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"Play with me!" Summertime sermon writing

08/17/2018 03:29:05 PM

Aug17

What will I say in my High Holy Day sermons? This is the question rabbis across the nation tackle during the waning days of summer. I am no exception. However, my sermon-writing process might be different from many of my rabbinic colleagues.

I do not begin writing my sermons with an outline or even a set of topics. Instead, I begin with stories I want to tell. Most of the time the stories are rooted in my own experiences of the past year. They are stories that somehow call out: "Play with me!" And so I do. I turn them over and over in my mind. I let them germinate. Ultimately, through the process of writing and re-writing, the stories lead me to the messages I will convey. In many ways, the process of writing these sermons is an important part of my spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days.

This year, thanks to the support of our Temple President and Board, I have been able to devote three weeks this summer to working with a writing coach. This has helped me to nurture my creativity and strengthen my writing. I look forward to sharing my words with you as we begin the New Year together!"

Tue, July 23 2019 20 Tammuz 5779