5778 High Holy Days Sermons And Teachings

Rabbinic sermons are meant to be heard, so Rabbi Glazer thoughtfully recorded all of his High Holy Days sermons and teachings for your listening edification. If you missed any of the Beth Sholom High Holy Days services this year, or if you just want to revisit some of your favorite teachings, we invite you to spend some time with the audio archive below.

Additionally, we began a large, communal conversation about practicing Hesed (Compassion) during Yizkor this Yom Kippur, and Rabbi Glazer asked the question: "As we gather at the moment of Yizkor – of recalling and rebirthing the sacred memories that make for community — I wonder what our future CBS yizker-bukh ("communal book of memory" in Yiddish) should look like, and what recipe for compassionate community should it hope to pass on to those who come after us?" As we engage this process of self-reflection within our families, our friendship circles, and our communal family, Rabbi Glazer encourages everyone to read a 2015 manifesto for compassionate community built on Hesed. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z"l) and Netanel Miles-Yépez describe an ancient-new paradigm for community, what they call the "Fourth Turning of Hasidism." All Beth Sholom members and friends are invited to read and reflect further upon the manifesto Foundations of the Fourth Turning of Hasidism: A Manifesto and to let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page.


  • Be-longing In Jerusalem -- Drash, Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778
    Finding a way to long for both Klal Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael in our "American Jerusalem."[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1_5778-ERH-Be-longing-In-Jerusalem.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Being Born In A Nutshell Of Time -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5778
    Breaking the vessel to create more loving and sustaining society.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2_5778-RH1-Being-Born-In-A-Nutshell-Of-Time.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Do Someone Else A Favor -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5778
    Why we are all street sweepers – how we can put our faith into action.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/3_5778-RH1-Do-Someone-else-A-Favor-Why-we-are-All-Street-Sweepers.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Coming Together, Falling Apart -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5778
    Breaking the vessel to create more loving and sustaining society.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/4_5778-RH2-Torah-Intro-Coming-Together-Falling-apart.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Generative Versus Coexistence Pluralism: Depends On Your Point Of View -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5778
    What is the effect of pluralism on peoplehood? On being Jews – not just Jew-ish – together?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/5_5778-RH2-Generative-Vs-Coexistence-Pluralism-Depends-On-Your-Point-of-View.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Can A World Without Mind Reclaim Free Will? -- Drash, Kol Nidre 5778
    Technology and human majesty, humility, and responsibility.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/6_5788-YK-KN-Can-A-World-Without-Mind-Reclaim-Free-Will.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Along The Silk Road Of Prayer -- A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778
    Unanswered questions...from the Middle Ages and today.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/13_5778-YK-Along-The-Silk-Road-Of-Prayer.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Reprogramming Return From Distraction -- A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778
    How can we find the energy to "reboot" this Yom Kippur?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/14_5778-YK-Reprogramming-Return-From-Distraction.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Casting Lots To See Your Life's Mission Clearly --
    D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5778

    What essential questions should we ask amidst chance, chaos, and more of "life happening"?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/7_5778-YK-Torah-Intro-Casting-Lots-To-See-Your-Lifes-Mission-Clearly.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Living A Life Of Hesed & Building Its Song -- Drash, Yom Kippur Yizkor 5778
    What is Yizkor for, and what are the key ingredients of a song of remembrance? [audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/8_5778-YK-Yizkor-Living-A-Life-Of-Hesed-building-its-song.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Unetane Tokef: Hope In Hopeless Times? Perhaps! --
    A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778

    The solidarity and hope that can be found in holy speechlessness.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/12_5778-Tane-Tokef-Hope-In-Hopeless-Times-Perhaps.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • I Shall Be Released From The Seaweed -- D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5778
    On seeing ourselves through the "weeds" of the Book of Jonah and Exodus.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/9_5778-YK-Jonah-I-Shall-Be-Released-From-The-Seaweed.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Avodah: On The Choreography Of Kneeling -- A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778
    Considering why we kneel when we pray together on Yom Kippur.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/11_5778-Avodah-On-Choreography-Of-Kneeling.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Can The Divine Judge Self Pardon? -- Drash, Yom Kippur Ne'ila 5778
    What is the meaning of judgement or justice in contemporary Judaism?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/10_5778-Neila-can-the-divine-judge-self-pardon.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

Eva Leavitt's Bat Mitzvah

Facebook_EvaLeavittShalom. My name is Eva Sivan Leavitt and I’m a seventh grader at The Brandeis School of San Francisco. I am looking forward to my bat mitzvah, which will take place this Saturday, March 18.

