High Holiday Sermons

High Holiday Sermons

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High Holiday Sermons
  • Rabbi Cosgrove: Herzl and Me (Rosh Hashanah Day 1: September 26, 2022)

    In an imagined conversation with the founding father of Zionism, Rabbi Cosgrove assesses the accomplishments, the aspirations, and the complexities of the Jewish state, and provides a charge for us all to create strong Jewish identities.

  • Rabbi Zauzmer: Honey Moments (Erev Rosh Hashanah: September 25, 2022)

    Rabbi Zauzmer explores the meaning of honey on Rosh Hashanah and throughout the year. Through sharing about her own upbringing, she discusses how we can create our own sweet Jewish traditions (metaphorical "honey moments") to instill a love of Judaism in our children, our grandchildren, and ourse...

  • Shmittah: Fallowing Fields and Focusing Finances (Sep 8, 2021)

  • The Blink of an Eye (Sep 7, 2021)

    Given that our lives can be upended in an instant, Rabbi Cosgrove exhorts us to make every day count, taking on personal agency through teshuvah/repentance, tefillah/spiritual living, and tzedakah/righteous giving.

  • Apples and Honey on Rosh Hashanah (Sep 6, 2021)

    What does eating apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah mean to you? Rabbi Cosgrove suggests several possible explanations to consider and discuss over the holidays.

  • Navigating the Nonideal (Sep 20, 2020)

    Occasion(s) / Rosh Hashanah

    Jewish law differentiates between ideal and nonideal situations. Rabbi Witkovsky uses this distinction to help us navigate the nonideal world in which we find ourselves. We must choose the values that are truly important to us and fight for them.

  • Let There Be Reconstruction (Sep 19, 2020)

    Occasion(s) / Rosh Hashanah

    Judaism has survived periods of calamity because visionary leaders have transformed Jewish life to accommodate changed circumstances.

  • A Treasury of Life (Sep 18, 2020)

    Occasion(s) / Erev Rosh Hashanah

    The pandemic has contracted our horizons and cost us innumerable losses, but we can still find hope and meaning in what we do. Rabbi Cosgrove encourages us to find and create beauty and joy even within the smaller scale of our lives.

  • If Not Now, Then When (Sep 30, 2019)

    Occasion(s) / Rosh Hashanah

    Let me tell you, it’s never been easy to be the rabbi of Park Avenue Synagogue, beginning with our founding rabbi, Edward Benjamin Morris Browne.

  • Angels in Hardhats (Sep 29, 2019)

    Occasion(s) / Rosh Hashanah

    If our synagogue’s present construction serves as any indication, then on that first Shabbat of Creation, when the good Lord stepped back to behold the divine handiwork, the wi-fi was nowhere near close to being hooked up.

  • A Sense of Decency (Sep 9, 2018)

    Occasion(s) / Rosh Hashanah

    There are people, explains the Talmud, who koneh olamo b’sha·ah ehat (Avodah Zarah 10b), who “acquire eternity in a moment,” and for Joseph Welch, that moment occurred on June 9, 1954. The context was a post-war America unnerved by fears of Communist influence and sub...

  • Remember... For Life (Sep 15, 2021)

  • The Unfinished Life (Sep 16, 2021)

  • Love in a Place of Loss (Sep 28, 2020)

    Occasion(s) / Yom Kippur, Yizkor

    Yizkor is an opportunity for gratitude and love along with sadness.

  • Ask Not (Sep 27, 2020)

    Occasion(s) / Kol Nidrei

    Rabbi Cosgrove challenges us to step up to the ideal of Yom Kippur, to commit to acting to mend our world, our community, and our personal relationships.

  • The Parochet (Oct 9, 2019)

    Occasion(s) / Yom Kippur, Yizkor

    This summer marked the seventieth anniversary of the reinterment of Theodor Herzl in Israel. Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, died in 1904 at the age of forty-four.

  • Do a Mitzvah! (Oct 8, 2019)

    Occasion(s) / Yom Kippur, Kol Nidrei

    In retrospect . . . those college students . . . they never stood a chance.