Sign In Forgot Password

Sermons by Rabbi michael j. safra

The following are selected sermons given by Rabbi Michael Safra on holidays and special occasions.


V’khol Ba-ei Olam, All the Inhabitants of the Earth” Are Welcome (Rosh Hashanah 5784)

Hashta Atai, Now He Is Coming: Responding to Crisis in Israel (Kol Nidre 5784) 

After The Death … Let Us Live (Yom Kippur 5784)

Israel Solidarity Shabbat (Shabbat Breishit 5784, October 14) 

Embracing the Jacob and Esau within Each of Us (Parashat Toldot 5784, November 18) 

Resurrection and Rebirth (Shabbat Vayeshev/Hanukkah 5784, December 9)

Antisemitism Is a Hatred that Never Dies (Parashat Vayehi 5784, December 30) 

We Must Continue to Live (Parashat Shemot 5784, January 6) 

We Cannot Walk Alone (Parashat Bo 5784, January 20) 

Reflections on Our Civil Rights Tour through the Deep South (Parashat Tetzaveh, February 24)

Volunteer Shabbat Remarks (Parashat Ki Tissa, March 2)

Reflections on a Visit to Argentina (Parashat Pekudei, March 16)

What Blessing Should I Recite for an Eclipse? The Lessons of Power and Might
(Parashat Shemini, April 6) 


Choose Hope, Not Fear (Rosh Hashanah 5783)

Ahavat Tziyon: The Languages of Loving Israel (Kol Nidre)

Transforming Ourselves: To Life! (Yom Kippur at Yizkor)

You Break It, You Fix It (Shabbat Hol HaMoed Sukkot)

Torah is Not Science: Lessons from the Beginning (Parashat Breishit, October 22)

Don’t Look Back! (Parashat Vayera, November 12)  Click here for the video.

Encountering Others Through Relationship (Parashat Vayishlah, December 10)

Celebrating Our Volunteers and other Great Volunteers of History (Parshat Beshalah, February 4) 

The Torah of Reproductive Justice (Parashat Mishpatim/Repro Shabbat, February 18)

Context Matters: A Tribute to Rabbi Arnold Goodman z”l (Parashat Ki Tissa, March 11)

Two Portions, Two Torahs—A Shabbat of New Beginnings (Shabbat Vayakhel-Pekudei Hachodesh, March 18)

Shabbat Tekumah: The Shabbat of Rebirth (Parashat Tazria-Metzora, April 22)

Bringing Glory to God’s Holy Name – American Jewish Heritage Month (Parashat Emor 5783, May 6)

First Day of Shavuot (May 26) Click here to view.

The Mysterious Ritual Of Sotah: Engaging with Ideas We Don’t Understand (Parashat Naso, June 3)

Going Beyond the Law (Parshat Ki Tetze, August 26) 

You Stand This Day … All of You (Parashat Nitzavim, September 9) 



Rosh Hashanah - A Better Way to Seek Truth - Click here for the video version.

“You Mustn’t Show Weakness” – The Blessing of Israel (Kol Nidre) - Click here for the video version.

Be Strong and Remember the Promise (Yom Kippur) - Click here for the video version.

It All Depends What You Are Listening For (Shabbat Sukkot, September 25)

The Unfinished Business of Creation – (Breishit 5782, October 2)

Don’t Just Do; Just Be (Parashat Noah 5782, October 9)

The Torah of Kindness (Parashat Vayera 5782, October 23)

And Isaac Prayed (Parashat Toledot 5782, November 6)

Unity, Family, and Miracles (Shabbat Mikketz/Hanukkah 5782, December 4)

Implement the Kotel Agreement (Parashat Trumah 5782, February 5) For background on the issues raised in this sermon, please see this FAQ about the Kotel Agreement from the Rabbinical Assembly.

On Fear and Masks (Shabbat Ki Tissa 5782, February 19)

March Madness vs. Baseball: The Value of the Everyday Slog (Parashat Tzav 5782, March 19)

Some Afflictions Affect All of Us (Teal Shabbat, Parashat Metzora 5782, April 9)

The Land Will Not Spit Us Out (Yom HaAtzmaut 5782, Parashat Aharei Mot, April 30)

Speak and Say (Parashat Emor 5782, May 14)

Love Must Conquer Tragedy (Parashat Bechukotai 5782, May 28)

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof, Justice, the Ongoing Pursuit (Parashat Shoftim 5782, September 3)

When You Enter the Land: A Collision of Present, Past and Future (Parashat Ki Tavo, September 17)



Rosh Hashanah - This is Not Normal Click here for the video version.

Kol Nidre - Only Together Click here for the video version.

Yom Kippur - On Forgiveness Click here for the video version.

First Day of Sukkot (October 3) Click here for the video version.

And God Remembered-Parashat Noah (October 24) Click here for the video version.

Vayera (November 7) Click here for the video version.

Toldot (November 21) Click here for the video version.

Vayetze (November 28) Click here for the video version.

Seeking to Understand and Appreciate the Other (December 12) Click here for the video version.

Revenge is not as Fulfilling as it May Seem (December 19)

I am Tired (January 16) Click here for the video version.

Who Will Join You on the Journey? (January 23) Click here for the video version.

