Sermons: Rabbi Michael Siegel

Vayechi: The “Immortal” Words of Abraham Joshua Heschel: Thoughts on His 50th Yahrzeit

Vayechi | Rabbi Michael Siegel | January 7, 2023

There is a story told of two friends who had grown old together.  Serious baseball fans, they would discuss games throughout baseball history and argue controversial calls.  One question eluded them, though: Was there baseball in heaven.?  They made a deal with one another.  Whoever would die first would have to come back and tell Continue Reading »

Chayei Sara: The Normalization of Anti-Semitism is No Laughing Matter

Chayei Sarah | Rabbi Michael Siegel | November 19, 2022

The Normalization of Anti-Semitism is No Laughing Matter:  Sermon on Chayei Sara 2022  Anshe Emet Synagogue  Rabbi Michael S. Siegel I remember my first Selichot service at Anshe Emet.  There I was, fresh from the Seminary, wearing my brand-new white robe.  My job was to recite a prayer with the congregation. I left my seat Continue Reading »

Tetzaveh: The Clothing of Deception, The Clothing that Reveals

Tetzaveh | Rabbi Michael Siegel | February 12, 2022

Aliana is my first Bat Mitzvah with Panamanian roots, so in her honor and that of her family, both here in Chicago and those in Panama, I thought to speak this morning about something that had to do with Panama.  My problem is that my knowledge of Panama is limited.  Truth be told, the only Continue Reading »

Terumah: Keeping the Menorah Lit: The Danger of the “A” Word: Apartheid

Terumah | Rabbi Michael Siegel | February 5, 2022

How well do you visualize?  When someone tells you about something that is going to be remodeled, and they say, Well, we are going to take this wall down and move this couch here, a chair there.  We are going to change the color from this to this.  Of course, we are changing the light Continue Reading »

Mishpatim: Repro Shabbat

Mishpatim | Rabbi Michael Siegel | January 29, 2022

Back in the old country, back in the day of our great-great-grandparents, they knew the word “America”, but more often than not, the term that they used for this country was the goldinah medinah.  The golden land, a place so rich that the streets are paved with gold. But when they arrived in this country, Continue Reading »

Toldot: Changing the Meaning of a Phrase: Acknowledging the Hands of Esau in Our Time

Toldot | Rabbi Michael Siegel | November 6, 2021

Changing the Meaning of a Phrase: Acknowledging the Hands of Esau in Our Time Rabbi Michael S. Siegel: November 6, 2021  It is remarkable how a well-known saying can lose or change its meaning over time. Consider these nursery rhymes that many of us recited to our children: Baa Baa, Black Sheep, have you any wool? Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shuvah: Morning Sermon

Shabbat Shuvah | Rabbi Michael Siegel | September 11, 2021

The Sin for Which There is No Teshuvah: Thoughts on 9/11: 20 Years Later Rabbi Michael S. Siegel Shabbat Shuvah 2021 Shabbat Shuvah is a day that we celebrate the power of Teshuvah.  Next to monotheism, this notion that human beings can win forgiveness from God for their wrongdoings may be Judaism’s greatest contribution to the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shuvah: Evening Sermon

Shabbat Shuvah | Rabbi Michael Siegel | September 10, 2021

Higher and Higher: Into the Fire” A Tribute to the Firefighters of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and Shabbat Shuvah Rabbi Michael S. Siegel Friday, September 10, 2021 On 911 our world change. The unimaginable became imaginable. The images of planes directed at buildings, and seeing those two iconic structures collapse, people walking in shock covered in dust will Continue Reading »

Rosh Hashanah, Day One

Rosh Hashanah Day One | Rabbi Michael Siegel | September 7, 2021

Catching Our Tears: Finding Our Humanity and our Judaism Rabbi Michael S. Siegel Rosh Hashanah 2021 In my hand I hold a small clay bottle.  It can easily be mistaken for a random piece of pottery discovered on a dig in Israel.  But it had a very specific purpose.  This is a facsimile of an Continue Reading »

Hebrew, Prayer and National Identity

Ki Tavo | Rabbi Michael Siegel | August 31, 2021

How do you say Computer in Russian, Computer? In Spanish? Computadora In Japanese: Com puu tor Globalization has affected every aspect of our lives including or language.  As most technological advances have been made In America it makes sense that the English terms would make their way around the world in their original form. The Continue Reading »