High Holy Days sermons from 5781/2020 can be found here. High Holy Days sermons from previous years are below. You can also check out other sermons from Rabbi Louchheim on his blog: From the Rabbi’s Desk.
Thank you for inviting me into your homes this evening. The last time I preached from this pulpit [at Temple Emanu-El] was a quarter century ago. We are blessed. Though physically separated, we are socially connected in this moment – members of two distinct synagogues – and yet we gather – so to speak – […]
Perhaps you cannot easily see what I am holding in my hand [displaying item]. And I could hardly make out what it was as it lay at the bottom of a Whole Foods care package delivered to me upon my arrival for my interviews here in Tucson. Not until I returned to Chicago and unpacked […]
Of the thousands of victims of COVID-19, many thousands were the victims not exactly of the virus itself, but of sheer stupidity, misinformation, arrogance, and ill-preparedness. But in a way, a victim of none of the above was Sam Cohen, the lox man at New York’s famous emporium, Zabar’s. Because of his age, 90+, Sam […]
A high school teacher decided to honor her seniors by telling them the positive impact each of them made. Then she told each of them how they made a difference to her and to others in the class and presented each of them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters which read, “Who I […]
M’kor Chayeinu, Source of our lives, we stand together before You. We stand in fear of a world that appears at times to be harsh and unkind. We tremble at uncertainty as to what the future may bring. And yet, We are thankful for health, for family, and for friends.
Did any of you ever play the quiet game on a family car ride? You know, where the goal is to see who can go the longest without talking. Once someone makes a sound though, the game is over because that is the one rule of the game. Make a sound and all bets are […]
With a sliver of the moon in the night sky, allowing us a greater glimpse of the stars in heaven, we begin this new month like all other months. The difference is that this month of Tishrei begins with a name and not with the number “1.” It is called “Rosh Hashanah.” “Day of Judgment.” […]
You have accomplished something awesome by being here together this evening.1 Erev Yom Kippur. Kol Nidrei. You have entered this sanctuary to observe the holiest day of the year. What do you find here? The beginning of a long fast. Melodies you recall from childhood. Familiar prayers heard only once in a year seeking to […]
Rabbi Sandy Ragins of my family’s congregation in Los Angeles has officiated at hundreds of baby namings during his career. Besides the usual blessings read, he will often share a line Gandalf spoke in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King –
During these High Holy Days, we have repeated the refrain during the Amidah prayers, Zochreinu l’chayim, “Remember us unto life.” How strange now at the end of it all, we remember people we loved, those who loved us, but have left us. They are gone. During Yizkor we attempt to find meaning in death. This […]