Jethro the Outsider: Where Does He Belong? (February 6, Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Shabbat)

The Sound of Silence (February 20)

Creating Space on the Inside—Parashat Pekudei 5781 (March 13)

Give of Yourselves – Parashat Vayikra 5781 (March 20)

Life Is Messy. Choose Life. (Masorti Shabbat, April 17)

Be a Human Being, Not an Angel – Parashat Behukotai 5781 (May 8)

The Tragic Realities of Our Wilderness – Parashat B’midbar 5781 (May 15)

Should I Stay or Should I Go?– Parashat Beha’alotekha 5781 (May 29)

Committed and Troubled – Parashat Korah 5781 (June 12)


Rosh Hashanah – Words Matter
Kol Nidre – On Jewish Unity 
Yom Kippur – Twice a Week
Purple Shabbat – We Must Not Remain Indifferent
Pluralism, February 1 Sermon

Vayakhel Moshe, Responding to Crisis with Social Solidarity (March 21) Click here for the video version.

Shabbat HaGadol (April 4) by Rabbi Safra Click here for the video version.

Parashat Shemini (April 18) by Rabbi Safra Click here to download the sermon.

Parashat Achrei Mot/Kedoshim (May 2) by Rabbi Safra Click here for the video version.

Parashat Emor (May 9) Ritual Does Not Go Stale by Rabbi Safra Click here for the video version.

Yizkor on Second Day of Shavuot (May 30) by Rabbi Safra Click here for the video version.

The World Needs More Prophets (June 6) by Rabbi Safra Click here for the video version.

Parshat Shelah (June 20) by Rabbi Safra titled "Black Lives Matter"

Parashat Re'eh (August 15) by Rabbi Michael Safra Click here for the video version.

Parashat Ki Tavo (September 5) by Rabbi Michael Safra. Click here for the video version.

Rosh Hashanah – Slow Down and Live 
Kol Nidre – Standing with Israel…in the Tragic Gap
Yom Kippur – Overcoming the Fear of Death
Solidarity Shabbat in Memory of the Victims in Pittsburgh 

Solidarity Shabbat

If You Play with Fire, March 29
To Be Truly Free, May 25 

To Be Truly Free

Lo T’Ametz Levav’kha, Shabbat Re’eh

Ki Tavo 5778 – Joyfulness Means Awareness
History Points to the Future
In Memory of Rabbi Neil Gillman

Yom Kippur – Memories Can Change Us for the Better
Kol Nidre – A Space for Me to Lodge
Rosh Hashanah – We Will Not Be Lost
And These Are the Layers – Parashat Mishpatim 
Context Matters – Parashat Shelah

Rosh HaShanah – Experience God in All Your Ways
Kol Nidre – A Nation of Dreamers
Yom Kippur – The Value of Memory
Parashat Lech Lecha – Let Us Not Separate
Fake Tears – Parashat Bo
Block Out the Darkness; Make Room for Light – Parashat Shoftim 5778

Rosh HaShanah – Celebrating Our Sacred Community
Kol Nidre – I Have No Other Homeland
Yom Kippur – Slow to Anger, Quick to Forgive
Parashat Ha’azinu – You Can Observe a Lot Just by Watching
Our Eternal Connection to the Land – Lekh Lekha 
Shabbat Hagadol – Focusing on the Essence
Parashat Re’eh  – They Make it Look so Easy

Parashat Vayetze – Love Languages
Parashat Toldot – We Cannot Afford to Wait
Parashat Lech Lecha – Why Should We Care about Ancient Stories?
Shabbat Breishit – The Good Must Be Stronger than the Bad
Yom Kippur – The Broken and the Whole
Kol Nidre – We are Israel
Rosh Hashanah – You Shall Be a Blessing 

Rosh Hashanah – Derekh Eretz
Kol Nidre – The Meaning of Humility
Yom Kippur – The Power of Tears
Parashat Vayera  – Our Community’s Near Death Experience
Shabbat Beshalah – From Complainment to Fulfillment
Parashat Terumah – Fill the Seats
Parashat Pekudei – Nothing Is Perfect
Parashat Tazria – Choose Life
Parashat Re’eh – There Shall Be No Needy Among Us
Parashat Ki Tetze – Justice and Mercy

Rosh Hashanah – Finding Satisfaction from the Inside Out
Kol Nidre – I Engage
Yom Kippur – Engaging in Active Prayer
Ki Tissa – Sin of Excess
Shabbat HaGadolThe Power of Empathy
Korah – Speak Up
Nitzavim/Vayelekh – The Torah Is Not in Heaven
Parashat Vayyigash – For the Unity of the Jewish People

Rosh Hashanah – Being Jewish is Doing Jewish
Kol Nidre – More than Facts
Yom Kippur – God in Process
Parashat Yitro – Reflections on My Visit to Israel
Shabbat Zachor – Protecting the Ones on the Margin
Parashat Shemini – Interpret, You Shall Interpret
Ki Tavo – Mitzvot and Kavanah
Parashat Shemot – Celebration of Ten Years at B’nai Israel

Rosh Hashanah – Living with a Mitzvah Mindset
Kol Nidre – The Language Gap
Yom Kippur – Maintaining Faith in a Broken World

Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784