I've been part of the Beth Sholom community since preschool, and now I’m entering the adult community. My portion is about Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, and Aaron making the golden calf.

Some of my hobbies are art and cooking, and I also sing in a chorus. I have lived in Israel for a year, and I love traveling. Traveling gives me a chance to see the world in a different way and to learn about other people and cultures.

I think that to enter adulthood is to learn more about yourself and not so much about reaching a milestone or becoming a certain age. I think that each person has a different path to entering adulthood.

I want to thank Rabbi Glazer for helping me with my drash, and to Noa Bar for teaching me my Torah portion and my haftarah.

High Holy Days Sermons And Teachings

Web_Chen_9177Many congregants have requested copies of Rabbi Glazer's High Holy Days sermons and teachings. Sermons are meant to be heard (not read), so we're delighted to report that Rabbi Glazer has recorded each and every one of his Yamim Noraim service contributions for your listening edification. As a bonus, we've included Rabbi Glazer's thoughtful drash for Parashat Beraysheet.

If you missed any of the High Holy Days services, or if you just want to revisit some of your favorite teachings, we invite you to spend some time with the audio archive below. Listen to the recordings by clicking the play button under each title and description. (If you prefer to download the file so that you can listen to it while on the go, click the relevant download link.)


  • Finding Space To Love -- Drash, Erev Rosh Hashanah 5777
    Ruminating on Jefferson Airplane's Somebody To Love and our individual and social want for connection.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ErevRH_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Bonobos, Sarah, & the Great Mother -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5777
    Spiritual evolution: Can the survival of the fittest also be the empowerment of the pacifist?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH1DvarTorah_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Falling To Get Back Up -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5777
    On finding the resilience to rise again after falling.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH1Drash_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • "Brace For Impact" in Sully's Akedah -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5777
    Emunah, kehillah kedoshah (sacred community), and preparing ourselves to confront trials of uncertainty.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH2DvarTorah_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Why I Don't Believe -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5777
    On the 50th anniversary of the State of Jewish Belief (1966), contemplating faith versus conviction.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH2Drash_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • What The Seal Of Truth Is Good For -- Drash, Kol Nidre 5777
    On distinguishing between lies and truth.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/KNDrash_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Sitting In The Belly Of The Whale: Part I -- D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5777
    On "soul-making" in HaNeshama Lakh.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKDvarTorah1_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • "Ghosting" Vs. Bidding Adieu In The Last Kaddish --
    Drash, Yom Kippur Yizkor 5777

    On letting go and intimately marking the passing of a loved one.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKYizkor_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Sitting In The Belly Of The Whale: Part II -- D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5777
    On "soul-making" in the Book of Jonah.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKDvarTorah2_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God – And Has Even More Compassion --
    Drash, Yom Kippur Ne'ila 5777

    Choosing compassion to ensure that the door of the bus remains open for all.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKNeila_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Prayer For Israel -- A Yom Kippur Teaching, Yom Kippur 5777
    Putting together the ultimate "prayer package" for the State of Israel.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/PrayerForIsrael_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • The Genesis of Murder: New Exegesis from Saramago to Levinas --
    Drash, Beraysheet (27 Tishrei 5777)

    The story of Cain, the genesis of murder, and the importance of gratitude.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/GenesisBeraysheet_5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

Myles Sloan's Bar Mitzvah

facebook_mylessloanShalom! My name is Myles and I am in 7th grade at the Brandeis School of San Francisco. I like to read, hang out with my friends, play video games, rock climb (both indoors and outdoors), and ski.

I am excited and a little nervous to share my bar mitzvah with my family, friends, and the Beth Sholom community.

