Niggun Contemplation by Rabbi Burt Jacobson (High Holydays 2013/5774)

Good evening and L’shanah tova . . . This High Holy Day season we’ve been emphasizing the notion of teshuvah, the process of personal change and transformation. But teshuvah is not always good or praiseworthy. There are some harmful ways of attempting to change. Let me tell you a Hasidic story about a simple man […]

A Sermon for High Holydays by Rabbi Burt Jacobson (5774/2013)

The Ba’al Shem’s Teshuvah               As you probably know, the Hebrew concept of teshuvah has to do with personal and communal change and transformation. This afternoon I’d like to speak with you about the place of teshuvah in the life of the Ba’al Shem Tov. Many of you know who the Ba’al Shem Tov […]

“Two Paths to Awakening” with Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Sylvia Boorstein & Naomi Newman: Saturday, November 3, 7pm (Doors open 6:30)

  Join us for a rare evening of conversation with three beloved scholars and teachers. Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein and theater artist Naomi Newman will explore Buddhist and Jewish paths toward finding the wisdom to live with integrity and compassion in an uncertain world.  Each will discuss and reveal a personal definition […]

“Faith After the Holocaust” by Rabbi Burt Jacobson (High Holydays 5773/2012)

A Yom Kippur Afternoon Sermon   On Yom Kippur afternoon in traditional synagogues the cantor or prayer leader chants a section of the service called “Elah Ezkara,” which means, “These things I remember . . .” In keeping with the somber nature of the Day of Judgment, the Elah Ezkara recalls the martyrdom of the […]

Hillel’s Three Questions (High Holydays 5772 / 2011)

An Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon by Rabbi Burt Jacobson “How are you, ma?” “So how should I be?” Instead of answering her son’s question with a direct statement—“I feel lousy!”—she answers his question with another question, as if to say, “Why are you asking me? Use you eyes, use your head, and you won’t have […]