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The Breath of the Etrog

Today the sukkah reminds us of the fragility inherent in life. It is intended to be susceptible to the forces of nature, not to protect or separate us from them as we do with our permanent houses, but to remind us that we, too, are part of creation.

It’s OK not to be OK

It can be hard for us to admit that we are not OK. It can be harder still for us to admit that its OK not to be OK. And it can be even more difficult to seek help.

Let’s Eat Cantor!

Just like the Rambam teaches us to find layers of meaning in our unvocalized Torah, I pray that one day we too will find layers of meaning in our unvocalized year. Layers of grief, sadness and despair, combined with layers of love, perseverance, and triumph, layers of leadership, science, and wisdom, and, I pray, layers of hope.

Do not remain indifferent

It is not enough to simply say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ though it is an important first step. We must transform our world so that black lives do matter, in every corner of society. This transformation happens not in the streets, but within each of us, as we explore who we are and who we want to be, by examining how our society functions and how it could function. Jews know this transformation – we do it every year on Yom Kippur when we engage in chesbon hanefsh – when we examine our actions from the past year in order to be better in the next.

In spite of It All, I still Believe in Hope

Hope is an essential Jewish value that allows us embrace the possibility of a brighter future. We must always hold on to hope – hope in ourselves, hope in our community, hope in our country, and hope that one day our children will only know shalom, wholeness and peace.

The Power of Fire

We strike the match to the matchbook and from nothing a flame emerges and dances before us. Just like God we create – light appears where once there was none. We marvel at our creation as it quickly creeps toward our fingers – and then light not one but two wicks. Zachor v’shamor – remember…

Showing Love by Standing with Our Neighbors

The best thing we can do in the fight for racial justice is to show up, be present, and stand with our black and brown brothers and sisters. This is how we show love and create a stronger community

Finding Hope in a Broken World

Hayom Harat Olam – Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world. Today marks just over three months since Jenny and I welcomed Aiden into our lives. My dearest Aiden, There is a tree across the street from our synagogue that takes away my breath every time I see it in the Spring and Fall….

Testing Our Love of the Stranger

As we just read in our Torah, God called out to Abraham: “Abraham, Abraham,” “Hineini,” Abraham replied, “Here I am.” “Abraham, take your son, your only son, the son whom you love, Isaac, and take him up to a mountain, and there I want you to sacrifice him as an offering to me.”  Aside from…

Loving as a Community in Times of Grief

This past Shabbat I was feeling sense of elation as I started to walk out of the Sanctuary with our Bar Mitzvah, Dylan. I told him how proud I was of him and he beamed with pride. His friends ran into hug him and tell him that he did awesome. As the community entered the…

We Will Not Remain Silent

Dear Friends, This morning I emerged from our sanctuary filled with joy and hope after celebrating another wonderful student becoming a bar mitzvah. During his d’var Torah, our student taught us the important lesson from Abraham that we should be kind to others, both our neighbor and the stranger. My elation was quickly diminished as…

A Message of Hope for Israel’s Future

­­I was not born into a Zionist home. When Israel became a country in 1948 m­y grandparents in Cleveland left the Synagogue where Zionist Abba Hillel Silver was the rabbi and went to a new synagogue because they worried that if the Jews had a home, America would expel them much like the Germans. When…

Shana Tova, My Little One

To my little one,

If I’m reading this on the bima, it means that you have not yet arrived in this world. You are still safe and sound and everything you need is provided for you….

Lighting the Light Within

One of the most iconic movie scenes in my memory is when Darth Vader removes his helmet at the end of Return of the Jedi. Behind the black hardened exterior we witness a disfigured and defeated man who struggles to breathe. Having removed his mask, he seems compassionate and sad at his imminent death, and…

Testimony on CO Religious Exemption Bill

I delivered these remarks during a public hearing at the House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs in opposition to CO House Bill 1013 entitled “Free Exercise Of Religion” I stand before you today as a person deeply committed to the traditions and tenets of my faith and called to live by the values and commitments…

A Jewish Perspective of Racial Justice

Rabbi Immerman delivered this sermon at Temple Emanuel in Denver, CO on Rosh Hashanah morning 5777 Four hours. For four hours we let Michael Brown’s body lay in the hot sun on a St. Louis street in 2014. When I started reading the news that night, the next day, weeks and months afterward, and still…

Reflecting Holiness

When was the last time that you looked in a mirror? What were you doing and why were you doing it? I’ve looked in several mirrors today in which I saw my own reflection: the mirror in my bathroom at home while I brushed my teeth. The full length mirror in our den while getting…


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