The Simplest Things – High Holidays 2015/5776

These talks will be delivered at High Holiday services this September for Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, and later available through The Kol Hadash Podcast. If you’re interested in celebrating the Jewish New Year with us in Deerfield, Illinois, please email our office or call 847-383-5184.

The Simplest Things

Repairing the world does not always need massive funding or life-altering choices. It can be as simple as a few words spoken to other people. These small bridges can be paths to peace and happiness for ourselves, and even for the world.

“I Hear You”       Rosh Hashana Evening              September 13, 2015   8:00 PM
As awful as human suffering can be, it can be even harder to suffer alone without understanding or empathy. The most basic step in overcoming conflict and isolation is an ability we evolved countless generations ago: to speak, and to truly listen.

“I’ll Help”         Rosh Hashana Morning                September 14, 2015   10:00 AM
No one is an island. We grow up in families and societies, and we learn the balance between mutual responsibility and self-actualization. In the space between obligation and freedom lies “help” – a hand we all need from time to time that gives us the strength to do for ourselves what we no longer need others to do unto us.

“It’s My Responsibility”         Yom Kippur Evening           September 22, 2015   8:00 PM
Taking responsibility is not easy, particularly when others prefer seeking excuses or spreading blame. Dignity and self-respect are children of responsibility, but so too are risk and failure. The confidence we find from taking charge of our lives flows through our actions to the world around us, transforming desire into will, and will into reality.

“I Forgive”             Yom Kippur Morning                    September 23, 2015   10:00 AM
Forgiveness can repair relationships, and it can also be healing for both parties in the conflict. But can we learn to forgive ourselves? Guilt is a powerful emotion, and forgiving others can sometimes be easier than facing our guilt. If Yom Kippur is an opportunity for new beginnings, we need to start fresh with ourselves as well.

“Let Go”        Yom Kippur Memorial & Concluding           September 23, 2015   3:30 PM
We want so much to control our lives, and our deaths. Yet experience teaches again and again that we may steer the boat, but we cannot control the current. Learning when and how to say goodbye—and when and how to accept death with dignity—is key to the art of living.


About Rabbi Adam Chalom

Adam Chalom is the Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in north suburban Chicago. He is also the Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.
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5 Responses to The Simplest Things – High Holidays 2015/5776

  1. Pingback: I Hear You – Rosh Hashana evening 5776 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  2. Pingback: I’ll Help – Rosh Hashana Morning 5776 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  3. Pingback: It’s My Responsibility – Yom Kippur Evening 5776 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  4. Pingback: I Forgive – Yom Kippur Morning 5776 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  5. Pingback: Let Go – Yom Kippur Memorial 5776 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

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