Torah Lishma, Torah For Its Own Sake

Teachings from Our Rabbi


Farewell Words

on Monday, 22 May 2017. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Floral Hall, Forest Park, Everett

Nine years ago, I sat in the Temple Beth Or sanctuary during my interview weekend. It was Sunday morning during the Q&A open to all congregants. After a full and intense weekend, and I was doing my best to wow all of you  :)     Someone asked the question if I thought my age would be a challenge, and after I responded, a certain congregant who shall remain nameless, but who had a starring role in the infamous hot tub story and is the proud papa to 6 kids said, “I don’t think it’s a challenge, I think it’s an asset.”  I remember feeling so grateful for his confidence in me and the willingness of a community to put their trust in a rabbi who was still a bit of a greenhorn.  How we’ve grown together the past 9 years…


on Monday, 14 September 2015. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Erev Rosh HaShanah 5776

A narrative inspired by storyteller Bobby Stoddard…

My favorite winter in Vermont will always be 1999.  A big snow year comes while I am a part-time carpenter and a full-time ski bum.  I used to hike up an abandoned ski mountain to get fresh tracks -- where nobody has skied down in front of me sullying the mountain.
It is sublime whiteness.

The True Peace We Seek

on Friday, 11 July 2014. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

A few days ago, I sent an email to a congregant because their child was in Israel and I knew that imagining your child there amongst the violence must be incredibly scary. I received an email back, part of which I’d like to share with you:


Divine Reward and Punishment

on Saturday, 18 August 2012. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Sermons

Parshat Re'eh

Moses’ thundering charge to the community from this week’s Torah portion: “See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: a blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Eternal your God which I enjoin upon you this day; and a curse, if you do not obey the commandments…”[1]

A Time of Reflection and Introspection

on Friday, 20 July 2012. Posted in Rabbi Marshall's Articles

The ORacle, August 2012 Issue

The Hebrew month of Elul begins August 17. The entire month of Elul, the month before Rosh HaShanah, is a time of reflection and introspection. A chance to reflect on the past year, sensitize ourselves to our mistakes and strive to rectify them. The Yamim Noraim, Days of Awe, are a time to re-orient ourselves — to reconnect with the person we aspire to be — the mother, father, partner, sibling, and friend we want to be for others, and the complete individual we seek to be in our thoughts, deeds, and speech. But we cannot return to our true path unless we are prepared to search. This soul searching is reflected in the name of the Hebrew month itself, for Elul means searching in Aramaic.

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