Sermons

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The Power of the Voice

Erev Rosh HaShana 5777 Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor A few days ago, I was driving south on the FDR Drive in Manhattan. Traffic had slowed to a crawl. As I looked at the car in front of me, my eyes were drawn to a large bumper sticker, which read “TRUMP THAT BITCH.” Now I have

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Esa Eynai – I Lift Up My Eyes

Rosh HaShana Morning 5777 Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor This morning’s Torah reading has Abraham learning a lesson on the top of Mount Moriah. In fact, most lessons Abraham, and many of our Biblical antecedents, learn take place on the top of a mountain. There may be something to this…. I am a rabbi today in

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Hineni V'ni – Being There

Yom Kippur 5776, a sermon by Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor. I will never forget the opening scenario to a sermon my friend, Rabbi Eric Gurvis, gave more than three decades ago, as his Rabbinical School “Senior Sermon”. He described a scene in which he saw, in the distance, a father and child walking down a

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Race – Healing the Rift

Kol Nidre 5776, a sermon by Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor. Imagine a couple coming in for therapy, married for decades. Both partners talk about their long and difficult upbringing – facing poverty, discrimination, dysfunctional families, myriad challenges — one challenge heaped upon the other. They meet, and despite wildly divergent paths, they find a common

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BDS – Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism

ROSH HASHANA 5776, Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor. While the conversation of the moment is: the Iran agreement and whether or not the Obama proposal should be supported or rejected; if there is a better deal that could be brokered; and, is this good for the Jews and for Israel – there is a greater threat

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Tikun Tevel

EREV ROSH HASHANA 5776, Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor. This sermon began with a light bulb. One can say that a light went off in my head. We all know that the common 100 watt incandescent light bulb is now a thing of the past. As one who has a sensitivity to florescent lights, I was loathe

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Jewish Motorcycle Riding and the Art of Life

For my 50th birthday, several years ago, my beloved wife Marianne decided to try to control my impeding mid-life crisis with a special gift – giving in to a long-held desire of mine.  She was about to hand me the key to a beautiful motorcycle, when she announced, “I have three rules: 1) Your life insurance better

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Israel

Kol Nidre, with its focus on the vows that we made which could not be fulfilled, and for which we pray to be released, reminds us that we are human – we err – we make mistakes, sometimes intentionally, sometimes inadvertently. To schlepp these burdens with us, even into a New Year can hobble us,

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Refuat HaNefesh

Rosh Hashana 5775, a sermon by Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor. “…I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse; choose life, therefore, that you and your descendants may live.” On Yom Kippur morning, we will read those words in an alternative Torah reading, which, while not found in our Machzo, will be read

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Refuat Haguf

EREV ROSH HASHANA, A sermon by Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor. When I was a young rabbinical student studying the traditional liturgy, one prayer always made me laugh out loud. While in the Orthodox world the prayer would be recited after one’s daily ablutions, in the Reform Prayer book it would come at the very beginning

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