Rabbi Jordi Sermons

Detours (Yom Kippur sermon)

Posted on September 27, 2021

Rabbi Jordana Schuster Battis Erev Yom Kippur • September 15, 2021 • 10 Tishrei 5782 I was listening to back episodes of Radical Candor recently.  It’s a podcast I like, by the authors of a book by the same name, about leadership and workplace dynamics.  As I worked my way through Season 1 of the Continue Reading »

Perfect Rainbow Order: The Climate, Despair, and Our Song of Hope (Rosh Hashanah sermon)

Posted on September 12, 2021

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782 When I was nine years old, I had the most magnificent marker set, with slender markers in a metal tray in two rows, with an insert with careful indentations in which to nestle each marker in its place, and a lid that fit on perfectly, snuggling Continue Reading »

A Song of Ascendings, on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 (Shabbat Shuvah)

Posted on September 10, 2021

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis Psalm 126 A Song of Ascendings. שִׁ֗יר הַֽמַּ֫עֲל֥וֹת בְּשׁ֣וּב יְ֭הֹוָה אֶת־שִׁיבַ֣ת צִיּ֑וֹן הָ֝יִ֗ינוּ כְּחֹלְמִֽים׃ When the Eternal returned the returners to Zion, we were like dreamers; Our mouths were filled with laughter then, Our tongue with song….  We were so happy. שׁוּבָ֣ה יְ֭הֹוָה אֶת־שְׁבִיתֵ֑נוּ כַּאֲפִיקִ֥ים בַּנֶּֽגֶב׃ הַזֹּרְעִ֥ים בְּדִמְעָ֗ה בְּרִנָּ֥ה יִקְצֹֽרוּ׃ Continue Reading »

The Diameter of the Bombs

Posted on May 28, 2021

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis There is a poem by Yehudah Amichai called “The Diameter of the Bomb” that talks about the circles of impact of a single explosion. He wrote— The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters, with four dead and eleven wounded. Continue Reading »

The Omer, George Floyd’s Murder, and the Essence of Torah (Acharei Mot-K’doshim)

Posted on April 23, 2021

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis From Passover to Shavuot, there are seven weeks:Seven weeks from the exodus from Egypt to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It’s a period that is a paradox in Jewish tradition: On one hand, it is a time of rejoicing— We are celebrating our new freedom and looking Continue Reading »

The Orange and the Omer

Posted on April 9, 2021

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis I had a friend in high school who claimed that absolutely anything could be compared to an orange.  A book is like an orange because… it is has a covering that doesn’t reveal everything that is inside.  You have to open it up to get the goods. Math class is Continue Reading »

Outrage (Yom Kippur 5781)

Posted on September 27, 2020

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis When our children were toddlers, they each took a different approach to expressing their anger.  One of them, when upset, would fly into a raging temper.  He would go from calm to kicking-and-screaming in an instant:  stomping, hitting, throwing things.  It was a little scary to parent him when he Continue Reading »

Carrying It All (Rosh Hashanah 5781)

Posted on September 19, 2020

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis In my house these last six months—alongside social isolation, concerns about family, running out of our favorite salsa, and managing full-time professional responsibilities while also parenting—the major themes of the pandemic have been Legos, monsters, and fantasy books.  My children have spent much of this pandemic time building elaborate creations Continue Reading »

Keep Calm and Curry On (Parashat Shoftim)

Posted on August 21, 2020

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis I’ve been thinking a lot about the famous British ad campaign from 1939—the one with the motivational poster produced by the British government as they prepared the public for air strikes on major cities:  “Keep calm and carry on.” No one could have predicted then the devastation of the Blitz, Continue Reading »

Returning to Ourselves Again (Shabbat Nachamu)

Posted on August 1, 2020

by Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis When I was nine years old, I began walking to school on my own.  I would walk down the street and sing songs that I made up myself.  That year, during the same six-month period, I also wrote a play that my friends and I immediately started rehearsing.  I briefly Continue Reading »