purify me of my sin; (5) for I recognize my transgressions, and am ever conscious of my sin.

תהילים נ״א:ד׳-ה׳

)ד( הרבה ]֭ ֶה ֶרב[ ַכּ ְבּ ֵ֣סנִי ֵמ ֲעוֺ ִ֑ני ֽוּ ֵמ ַח ָטּא ִ֥תי ַטֲהֵֽרנִי׃)ה(ִכּֽי־ְ֭פָשַׁעי ֲאִ֣ני...Read more...

Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784