What Are We Going to Do About It?

Yom Kippur Day 5780

It was a Saturday morning around 8am. I picked up a few dozen donuts and drove to Sinai to deliver breakfast to our 5th and 6th students who spent the night sleeping at the temple. When I arrived, half of the students were barely awake, struggling to pack up their sleeping bags,  and the other half  had a ton of energy, “we’ve been awake since 5, rabbi!”. And by 9, all students had been picked up. I got in my car feeling like the Shabbat sleepover was a success. Th...

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The Massacre Generation

Kol Nidre 5780

I have the honor of speaking on this most sacred of evenings.  Tonight however, I want to share this pulpit with people who don’t share my privilege, but whose wisdom needs, nevertheless, to be heard in our sanctuary. Tonight, I want to share the words of our children.  I begin with the thoughts of a young woman I’ve never met, but whose words cut me to the quick.  Her name is Julia Savoca Gibson: It was last Saturday when it hit me that my entire life has been fram...

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Our Identity, Our Politics

Rosh HaShanah Day 5780

There is no question it has been a bewildering week, a manic month, a disorienting year.  We gather this first morning of our New Year in turbulent times, when the metaphorical waters of our world seem rockier than the waves raging on our lakefront.  In uncertain seasons as these, we turn to our Jewish heritage in hopes it might provide us a steadying anchor.  We are filled with questions; we turn to tradition for answers.  This morning, I do want to get to those answers a...

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Behold We are a Stiff-Necked People

Erev Rosh HaShanah 5780

“Welcome to Elberta Michigan, First Settlers John and Caroline Greenwood 1855.”   This summer, I went on a 2 week bike trip with a number of high school students, from Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, the URJ Summer camp in Wisconsin.  For two weeks we cycled around the Northern half of Lake Michigan, through Wisconsin, and the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan. We cycled along the picturesque coast, through farmland, and small tourist towns. As we entered e...

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The History of Flags and Chicago Sinai

News and Views

You never know what to expect when you ask a Rabbi a question…. To illustrate, I’ll share a question that was asked of me two years ago. The literal question of the e-mail subject line was, “Can we visit with you?” But the real question was written in the message: “We wish to propose having the flag of Israel in the sanctuary for your consideration and support”. This was not the first time I was asked this question at Chicago Sinai Congregation. Durin...

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Ensuring Freedom for All: A Letter from our Rabbis

As we welcome this anniversary of our nation’s independence, we rightfully celebrate the unique liberties we enjoy in America. At the same time, our Jewish heritage reminds us that our celebrations of liberty should compel us to work for the liberation of all. This July 4th is especially bitter as it arrives amidst horrifying news of squalor and degradation emerging from the detention centers at which the very country we celebrate is confining those who seek the freedoms we enjoy. We h...

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Rabbi Limmer's Sermon: Video about Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise

Shabbat Services

On Friday, April 5, Rabbi Limmer spoke about Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. You can view the YouTube video he spoke about here.

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Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority

Book

Chicago Book Launch of "Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority" -  Our Jewish Obligation to Social Justice co-written by Rabbi Seth Limmer, Rabbi Shoshanah Conover and Rabbi Edwin Goldberg. To listen to Rabbi Limmer's interview with Jay Shefsky on Chicago Tonight on 12/28/18 click on READ MORE below, and then click here.

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Letter from Rabbi Limmer in Light of Today’s Tragic Events

Today was a painful day. Today, a murderer entered a synagogue, a house of worship—a literal sanctuary from the worries of our world—unleashed the contents of a deadly weapon, and stole the divine gift of human life. As I write these words, I believe at least eight human beings have been murdered at Congregation Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, PA. I am shocked. I am dismayed. I am horrified. I learned today’s awful news while riding on a bus through the Jordan Valley on the ro...

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Something New Under the Sun

Yom Kippur Day 5779

To watch Rabbi Greene give her sermon, click here.  “They called her a THOT,” the female counselors shared one night during a staff meeting this summer. “The 6th grade boys, they called a THOT” “What’s a THOT?”, I chimed in? The counselors giggled at my naive question. “No but, really, I asked again, what’s a “THOT”? They all paused sheepishly, until the Unit Head took one for the team, “Rabbi,” she ...

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