To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
the day of death,
and the day of comfort,*
the depth [extent] of judgment;**
and a man does not know what is in his neighbor's heart;
and a man does not know by what he will earn his living;
and when the Davidic dynasty will return;***
and when the wicked kingdom**** will come to an end.
** The great commentator, Rashi (1040-1104), explained that this refers to Divine Judgment.
*** This was probably said in order to discourage those who tried to calculate the advent of the Messiah on the basis of Scripture; see Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 97a.
****Rashi sees this as a covert allusion to the Roman Empire.
During a time of considerable uncertainty, we can gain some comfort with the acceptance that there is so much that is beyond anyone's control. We can't know when a person's grief will end or when a source of income will dry up. We can't predict in advance when the stock market will turn around. We can't control the future; we can only live in the moment and be prepared for whatever the future will bring. What might seem like a setback today might in fact be tomorrow's hidden opportunity and ultimately, a blessing.
So no, we don’t know how long this thing will last. Read this history of pandemics and you’ll be comforted to know that the Black Death kept rearing its ugly head for 800 years. But if that’s depressing, think of the fact that they didn’t have vaccines back then, and we’ve pretty much wiped out smallpox. On the other hand, we never quite figured out a vaccine for malaria.
Meanwhile, there are other things we can control - like the way we sprang into action last Sunday to donate dozens of bags of food for the Food Bank. We’ll do that again. As people inevitably lose employment, I’d like to dust off something we did back in 2008-9, when we acted as middlemen, trying to match congregants looking for work with employers looking for people with compatible skills. We’ll also provide opportunities to find community, even if it’s virtual (starting at noon today); we’ll pray together, mourn and meditate together and develop other strategies for hope. We did it in 2001, 2009, and after Hurricane Sandy. We can and will do it again.
Niebuhr's "Serenity Prayer" had a second stanza, one that rarely is quoted. He speaks of "Living one day at a time," "Enjoying one moment at a time," and "Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace." He wrote it during times not so different from ours. That is what we must do right now.
2018 - 2019 TBE Winter, Hanukkah and Tu B'Shevat
Creatures Great and Small (photos by Rabbi J Hammerman)
2018 Hoffman Lecture
2018 Sisterhood Spring Fashion Show
2017 - 2018 7th Grade Life Cycle Album
2018 TBE Women's Seder
2018 Temple Rock
2018 Spring, Purim, Passover
2017-2018 Israel, India, Nepal Photo Presentation
2017 - 2018 Hanukkah, Tu B'Shevat and Winter
2017 Campaign Kickoff
2017 Hoffman Lecture
2017 TBE Fall and Holidays
2017 TBE Jewish Heritage Trip to Europe
2017 Cantor's Concert
2017 Passover and Spring
2017 Hevre @ TBE and Shabbabimbam
2016-2017 TBE Youth Group Album
2016-2017 7th Grade Lifecycle Events
2016 Fall Events
2016 Passover and end of school year
2016 6th Grade Video Pen Pals with Israeli-Arab Students in Lod
TBE Family Passover Album
2015 Norma and Milton Mann Cantor's Concert
2015 Yom Hashoah Seder
2014 Cantor's Concert
2014 7th Grade Wedding
2014 Tot Shabbat and Family Programs
2014 Passover: Chocolate Seder, Hebrew School
2014 David Harris Lecture and Sisterhood Rosh Hodesh Adar II
2014 World Wide Wrap and Sephardi Cooking
2014 Temple Rock
2014 Tu B'Shevat
2014 Hanukkah and Winter
2013 Sukkot and Fall
2013 Cantors Concert Honoring Eileen Rosner
2013 K'tanim and Hebrew School Moving Up Ceremonies
2013 7th Grade Wedding
2013 Passover, Religious School and Interfaith Seder
2013 Winter@TBE, including Hebrew School Tu B"Shevat Seder, Shelters and Roof
2013 Temple Rock
2012 7th Grade Aliyah Service
2012 3rd and 4th Grade Candlestick Project
2012 Israel Adventure
2012 Religious School Passover
2012 Interfaith Seder
2012 Ellis Island Trip
