Religious Life

Recent Sermons

True Security: Chazak, Chazak, V’nitchazek

“True Security: Chazak, Chazak, V’nitchazek” 27 Adar 5777 • Vayakhel-Pekudei • Shabbat Hachodesh • March 25, 2017 Rabbi Alexander Davis   What do we do when we finish a book? Talk about it in book group. Return it to the library. Start a new book. As Jews, we do something else: we rise and call out, “chazak chazak v’nitchazek strength, strength, may we be strengthened.”...

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Born Again Jews

“Born Again Jews” 22 Nisan 5777 • Pesach Day 8 • April 18, 2017 Rabbi Alexander Davis The Jewish people are like what animal? I came to this question reading an essay by JaeRan Kim who writes: “I sometimes believe it was my destiny to be born many times like a cat, whose lives steal away on silent, soft paws. Reincarnation holds a special appeal,...

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Spice and Spirit

“Spice and Spirit” 13 Adar 5777 • Titzaveh • Shabbat Zakhor • March 11, 2017 Rabbi Alexander Davis What’s your favorite smell? Do smells ever remind you of something? A certain place or a time? For me, I love the smell of rosemary. It reminds me of my year at Hebrew University where it grows wild around the campus. And then there is the smell...

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Honoring Our “So-Called” Judges

“Honoring Our “So-Called” Judges” 29 Shevat 5777 • Mishpatim • Shabbat Shekalim • February 25, 2017 Rabbi Alexander Davis Once, a Jew living on Park Avenue built a Sukkah on his balcony. Some of his high society neighbors brought him to court claiming that his hut was an eyesore. They said it was having a negative impact on the value of their homes. In court,...

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Song as Protest

“Song as Protest” 15 Shevat 5777 • Beshalach • Shabbat Shira • February 11, 2017 Rabbi Alexander Davis and Cantor Audrey Abrams AD: This past week, I was watching a Facebook video of a bunch of people gathered on the streets of New York. And what struck me most was… that they were singing. AA: Well, New York kind of does that to you… Start...

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Hats Off to MTM

“Hats Off to MTM” 1 Shevat 5777 • Vayera • Rosh Chodesh Shevat • January 28, 2017 Rabbi Alexander Davis On my day first visiting Minneapolis when I flew out to interview here at Beth El, Rabbi Kahn gave me a short tour of the area. We saw Fishman’s and Byerlys and driving around Lake of the Isles, he pointed out the Mary Tyler Moore...

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