Judaism has survived periods of calamity because visionary leaders have transformed Jewish life to accommodate changed circumstances.
September 19, 2020
Occasion(s) / Rosh Hashanah
September 18, 2020
Occasion(s) / Erev Rosh Hashanah
The pandemic has contracted our horizons and cost us innumerable losses, but we can still find hope and meaning in what we do. Rabbi Cosgrove encourages us to find and create beauty and joy even within the smaller scale of our lives.
September 12, 2020
Occasion(s) / Nitzavim, Va-yeilekh
Rabbi Cosgrove finds parallels between the life of the incomparable Mets pitcher, Tom Seaver, and the message of the Torah reading: wherever we are today is not where we can be tomorrow. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, let us all act with strength and courage to make tomorrow a better day.
July 11, 2020
Occasion(s) / Pinhas
Recalling the friendship between baseball players Hank Greenberg and Jackie Robinson, Rabbi Cosgrove urges us all to examine our own internalized prejudices in order to reach first base in our struggle to check our biases and eliminate racism.
June 20, 2020
Occasion(s) / Sh’lah L’kha
Rabbi Cosgrove reminds us that public speech can change the world and also destroy it. Important as public protest may be, giving feedback privately will often forward our causes better than rash responses in social media.
June 06, 2020
Occasion(s) / Naso
Rabbi Cosgrove shows us how the Bible can provide inspiration, guidance, comfort, and even challenge, as we seek to respond to the systematic racism that infects our country.
May 30, 2020
Occasion(s) / Shavuot, Yizkor
At any Yizkor service, mourners are called on to stand together – separated in their grief. This year we are “together apart” more than ever. Rabbi Cosgrove urges us to follow the examples of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz, reaching beyond our own pain of loss to help ease the grief of others.
May 16, 2020
Occasion(s) / B’har, B’hukkotai
In honor of our annual “Seminary Shabbat,” Rabbi Cosgrove tracks the history of the American Jewish experience through the seven chancellors of the Seminary and raises the question of what sits on the docket of the soon-to-be-announced next chancellor.
May 09, 2020
Occasion(s) / Emor
How do we respond to the loss of occasions and opportunities during the pandemic? Rabbi Cosgrove advises us how to acknowledge each other’s sorrow and be present for one another as we gather our strength to step into an uncertain future.
May 02, 2020
Occasion(s) / Aharei Mot, K’doshim
Rabbi Cosgrove describes serving as clergy during the past two months and how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way families experience the death of a loved one and the Jewish rituals of burial and mourning.