2012 7th Grade Wedding
2012 Cantor's Concert
2011 Sukkot at TBE! (Sukkah Decorating and Hop, Relig. School Mock Brit Milah, Bingo)
2011 7th Grade Class Wedding
2011 November 13, 7th Graders Plant in Mitzvah Garden
2011 9/11 A Community Gathering for Healing and Hope
2011 Cantor's and 90th Anniversary Concert
2011 Temple Rock Cafe
2011 World Wide Wrap
2001-2011 Assorted Photos
2008-2011 USY Kadima
2010 Hoffman Lecture (Dershowitz - Ben Ami)
2010 Israel Adventure
2010 Israel Adventure #2
2010 Israel Adventure #3
2010 March of the Living #2
2010 March of the Living #3
2010 March of the Living #4
2009 Kulanu Graduation
2009 7th Grade Mock Wedding
2009 Temple Rock
2008 World Wide Wrap
2008 7th Grade Mock Wedding and Graduation
2006 World Wide Wrap
2003,2004, 2005 Israel Experiences and Community Solidarity Trip
2003-2004 Purim, Dinner Dance, Sukkah
2002,2003, 2004 Hanukkah Concerts
2002 TBE Dinner Dance
2001 TBE Dinner Dance
2017 Rabbi Hammerman 30 Year Tribute
TBE's Streamspot Page (services and other archived video events, from 1/2017)
2017 Hoffman Lecture: Beinart and Gordis
2017 AJC Steve Bayme Balfour Declaration Lecture
2016-2017 End of Year Slide Show
2016 Hoffman Lecture: Jodi Rudorin
2016 TBE End of Year Slide Show
2016 HEBREW SCHOOL Promotional Video
2015 Yom Hashoah Seder
2014 Hoffman Lecture Ari Shavit
2014 TBE Lights Candles at Government Center
2014 David Harris AJC address
2013 Temple Beth El Goes Solar
2013 Hoffman Lecture Jeffrey Goldberg
2011 Hoffman Lecture Robert Satloff
2011 Benefit Concert for Haiti
2010 New England March of the Living Group Dancing at Tempel Synagogue in Kracow
2011 Hoffman Lecture Ben Ami and Dershowitz
2009 Temple Rock Hammerman Tribute
2018 Yom Kippur Sermon: "#Us Too"
2018 Kol Nidre Sermon: "Science and Sinai"
2018 Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sermon: "A Few Good Words"
2018 Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sermon: "Call me Ishmael"
2017 Cantor's Concert Honoring Rabbi Hammerman's 30th
2017 Rosh Hashanah Day 1, Sermon, "The Torah of Auschwitz: An Arm and a Name"
2017 Rosh Hashanah Day 2, " Sermon, "The People of the Rope-a-Dope"
2017 Kol Nidre Sermon, "From Kosher to Kesher"
2017 Yom Kippur Day Sermon, "The Candy Man and Elijah Girl"
2016 Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sermon, "The Kaleidoscope Within"
2016 Rosh Hashanah Day Two, "Words Matter"
2016 Yom Kippur Sermon, "The Lobster, the Carrot and the Tree"
Anat Hoffman - Hoffman Lecture 2015
2015 Yom Kippur Sermon "Truth and Trust"
2015 Kol Nidre sermon "Back to the Future"
2015 Rosh Hashanah Day 2
2015 Rosh Hashanah Day 1
2014 Kol Nidre "Our Stories"
2014 Rosh Hashanah Day 1
2013 Yom Kippur: Regret
2013 Kol Nidre: The Better Story
Rosh Hashanah Day 2, 2013
2013 Rosh Hashanah 2013
1975 Junior Congregation Sermon KI
2012 Rosh Hashanah Day 2 - Many Paths, No Shortcuts
Topics: pluralism, Jews of Barbados, conversos, Matisyahu, Akeda
New England Jewish Music Forum: A Chasidic Evening featuring Reb Shlomo Carlebach and Cantor Michal Hammerman
2011 Kol Nidre 2011 “Engaging Pain"
2011 Yom Kippur
2011 Rosh Hashanah 2011 Day 1
2011 Rosh Hashanah Second Day Sermon 2011
Dershowitz and Ben Ami: Harold Hoffman Memorial Lecture, Temple Beth El Stamford CT Oct. 7 2010
2010 Yom Kippur
2010 Kol Nidre
2010 Rosh Hashanah Day 1
2009 Rosh Hashanah Second Day
2009 Rosh Hashanah First Day,
2009 Yom Kippur Day
Mitzvah and Money - sermon delivered in Stamford Connecticut at Temple Beth El
2008 Kol Nidre
2008 Rosh Hashanah Day 2
Cantor Michal Hammerman RH Musaf
2007 Rosh Hashanah 2nd Day
1991 Yom Kippur sermon
2003 Kol Nidre Sermon
2003 YK Day Sermon
2003 RH Sermon 2
2003 RH sermon day 1
2003 Sermon for Yom Kippur 2003
2001 Sermon for Rosh Hashanah 2001, Day 1: "Getting to Yes" Temple Beth El, Stamford. Just a week after 9/11, a nation rises from "shiva." "For although we are tired and shaken, although we are fearful, we are unwavering. And in the end there will be no more fear, no more terror, and we shall dwell as nations at peace. And a new world will be born. Today that world IS born - Amen."
2002 RH Day 1 sermon
2002 YK Day Sermon