Parashat Nitzavim: ​Being Present Before God and Community

On Yom Kippur, Rabbi Shira Gluck discussed Parashat Nitzavim, in which Moses called up the Israelites to be “fully present” to affirm their covenant with God. “Nitzavim calls to each one of us to assume our place in the assembly of Israel. As your newest rabbi, I am here to help each of you find your place.”


The Blessings and Responsibility of Privilege

Rabbi Shira Gluck examines the personal responsibility everyone has — regardless of their status or position — to consider more than their own wants and needs. She also explores the difference between privilege and entitlement: “We are not entitled to do whatever we want, but the privilege we enjoy as God’s beloved people is that when we do atone, God will accept our t’shuvah​ readily and with love.”


Okay, Fine, I’m Grateful!

Rabbi Shira Gluck discusses gratitude and the importance of making it a conscious practice. She reminds us how our sacred texts encourage us to be grateful, and explains that “Gratitude connects us to each other. It can connect us to that which is beyond our imagination. It connects us to the Divine. This is the essence of our prayers: they shed light on the things we may take for granted.”


The Wisdom of the Jewish Calendar

In her first sermon at Stephen Wise, Rabbi Shira Gluck reflects on the deep wisdom and philosophical truths wrapped up in the Jewish calendar. “A well thought-out calendar does much more than help us organize our tasks — it can reveal our priorities and our values,” she says, encouraging us to “be present in​ this moment and attuned to what is happening in the world around us” so that we can fully experience the weeks of solemnity and mourning culminating in next week’s observance of Tisha b’Av.