Past Sermons

Past Sermons

Listen to Select Sermons from CBI Shabbat and Festival Services

Michael Z. Cahana, Senior Rabbi

And this our life, exempt from human haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

– William Shakespeare, “As You Like It” Act II, Scene I

The Rabbi’s voice is given freedom and responsibility in a synagogue. This is deeply felt here at Congregation Beth Israel. There is great honor to speak in the very congregation where Rabbi Stephen S. Wise began his career and formulated his thesis of a “free pulpit.” Fifty-four years later, my predecessor, Rabbi Emanuel Rose (z”l), came to this congregation and carried forth that ideal of speaking bravely and freely. For over four decades he spoke words of social justice from this pulpit.

In this era, many, if not most, of us feel disconnected from the Divine Presence. It is my desire to use words of Torah and the tradition of Jewish teachings to demand justice and to inspire a personal connection with holiness. I believe that there is joy and meaning to be found by changing the world and by touching the ineffable.

On this page, I share with you a diverse sample of sermons. I hope it gives a taste of our shared journey here at Congregation Beth Israel.

High Holidays 5784
I Don’t Hate You” – Finding Hope in a Fractured Time
Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana
Rosh Hashanah Morning

Repentance-What We Owe The Future
Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana
Kol Nidre

High Holidays 5783

Vulnerability and Trust
Cantor Ida Rae Cahana
Rosh Hashanah Eve 

Blessing and Curses / Trust and Gratitude: Amen! 
Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana
Rosh Hashanah Morning

Shattered Shards Gun Violence – A Change is Coming
Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana
Yom Kippur Eve

Lo Tuchal L’hitalem – We Will Not Remain Indifferent 
Rabbi Rachel Joseph
Yom Kippur 5783

  • Rabbi Joseph’s Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon: We Can Be Resilient
  • Rabbi Cahana’s Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon: Gratitude
  • Rabbi Cahana’s Kol Nidre Sermon: Torah Connects
  • 5777/2016 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon: Agents of Hope
  • 5776/2015 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon: Hineni
  • 5775/2014 Rosh Hashanah Evening Sermon 5775/2014: We Are Shattered Vessels
  • 5774/2013 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text: Ani Ma’amin’ – I Believe
  • 5773 Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon Text: Transformational Judaism