Do Not Send Them Away Empty-Handed

Delivered Yom Kippur Morning, 5783/2022Congregation Mishkan Israel, Hamden, CT Sarah bent down and dipped her rag into the bucket of blood. She slowly started painting her doorpost which turned a dark, burnt red color. As she dipped her rag again she wondered, will we really go free tomorrow? As the blood dripped down the door…

I Will Bereave You

Two weeks ago I gave an impassioned sermon about the right to be who we want to be, to love who we want to love, and to have autonomy over our bodies. I felt sad afterward. These aren’t the sermons I want to give. I want to stand on the bima and tell you it…

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.

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

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…

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…

Counting Everyone in Society – Ban the Box

What and how we count figures into our lives every day…. Every time someone is profiled and arrested we perpetuate a cycle in which 1 in 3 black men are removed from society and their children are left with single moms and the streets. For the rest of their lives we stop counting them….God commands us to count people and reminds us that all people are created b’tzelem Elohim, in God’s image. On this Shabbat, this Shavuot, and this Memorial Day, we must work harder to count everyone in our society. Every member of our community, every member of our city, and every member of country.

A Thanksgiving Reflection on Ferguson

I delivered this sermon on 11/28/2014 at Temple Emanuel: Hodu l’adonai ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo –Give thanks to God for God is good, God’s compassion is everlasting.  Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate – the people in our lives about whom we care most, the fact that we can hopefully enjoy an abundance of…

Prayer to End Gun Violence

A copy of the prayer I delivered at an interfaith rally to end gun violence, sponsored by Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence, of which Temple Emanuel is a founding member: Avinu She’bashamaim, our Holy One in heaven, with solemnity and courage we stand before you today.  For too long we have stood…

Sermon – We are all created in God’s Image

The time for Marriage Equality is now.  Take action: Join the Human Rights Campaign. Call your state and federal represenatives. Stand up for equality by treating others with kindness and respect. Be vocal about your support for equal rights for ALL people. Read or Listen to my sermon: Rabbi Immerman’s Sermon on Marriage Equality