Clergy Sermons

At Central Synagogue

Latest Sermons

Peter J. Rubinstein
On Punishment

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  September 19, 1999

Peter J. Rubinstein
A Life Beyond This One (Rosh HaShanah 5760)

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  September 10, 1999

We shall overcome! This year we have faced inconceivable challenges. We permitted no obstacle to deter us. We remained undiminished in commitment and conviction. We demonstrated resilience. Memories were born this year and there will be stories told about this congregation at the turn of the millennium that manifested impassioned zeal in a dedication to its own future and to improving its society. For even while our sanctuary is in ruins, the soul of this congregation remains whole and vital.

Peter J. Rubinstein
“Let Us Rise Up and Rebuild” (Rosh HaShanah 5759)

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  September 21, 1998

Sanctuaries are supposed to be places of refuge and safety, of solace and comfort, of reflection and prayer. The destruction of a sanctuary evokes powerful feelings of vulnerability. If our grand and historic house of worship was not safe from life’s vagaries, then what is safe?

Peter J. Rubinstein
Building a Bridge (Yom Kippur 5758)

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  October 11, 1997

It is a miracle, one that defies probabilities, repudiates the percentages. Consider this: each generation in your family line has had the power to guarantee the survival of Judaism for only one generation after them. On the other hand, each generation has had the power and the ability to terminate Judaism forever in their family. What an irony! You can guarantee the survival of Judaism for only one generation after you. You can end it forever.

Peter J. Rubinstein
On Being a Religious Jew, a Reform Jew (Rosh HaShanah 5757)

Peter J. Rubinstein  |  September 14, 1996

I constantly hear Reform Jews who have profound and passionate feelings about being Jewish, who are deeply involved with Jewish organizational and charitable life, who give tirelessly of their time and money to support Israel, education, and synagogues, who privately admit they feel less authentic and valid as Jews than those who by their dress publicly identify themselves. In fact, we have come to accept Reform as an adjective that can be qualified by “more” or “less” as though it is possible to be “more” or “less” Reform. The battle that is ripping the Jewish people apart today is exactly that, about more or less… more or less Jewish, more or less religious, more or less authentic.

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