Sermons

Rabbi Krichiver’s Yom Kippur Sermon: Grace

In one of the most well-known Talmud stories, a man comes to the famous sage Shammai to ask if he might convert.  The man says, “If you can teach me the entire Torah while standing on one foot, I will convert.”  Shammai proceeds to beat the man with a stick. What is...

Rabbi Krichiver’s Rosh Hashanah Sermon: Empathy

There is a moment each year in which I personally prepare for the High Holy Days.  It usually occurs only a few days before services.  All our cues are prepared, books are set out, the wall between the Social Hall and the Sanctuary is opened, and pristine lines of...

Nostalgia – Yom Kippur 5780/2019

I actually hated the song when I first heard it. Everyone was playing it, it was all over the radio, and at the local high school a dozen teenagers covered the song decked in clothes carefully selected to look nonchalantly thrown together from a thrift shop wardrobe....

Time to Prepare – Kol Nidrei 5780/2019

Tonight is Kol Nidrei, the most meditative and moving moment of the Jewish liturgical year. This day marks the culmination of the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance. Through the prayerbook, our Machzor, we have been bombarded with petitions and pleas...

Embrace Complexity

Once the congregation found itself in the middle of a fierce debate. Do we stand or sit for the Shema. Half the group was convinced that we should stay seated for the Shema, half convinced we stood for the Shema. Not to get into too many technicalities on Rosh...

Diary of Anne Frank

Just a few short weeks ago, I went to the the Indiana Repertory Theater to see their production of the Diary of Anne Frank. The truth is I have not seen that play in years. I know that I read the diary, and that I saw the movie, but most of the memory of it was gone...

Anti-Semitism is Real

I remember visiting Prague years ago with several friends. Tami and I decided it would be meaningful to spend Shabbat there with the local community, rather than visit only the Jewish cemeteries and monuments to those lost to the Holocaust, including the famous attic...

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