skip to Main Content

Rabbi Sermons

Being Our Best Selves: A Vision for SAJ for 5777 and Beyond: Rosh HaShanah 2016

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, Rosh HaShanah 2016 Shana Tova. Last year, I stood here for my first High Holidays as the rabbi of the SAJ, aware that we - the community of SAJ and I - were beginning a new relationship. I wanted you to have a window into who I am as a person, Jew, and a rabbi. You may remember that I told the story of a young woman who had come to…

Addressing Race as a Jewish Community: Kol Nidre 2016

Kol Nidre 5777 Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, SAJ, NY, NY Yom Kippur invites us to acknowledge the places we, as individuals and as a society, have gone astray and to begin to redress those wrongs.  The confessional prayers -- the Al Heyt and the Ashamnu that we will soon sing -- are written in the plural.  As we recite these prayers multiple times, we are reminded over that we share in the collective responsibility for…

Sources of Hope and Possibility for the New Year 5777

Erev Rosh HaShanah 2016, Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann Every year, I look forward to the Erev Rosh HaShanah service. As the sun is setting, we have the opportunity to physically and spiritually usher out one year and welcome in a new one. Finding myself again in the unique holiday melodies, I contemplate newness and the gift of starting over. If I am lucky, I am able not just offer greetings of Shana Tova to a…

Ma Norah HaMakom HaZeh: On Becoming the Rabbi of SAJ

Installation of Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann - November 21, 2015 I am not sure how many of you here know this, but I came into SAJ for services one time before my interview Shabbat last April. It was early October of last year. It has been announced that Rabbi Strassfeld was retiring and the position would become open. I happened to coming up for the weekend for the naming of a dear friend's baby. I…

Judaism, Torah and Meaning while Standing on One Foot: Rosh HaShanah 2015

Rosh HaShanah Day 1, 5776, Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann Early in my career, a woman – in her mid 20s asked for a meeting.  This was highly typical – I encountered a lot of young Jewish people through my former synagogue that were seeking to find a way back into Judaism on their own terms.  I gladly set up a meeting for the following week, anticipating that we might talk about any number of topics, like…

7 Things I Learned about Teshuvah from Moving to New York City: Erev Rosh HaShanah 2015

SAJ, Erev Rosh HaShanah 5776, Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann Every year, as we move toward a New Year and into a new High Holiday season, I am awed by the majesty and power of these sacred days.  Our tradition asks us to dig deep inside our souls so that we can return to being the best and most authentic versions of ourselves.  We are asked to forgive and to be forgiven, to challenge ourselves to grow…

Turning to the World on Yom Kippur

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, SAJ 2015/5776 Shana Tova. G’mar Hatima Tova. Pope Francis, writes in his recent Encyclical Laudato Si about responsibility towards address climate change: "Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it." Perhaps it is not so…

Back To Top