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Speaking Truth to Power

Rabbi Max Chaiken

I’ve always had a soft spot for Jonah the prophet. It probably started the day my parents gave me my Hebrew name—mosheh yonah, or Moses Jonah, and it grew throughout my life for good reason: It’s a fantastical story—fleeing God’s word, tossed to the sea, swallowed by a whale, and still he survives to complain about his success! The chutzpah!Read more...

We Are More Than Our Mistakes

Rabbi Denise L. Eger

On Apologies

Rabbi Denise L. Eger

Sermon by Rabbi Denise L. Eger ~ Kol Nidre 5780 on Apologies   Read more

  It’s never too late to apologize. To say I am sorry. It may take many years to do so. And it may take many years for us to receive an apology for an insult, or wrong done to us.   Here’s a story about just that. It appeared in the Oregonian, Portland’s newspaper and tonight I share it with you in hopes that it inspires you to think...Read more...

Fighting Truth Decay

Rabbi Max Chaiken

Sermon for Rosh Hashanah Morning 5780, Rabbi Max Chaiken

Shanah tovah! A great sage once said that “the truth… is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” That sage was not Rabbi Akiva, or Rabbi Yohanan; not even our great sage Hillel. No, that sage was in fact the wizard Albus Dumbledore, who spoke these words to Harry Potter at the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone. “The truth…...Read more...

From Despair to Hope

Rabbi Denise L. Eger

Sermon for Erev Rosh Hashanah 5780 by Rabbi Denise L. Eger

The world is broken.  But you already knew that. You didn’t need to come here to understand the fragile nature of the times we are in.   We just have to look around us to see the world is on fire. Literally and figuratively. The Amazon is burning. Truth is under attack. Totalitarianism has reared its ugly head. Children are in cages. Anti-Antisemitism is...Read more...

The God We Imagine

Rabbi Max Chaiken

Given Yom Kippur Morning 5779 - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Shanah tovah. Do you remember how old you were when you first learned anything about God? If you’d like, you can close your eyes for a moment, because I want you to try to imagine God the way you did when you were a child. Do you remember where you were? Do you remember who it was that first taught you, or how it came up? Do you remember what you thought about God, or...Read more...

You Shall Be Purified

Rabbi Denise L. Eger

Given Kol Nidrei 5779 * Tuesday, September 18, 2018

There was the story of the man who was driving through the Sinai desert on his way to Eilat. Much to his chagrin the car broke down in the middle of his journey, so he decided to walk off the road and look for help. Before long he came upon a remote monastery. He asked the good monks if they happened to have a vehicle he could borrow. The monks explained that they did not own any...Read more...

A World of Imagination

Rabbi Denise L. Eger

Given Rosh HaShanah Morning 5779 * Monday, September 10, 2018


Shana Tova Happy New Year to you all. Welcome home to the annual meeting of the Jewish people.  There are no proxies accepted! Showing up matters here. The High Holy days is the time we Jews around the world gather together to connect to our past and our history, to feel the connection to one another in our present time and to imagine the future together. ...Read more...

Why Be Jewish?

Rabbi Max Chaiken

Given Erev Rosh HaShanah 5779 * Sunday, September 9, 2018

 “Why be Jewish?” Three words and a question mark startle and surprise me. My classmate had just asked our entire community of rabbinic students and faculty this shocking question. At first, I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. “Why be Jewish? Aren’t we in rabbinical school? What kind of question is that?” I had never been asked so directly why I was Jewish. And...Read more...
Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784