Coming to Pray These High Holy Days

Coming to Pray These High Holy Days (A text journey & sermon delivered by Rabbi Sacks on Saturday, September 17, 2022) Some years ago Israeli archaeologists were cleaning a wall in the remains of a fourth or fifth century synagogue they had uncovered in Meroth in Upper Galilee. Suddenly a small metal artifact fell onto […]

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First Shabbat in Elul: An Accounting of the Soul

First Shabbat in Elul: An Accounting of the Soul (delivered by Rabbi J.B. Sacks on September 2, 2022)   Author Linda Weltner wrote an interesting essay about her brother Kenneth, who visited her on the East Coast from California. Since Kenneth was spending a month with her, she asked him if he would spend some […]

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Shabbat Chazon: Moses’ Lessons As We Head into Tishah B’Av (delivered by Rabbi Sacks on Friday, August 5, 2022) The Torah has a sense of humor. Tomorrow we read from Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Torah. It begins,[1] אֵ֣לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־כׇּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן These are the words that Moses […]

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Parashat Balak: What Hardship Have I Caused You? (Torah Study led by Rabbi Sacks on July 16, 2022)  We just read today’s haftarah from the prophet Micah, who lived roughly between 740 BCE and 690 BCE. Micah, like Amos, is from a small southern town in Eretz Yisrael, evident in his use of imagery borrowed […]

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Parashat Balak: Know that We Don’t Know

Parashat Balak: Know that We Don’t Know (delivered by Rabbi J.B. Sacks on July 15, 2022)  A friend of mine in Manhattan told me about an encounter she recently had on the bus. She has a chronic, but “silent,” illness. It is often debilitating, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at her. She was […]

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Parashat Korach: Considerations of Leadership (led by Rabbi J.B. Sacks on July 2, 2022)  Last night I spoke of the difference between Moses’ leadership and Korach’s leadership, which we read about this morning in the Torah reading. Korach’s style was self-serving and preyed upon the hurts, fears, vulnerability, powerlessness, and lack of awareness of people. […]

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Parashat Korach: Moses and Korach, Without and Within (Delivered by Rabbi J.B. Sacks on Friday, July 1, 2022)   In this week’s reading, we witness three dramatic power struggles that have national repercussions! Korach, a fellow Levite, leads a struggle against Moses’ religious authority. Datan and Aviram, descendents of Jacob’s first-born Reuben, push back against […]

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Shavuot Yizkor

Shavuot Yizkor (delivered by Rabbi Sacks on June 5, 2022) We are all reeling from the tragedy at Uvalde. It’s a lot to process and a lot of issues have rightly captured public attention. Yet now I hone in on one overlooked piece.. When the detailed official timeline of the shooting emerged, Texas Department of […]

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Parashat B’midbar Sinai: Counting Ourselves As Israel (delivered by Rabbi Sacks on Saturday, June 4, 2022)  We begin reading the Book of Numbers this week. It opens with the taking of a census. After the rather arcane matters we have been reading about in recent weeks—the sacrificial cult, laws of purity and impurity, skin eruptions, […]

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