The parsha that I will be chanting is one that everyone, no matter their religion or age, knows - Parashat Noach. In it, G-d tells Noah that he's the only righteous man left. He instructs him to build an ark and to fill it with two of every animal. G-d floods the earth for forty days and forty nights. Noah then sends out a dove to find dry land where mankind and the animals can start again. After many generations, Noah's descendants multiply and build the Tower of Babel. G-d sees this as an act of hubris and knocks down the tower. G-d also scatters their languages, hence the name, Tower of Babel (from the Hebrew word balal, meaning "to jumble.").

I would like to thank my parents for giving me their unconditional love and support. I would also like to thank Marilyn Heiss, my bar mitzvah tutor, for teaching me how to chant Torah so beautifully. I would like to thank Rabbi Glazer for helping me write my drash and for our interesting discussion. And thank you to my Congregation Beth Sholom community for being part of my life since I was born.

Simona Lewis' Bat Mitzvah

SimonaLewis

SimonaLewis

Hello. My name is Simona Lewis. I’m an eighth grader at The Brandeis School of San Francisco. My interests include hanging out with my friends, dancing, playing and creating computer games, and spending time with my family. This coming Shabbat, September 10, I will become a bat mitzvah.

My parsha is Shoftim, which means judges. In this parsha, Moses tells the Israelites about different rules about appointing judges and how to have a just society. He explains the requirements to be a judge, the rules about the cities of refuge, as well as the requirements a king must have if the Israelites choose to appoint one. Parashat Shoftim also includes the famous commandment, "Tzedek tzedek tirdof," or, "Justice, justice you shall pursue."

I would like to thank my parents for always being there for me and helping me prepare for this big day in my life. I would also like to thank Rabbi Jill Cozen-Harel for her support and for helping me learn how to read and chant Torah and haftarah, as well as helping me write my drash. I would also like to thank my brother and sister for encouraging me and listening to me practice countless times. Lastly, I would like to thank The Brandeis School of San Francisco and the Congregation Beth Sholom community for celebrating this milestone in my life with me and my family.

Please note that Simona's bat mitzvah will take place at Camp Newman on Saturday, September 10, but that she will observe a tefillinbat mitzvah at CBS this Thursday, September 8, during morning minyan (7 a.m.).

Lola Schnaider's Bat Mitzvah

LolaShalom! My name is Lola Schnaider, and I am a 7th grader at the Brandeis School of San Francisco! I enjoy dancing, playing sports, photography, and listening to lots of music. I love to travel and be out in nature with my friends and family. In a few short days, I will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah. To me, becoming a bat mitzvah means accepting my responsibilities as the newest member of the Jewish community, and figuring out my Jewish identity.

I will be reading from Parashat Naso, which is found in the fourth book of the Torah, Bamidbar. Several topics come up in my parsha including rules pertaining to contact with lepers, adultery, the nazarite vow, and the sacred, threefold Priestly blessing.

The topic that interests me the most is that of the sotah, which translates as "gone astray." Sotah is a ritual test that occurs when a husband suspects his wife of adultery. The wife must drink a mixture of clay and dirt from the floor of the Tabernacle, to prove her innocence or guilt. In my drash, I will offer a feminist perspective on the topic of sotah, as it relates and compares to our lives today. I am honored to be having my bat mitzvah at Congregation Beth Sholom, and I am thrilled to have my family and friends by my side.

I hope to see you all there!

Joseph Neyman's Bar Mitzvah

JosephNeymanBarMitzvahphotoShalom! My name is Joseph Neyman. I am a seventh grade student at the Brandeis School in San Francisco. Just like every teenage guy, I love sports. My favorites are skateboarding, swimming, soccer, skiing, and water polo. I also enjoy video games and hanging out with my friends. When I’m not doing any of these or in school, I spend time with my parents watching movies, eating out, and doing non-fun teenager stuff like reading.

