Congregation Beth Shalom

Rabbi Marc Rudolph’s Sermons

Shabbat Shekalim — Little Boxes

This week’s prophetic portion is NOT about mystical visions of G-d experienced by the prophets. It is not about dire warnings of prophets for the people of Israel to repent or face punishment from G-d. This week’s prophetic portion is NOT about a prophet bring hope and comfort to the oppressed Jewish people. No, this […]

Continue Reading

Parasha Yitro — Women and Leadership

It is wonderful to be back with all of my congregants after my month long Sabbatical from CBS. So much has happened since I was last here in December. The last time we met the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt, the Egyptians endured ten plagues, Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea.  AND I […]

Continue Reading

Parasha VaYigash: “Jewish American — Or American Jew?”

Are you an American Jew – or a Jewish American? In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, the writer Mark Oppenheimer notes that Presidents from Reagan to Trump have assiduously avoided the use of the noun “Jew” and instead have used the adjective, “Jewish” when referring to members of our community. In […]

Continue Reading

Parasha Miketz: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

I began this sermon by playing the song below:The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow from the play “Annie” According to the Talmud, whether the sun would come out tomorrow was a real concern of the very first human being.  “When Adam, on the day of his creation, saw the setting of the sun he said, […]

Continue Reading

Parasha VaYeshev: O’ Jerusalem!

Our parasha for this week continues the story of Jacob. Of all of our Biblical ancestors, with the exception of David, Jacob leads the most tumultuous life. He struggles with his brother in the womb, deceives his father, steals the blessing reserved for the first born and must flee his home to escape the anger […]

Continue Reading

Parasha Vayishlakh: When Men Behave Badly

I knew what I would speak about this evening when I emerged from my office at noon on Wednesday and was greeted by Dorothy with the following words, “The rest of my day has been ruined.” At first I wondered If my presence had elicited that response, but she quickly followed her remark  that Garrison Keeler  of […]

Continue Reading

Yom Kippur Day 5778 “The Two Steps to Forgiveness”

I want you to think to yourselves, but not say out loud, what is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word, “scapegoat”. Hold on to that thought, and we will come back to it later. The story is told of a leader of an Eastern European nation discussing his […]

Continue Reading

Lekh Lecha — “A Sermon on Inclusion”

Senator Tammy Duckworth tells the story of Lisa Carl, who, on May 28, 1988, went to her local theater to see a movie. The theater manager refused to sell her a ticket. It was not because of her race, or because of how she was dressed, or because she had been barred from the theater […]

Continue Reading

“On Visiting the Sick”

This past Sunday I visited our third grade class.  One of the students asked me a question – How many letters are there in a Torah? In rabbinic school we learn that although we “Rabbis to be” will not be able to answer every question put to us, we will be able to know where […]

Continue Reading

Rosh Hashanah Eve, 5778/2017 – My Heart Says, “Seek G-d”

The story is told of an old Jew who prayed every day at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. One day he was interviewed by a reporter for the Jerusalem Post. “How many years have you been praying here?” asked the reporter? “Sixty-seven years,” replied the man. “What do you pray for?” asked the reporter. “I […]

Continue Reading