Rosh Hashanah 5778 Rabbi Sermons

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Welcome (Rabbi Lizzi) Barukhim ha’baim b’shem Adonai. Welcome to all of you, welcome to this moment, this opportunity for new beginning. It’s been quite a year since we gathered here last year. Thinking back to last year’s high holidays I kind of shake my head in disbelief at how different the world […]

Create a Sanctuary of Love and Justice

#Charlottesville “The pandora’s box of racism and white supremacy has been reopened… It is time for all of us to resist and to persist. God, help us find the strength as we stand together today not just to offer words of condemnation and consolation, but to do the hard work needed to heal our country […]

Sweat, Tears & New Beginnings

This year more than most, the dialectical tension at the heart of the Passover story feels real. The greens represent freshness and innocence, yet the salt water represents tears. The matzah represents freedom, and it reminds us, in every bite, that we know oppression, too, hard as we might try to repress it. You don’t […]

Wherever You Live, It’s Probably Egypt

JOIN HANDS AND START MARCHING As we read the first chapters in the book of Exodus this Shabbos, our country has ushered in a new set of leaders. A day that once seemed impossibly far off, a surreal and distant unlikelihood, has arrived. I’m always astounded by the parallels between Torah and life, and especially so right […]

Grateful Am I

We know the health benefits of gratitude. If you need inspiring reminders, check out these suggestions. That’s not what I’m interested in this year. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote this week about the health benefits of gratitude. The increase in longevity, but more importantly, the increase in quality of life that an attitude of gratitude generates. Here’s what I want to […]

We’re with you

The World Turned Upside-Down My guess is that, like all of us at Mishkan, you’ve spent much of the day processing the events of the last 24 hours. Deep disappointment, outrage, anxiety, sadness and even terror have been among feelings expressed by people I’ve spoken with today. “I woke up and didn’t recognize America,” someone said. “What […]

When We Call Out

Mishkanite Ben Halbig’s words on Isaiah @ Mishkan Yom Kippur. Good morning. I’m Ben. I grew up on the East Coast, but Chicago has been my adopted home for the better part of the past decade – first as an undergrad in Hyde Park, and now as a practicing lawyer living in the Gold Coast. […]

Stand and Be Counted!

Stand and Be Counted!

A sneak preview for reading Torah on Rosh HaShannah. It’s kind of a strange practice to read the same story every year, again and again, on the High Holidays. Do we think there’s going to be something in there this year that wasn’t there last year? Here’s the secret: it’s not the Torah that changes every year, […]

Why We Should Stop Talking About God

Why We Should Stop Talking About God

An Eli Talk Response by Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann In the Twelve-Step recovery programs, the first step is recognizing that we are not fully in charge of our lives and that we need to turn our lives over to a Higher Power, however we understand it. For many Jews, that idea presents a real challenge. Because […]