Over the many months that I have been studying for my bar mitzvah, I have learned valuable skills like not giving up easily, managing my time effectively, and having lots of patience. I have grown to enjoy practicing for my special day. I think that my bar mitzvah is not only about chanting the Torah and leading services, but also about receiving a greater role in the Jewish community and learning the responsibilities of being an adult. Last year, I joined the Youth Tzedek program at SF Jewish Family and Children’s Services, which has workshops about leadership and values. But more important than those were the opportunities I had to help families who are in need by putting together supplies and necessities, preparing meals, and helping to deliver goods each Jewish holiday.

This week I will be sharing an extremely special day with my friends, family, and the Beth Sholom community. I will be called up to the Torah to become an adult. I will be reading from Parashat Tazria. My parsha is about the laws related to a leprous skin disease called tza’arat. Even if this parsha talks about ancient skin disease that no longer affecting us, the core message is still relevant in our modern world. I hope you can join us this Shabbat.

A big thank you to Rabbi Glazer for helping me understand my parsha and for helping me with my drash, and to Marilyn Heiss, my teacher, for teaching me trope, and to my parents who are always there for me.

Aidan Swan's Bar Mitzvah

DSC_0111Hello, my name is Aidan Swan. I am a seventh grader at the Brandeis School of San Francisco. I enjoy sports, and my favorites are basketball, baseball, golf, and rock climbing. I also like to watch the Warriors and Giants, hang out with my friends, and travel. I am very excited that this Shabbat is my bar mitzvah and my parsha is Ki Tissa. I’m looking forward to sharing this day with friends, family, and members of the congregation.

My portion is filled with mistakes and lessons. Moses goes up Mount Sinai to talk to G-d and, while he is gone, the people make a golden calf to worship. When Moses comes back and sees what has happened, he is so angry that he smashes the tablets G-d has just presented him with. So much more happens, but you'll need to come on Saturday if you want to hear about it!

I have loved studying for my bar mitzvah. Thank you to Rabbi Glazer for being a great help in understanding my parsha and helping me write my drash. Thank you to my amazing tutor, Batshir, who helped me learn my haftarah and Torah portions and made studying a great experience. Thank you to my family for being there every step of the way, and for always supporting me and encouraging me.

Rabbi Glazer's High Holy Days Drashot

cfde8820-d953-48d6-8915-d48578b87f8eWe're realistic. We understand that not everyone can make it to services, classes, or special programs at CBS. Work, travel, family commitments, ill health, a flat tire, or a Netflix binge -- so many things can prevent us from in-person attendance.

Going forward, CBS will digitally archive all of our classes, sermons, and lectures. We feel that whether you make it to shul or not, "shul school" should be open for your enjoyment and edification!

We're kicking this project off with recordings of Rabbi Glazer's High Holy Days 5776 drashot (sermons) and divrei torah ("words of Torah"). You can listen just below or visit our Audio Resources page to listen!

Rosh Hashanah Day 1:
Drash -- Homecoming & Displacement
A reflection on teshuvah, diaspora, imagination, memory, and place.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH1_5776_Sermon_HomecomingDisplacement.mp3"][/audio]
D'var Torah -- Genesis 21
Poet Mary Oliver, the birth of Isaac, and Jewish practice creating opportunity for renewal.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH1_5776_TorahReading.mp3"][/audio]
Rosh Hashanah Day 2:
Drash -- Heroes vs. Heroism
Contemporary Jewish crisis, the Iran Deal, and true heroism.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH2_5776_Sermon_HeroesHeroism.mp3"][/audio]
D'var Torah -- Genesis 22
Leonard Cohen, sacrifice, awareness, and the Akedah (binding of Isaac).
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH2_5776_TorahReading.mp3"][/audio]
Kol Nidre:
Drash -- Recovering the Lost Art of Rebuke
The value of toch'acha, defined as constructive rebuke or "sacred nagging."
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/KN_5776_Sermon_RecoveringLostArtOfRebuke.mp3"][/audio]
Yom Kippur, Yizkor:
Drash -- To a Life of Forgiveness
Daily rites of forgiveness, with Michelangelo, Abraham Lincoln, Joseph, and Immaculée Ilibagiza.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/YK_5776_Sermon_ToALifeOfForgiveness.mp3"][/audio]