Kindness Counts – Chesed Chafatzti, V’lo Zevach (It’s Love I Require, Not Sacrifice)

Shabbat Shuva, September 26, 2020. Delivered at Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, Ontario

Shabbat Shalom! Shana Tova! Thank you, Rabbi Helfman and thank you, Rabbi Splansky for the warm and gracious invitation to address the congregation this morning on Shabbat Shuva. I think many of us were surprised on …

Elie Wiesel and Shimon Peres – Our Inspiration this Rosh Hashanah: Men of courage, faith and action. They not only saw the world as it was, they worked to make to make it as it should be.

Honoring The Women Who Serve Our Community – Women of Valor

Sisterhood Shabbat, May 13, 2016, Shabbat K'doshim

Proverbs 31 praises “A Woman of Valor”. Tonight we praise the women in our lives who enhance our sacred community.

May the Force Be With You: a Jewish View

A d’var torah - brief sermon - delivered at Temple Isaiah, Stony Brook, the day after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened.

This is a very special Shabbat – ‘Shabbat Star Wars.’ I’m sure that everyone is aware that the new Star Wars movie opened last night. I haven’t yet had an opportunity to see it – but from all accounts, t’s ‘out of this world!’ So I  thought that this evening would be a good time to spend a few moments sharing some thoughts about Star Wars –The Jewish View. The movies have much to teach us and share common themes with our ancient Jewish texts.

Do Not Remain Indifferent – Syrian Refugee Crisis

Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon, 2015

A few weeks ago, I took my niece Sydney to New York City for her ninth birthday. Most 9-year olds might ask to spend the day at The American Girl Doll store, or shopping for the …

Installation Address – Temple Isaiah Stony Brook

Delivered by Rabbi Sobel on the occasion of her installation as rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook, New York.

A chair can simply be something functional — a place to rest. Or, it can represent something of much greater significance. Why am I sharing this story with you tonight of all nights? Because this story is not just a true story — it’s a “truth story”.

“Hineni — Here I Am”

Delivered Rosh Hashanah (day) 2014, Temple Isaiah, Stony Brook, NY

What does “Hineni” really mean? What does it mean for us, as adults to respond “Hineni — Here I Am” to the world around us?

A Time to Move On – A Time for Farewells

Rabbi Sobel's final sermon at Congregation B'nai Torah, Highland Park, Illinois

This is not an easy time in the lifecycle of our community. What words can truly express the feelings we have as we prepare to phase out and close down our beloved B’nai Torah community. I know it seems overwhelming — incomprehensible? How could we have come to this? But I would like to take a few moments and reflect on where we have been and who we are.

Wrapped in the Embrace of Our Loved Ones

Delivered on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Sisterhood Shabbat at Congregation B’nai Torah, Highland Park, IL

When I wear something that used to belong to my mother, father or one of my grandparents, I feel as if I am wrapped in their embrace. I feel their presence near me, with me. It comforts me. It gives me a sense of peace.

How do we bear the unbearable? What can we do to help when we know we cannot change the outcome? Our Torah portion this week teaches us about how we can cope with struggle and pain.