Sermons by Rabbi Neil Amswych

January 27, 2017

Rabbi Neil speaks about Political Triage in 2017
triage sermon.pdf (1.57 MB)

July 1, 2016

Rabbi Neil speaks about Living in Fear
Shelach Lecha Sermon 2016 - Living in Fear.pdf (27.38 KB)

June 24, 2016

Rabbi Neil speaks about fear of the Other
The Cushite and Us Sermon.pdf (298.23 KB)

June 17, 2016

Rabbi Neil addresses rational and irrational fears and how we face them.
Climate of Fear Sermon.pdf (52.7 KB)

May 27, 2016

Rabbi Neil asks whether or not God is a fact.
Is God a Fact sermon.pdf (49.49 KB)

March 18, 2016

Purim is the time for fun! Enjoy this silly sermon that was followed by the even-sillier family-friendly Purim evening on Wednesday, March 23: potluck, the Megillah reading, Purim spiel and hamantasch extravaganza!
Rabbi Neil’s Not Entirely Serious Purim Sermon 5776 (2016) (PDF)

February 19, 2016

Rabbi Neil discussed his understanding of faith in Islam and Christianity and uses that as a basis to compare ethical practices and mizvot in Judaism.

For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is apparently disgraceful. As a religious leader, I had to address this because I think it addresses a core issue of faith communities today.

Questioning Another Person's Faith Sermon (PDF)

January 29, 2016

Rabbi Neil commented about the growth of anti-intellectualism.

... there exists an open strain of anti-intellectualism in this country that is, unfortunately, growing stronger.

The Growth of Anti-Intellectualism Sermon (PDF)

December 25, 2015

Rabbi Neil talked about Judaism and Star Wars.

From childhood, two major forces shaped my life – Judaism and Star Wars. Both became integral to my life as I grew up.

Judaism and Star Wars Sermon (PDF)

November 20, 2015

Rabbi Neil reflected about the mid-November attacks in Paris.

The war on terror is an ideological war but not one that can be fought by military means. To do so actually runs the risk of prolonging the war. You can’t bomb an ideology out of existence.

Post Paris-Attack Sermon (PDF)

High Holy Days 2015/5776: Why Are We Here?

Throughout the High Holy Days, Rabbi Neil's sermons explored responses to differing versions of the question, "Why Are We Here....?" Click Summary of Rabbi Neil's Sermons (PDF) to download a summary of the sermons for the High Holy Days. See below to download the full sermon for each day.

  • Erev Rosh Hashanah: To Change the World

    ... there are many positive answers to the question Why Are We Here? We might be here in search of something. We might be here to atone. We might be here to see members of the community or to meet with God. We might be here to grow. Or we might not be able to put our finger exactly on why we’re here, but we just know we should be and that it benefits us to be here.

    Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon (PDF)

  • Rosh Hashanah morning: Not Why Am I Here

    I didn’t ask “Why am I here?” which at first glance may have been a perfectly appropriate question to ask at a time of personal teshuvah, of individualised return to God. So why did I choose “we” and not “I?” Isn’t “Why am I here?” a perfectly valid question at this time?

    Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon (PDF)

  • Shabbat Shuvah: Surrounded by so Much Suffering

    ... it’s all relative. Our suffering is the suffering of loneliness, of bereavement, of illness. It’s not the kind of suffering known by billions of people worldwide, who are deprived of clean water, food and safe shelter. It’s not the suffering of dictatorships or of war. That is suffering the likes of which we are usually completed spared. And we have to look at ourselves and acknowledge that much of that suffering is our fault.

    Shabbat ShuvaSermon (PDF)

  • Kol Nidre: And Not in a Social Club

    The question “Why Are We Here?” presumes that we could be somewhere else. And of course, we recognise that we could, that there are hundreds of other places we could be. So, why did we choose to be here?

    Kol Nidre Sermon (PDF)

  • Yom Kippur: To Transcend

    To define one specific end goal seems to be extremely limiting. After all, we all experience liturgy in a differing way. Is it not just enough to say that the journey itself is sufficient?

    Yom Kippur Sermon (PDF)

November 21, 2014

This is the installation sermon given by Rabbi Neil Amswych.

... had you asked me ten years ago where I imagined myself living now, New Mexico would not have ever been mentioned.

2014 Installation Sermon (PDF) Climate of Fear Sermon.pdf (52.7 KB)Shelach Lecha Sermon 2016 - Living in Fear.pdf (27.38 KB)

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Services & Study This Week

Friday, June 22
6:30 pm Erev Shabbat Services
Dorothea Farewell

Saturday, June 23
9:00 am Bagels, Coffee and Torah Study
10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service
Julian & Emma Rhode B'nai Mitzvah