Interior Sanctuary

High Holy Day Sermons

On this page you can find each Rabbi's High Holy Day sermons. Search for them by service or by the Rabbi's name.
Simply click on one of the tabs to present the sermons you want to see.

Enjoy! 
Rabbi Nanus
  • Rabbi Nanus
  • Yom Kippur

My Israeli cousin, Tali lost her daughter 14 years ago. Her name was Sharon and she was 31, married and a few months pregnant; and a competitive road cyclist, which was her passion. Sharon was training for a race, riding her bike up and down the hills outside of Jerusalem when she found herself behind a flatbed truck carrying a load of heavy metal pipes.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, the truck hit a pothole and the back barrier broke open. The pipes poured out of the flatbed and ran over Sharon.

Read More about Yom Kippur - 5779/2018 - Yizkor Service - Rabbi Susan Nanus
Rabbi Shapiro
  • Rabbi Shapiro
  • Yom Kippur

Two weeks ago, my two-year-old daughter Evelyn started preschool. Ashley and I took her to school that first day and marveled as she walked three steps ahead of us, tiny pink backpack on her little shoulders, filled with her favorite stuffed animal and a book, ready to begin this new adventure. “Bye bye Mamma; bye bye Daddy!” She was fearless. And I was so proud of her. 

Read More about Yom Kippur 5779/2018 - Rabbi Shapiro
Rabbi Eshel
  • Rabbi Eshel
  • Rosh Hashanah

Oy! Delayed again! Sarah waits at the airport, now with several hours before her flight. So, she buys a book and a bag of cookies and settles in close to her gate. A man is sitting one seat away with an empty seat between them. Sarah is engrossed in her book but happens to see this man sitting beside her grab a cookie from the bag in between them. She ignores it to avoid a scene. Sarah keeps reading, watching the clock, eating cookies, and the guy keeps taking cookies from her bag! With each passing minute and each cookie, she is getting more and more irritated. For every cookie she took, he took one as well until there was only one was left! Dumbfounded Sarah sits there staring at this guy in disbelief wondering what could happen next. 

Read More about Rosh HaShanah 5779/2018 - Rabbi Eshel
Rabbi Nanus
  • Rabbi Nanus
  • Rosh Hashanah

This morning’s Torah portion is about the Birthday of the World – The creation story in Bereishit, the Book of Genesis.  It’s a story about the very beginning – and how beginnings – are good. If you are familiar with the text, you know that God creates different parts of the world for six days, and at the end of each day, God feels proud and gratified by what He created, and it is written, v’yar Elohim ki tov – And God saw that this was good. 

Read More about Rosh HaShanah (Second Day) 5779/2018 - Rabbi Nanus
Erev Rosh HaShanah 5779/2018 - Rabbi Leder
  • Rabbi Leder
  • Rosh Hashanah

I suffer from anxiety.  It is very real and sometimes very frightening.  It can ruin parts of days, weeks, months and years. 

I worry about finishing what we started on this campus more than a decade ago.  I worry nearly every day that whatever I am doing for a Temple member I am simultaneously disappointing others because I am not tending to them.   I worry about having enough money when I retire, about my elderly parents and my kids.  And as a rabbi I see so much dysfunction, so much hurtful gossip, so much cancer and death that it is hard not to feel like I’m next.     

Read More about Erev Rosh HaShanah 5779/2018 - Rabbi Leder
Rabbi Shapiro
  • Rabbi Shapiro
  • Rosh Hashanah

I love Rosh Hashanah. I love apples and honey, freshly baked sweet, round, challah. I love the timeless music that reminds me of High Holy Days gone by. I love seeing everyone here together, and I love the shofar. The shofar service is my favorite part of Rosh Hashanah. The haunting, primal, tribal sounds are stirring—timeless—linking us to past generations of Jews. The shofar is actually the only commandment in the Torah associated with Rosh Hashanah. But what exactly is the commandment? To blow the shofar? No. The commandment is to listen to the shofar. The only Torah commandment to be performed on Rosh Hashanah is not about prayer, or sin, or repentance, it’s about listening. 

Read More about Rosh HaShanah 5779/2018 - Rabbi Shapiro
Rabbi Shapiro
  • Rabbi Shapiro
  • Yom Kippur

I have dreaded writing this sermon since the day I became a rabbi. What can I possibly offer? What do I have to say? After all, in the Reform synagogue I grew up in and at most traditional synagogues I would not even be in the room right now, much less on the bimah, because I have not yet lost a parent, a spouse, a sibling, or a child. So how can I even begin to give words to the loss, the pain, the grief with which so many of you are so intimately acquainted?

Read More about Yom Kippur Yizkor 5778 / 2017 - Rabbi M. Beaumont Shapiro
Rabbi Leder
  • Rabbi Leder
  • Rosh Hashanah

My name is Steve and I’m procrastinator. For years the Temple staff has known that when my assistant says, “Steve is home working on his High Holy Day sermons,” it really means, Steve is home cleaning the garage. Every year it’s all there, calling out to me: the car mats from two models ago, vases from flower arrangements dead for a decade, a dirty aquarium filter, an electric chainsaw I never use, hinges, screws, light bulbs, paint cans, one refrigerator full of beer we never drink. One empty refrigerator—up and running in case the Zombie Apocalypse arrives-- an infomercial ladder I can’t figure out even with the Youtube video, Aaron’s 9th grade Lacrosse gear, Hannah’s college microwave, a dried-out sponge mop, tangled cords, cables, clippers and a Poncho Gonzales tennis racket from 1972—it’s all there just begging to be reorganized.

Read More about Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778 / 2017 - Rabbi Steven Z. Leder