Sermons & Articles

Reflections on TST’s Israel Experience

Posted on November 22, 2019

As I reflect on a wonderful ten days in Israel, I feel like I was able to check off all of the major and required Israel experiences. I walked around various markets where stall holders tried to entice me into their stores calling out to me and offering me a “good price”, starting to negotiate Continue Reading »

Categorizing Our Way to Holiness (Yom Kippur 2019)

Posted on October 10, 2019

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis The Thursday before Rosh Hashanah, I reminded our five year old that he would be going on a trip the next morning.  I said, “Remember?  You and Daddy and Gersh are flying down to Florida for cousin Nell’s wedding, and you’ll come back Sunday in time for Rosh Hashanah dinner.” Continue Reading »

Facing Our Fears

Posted on October 9, 2019

In 1819, 20 American sailors were aboard the whaleship Essex about 3,000 miles off the coast of Chile.[1] Out in one of the most remote parts of the Pacific Ocean they were struck by a sperm whale; taking on seawater, they were beginning to sink. The men evacuated to three small whaleboats, with rudimentary navigational equipment Continue Reading »

Noah’s Lesson for Today: Saving Ourselves from the Flood

Posted on October 1, 2019

The story of Noah and the Ark is a Biblical classic. One man tasked with the job of building an ark to save all of the animals of this planet, as God brings down a mighty flood to destroy the earth. I recently found a retelling of the story moving it to our present day: Continue Reading »

We need to ask for help

Posted on September 30, 2019

There’s an image doing the rounds on the internet at the moment. It asks: “Which is hardest for you to say? 1. I love you. 2. I was wrong, I’m sorry. 3. I need help. 4. I appreciate you. Or 5. Worcestershire sauce.” Now I understand why 1 to 4 might be challenging for people Continue Reading »

Being Right (Rosh HaShanah 2019)

Posted on September 29, 2019

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis There is a long, long tradition of rabbis being 100%, absolutely right. Just ask my husband.  – Seth, I’m sure you agree? Take the example of Rabbi Eliezer.[1]  One day in the study house, this learned sage was answering a relatively minor Jewish legalistic question about clay ovens—and no one else Continue Reading »

What are you running towards?

Posted on September 6, 2019

In 1981 Bill Broadhurst lined up alongside 1,200 other men and women ready to run the 10,000 meter Pepsi Challenge race. But amongst that field of competitors, Bill Broadhurst was unique, 10 years earlier he had had surgery for a brain aneurysm that had left him paralyzed on his left side. The starting gun sounded, Continue Reading »

Foreigners (Parashat Balak)

Posted on July 19, 2019

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis There is a lot of debate among rabbis, and within congregations, about how much political speak is okay to have from the bimah: There are some who come to Temple precisely because they want to make meaning of the day’s news or to be galvanized toward something of bigger political Continue Reading »

Thou shalt never, but never, be a bystander

Posted on July 5, 2019

In the month of February a 15-year-old girl was forced to flee her country. She was too young to make this decision on her own, so her mother and step-father made the decision they felt was best for her. Her father died when she was just 8 months old, and while life had always been Continue Reading »

Body, Soul & Song: In Celebration of Cantor Hollis

Posted on May 17, 2019

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis Nishmat kol chai  t’varech et shimcha, Adonai Eloheinu Let the soul of every living thing bless your name, Adonai our God…. Ka-amur: L’David — Barchi nafshi et Adonai, v’chol k’rovai et shem kodsho. As it says in the book of Psalms, Let my soul bless God, and let my very Continue Reading »