Temple Israel


Selected sermons, speeches, and messages by Temple's clergy and others are posted here periodically. Please feel free to read, watch, or listen to them; however, as they are the property of their authors, the sermons may not be reproduced or used in other forms.

January 5, 2018, "Shabbat Shemot: The Force" by Rabbi Bauman

December 29, 2017, "A Starting Point: Turning Darkness into Growth" by Rabbi Wohlner
December 22, 2017, "'Tis the Season" by Rabbi Greenstein
December 15, 2017, "Outshining Darkness" by Rabbi Wohlner
December 8, 2017, "The Way to Make Things Right" by Rabbi Greenstein
December 1, 2017, "To Prevail" by Rabbi Bauman
November 24, 2017, Anat Hoffman Visits Temple Israel
November 17, 2017, "Changing Perspective" by Rabbi Wohlner
November 10, 2017, "Our Heroes" by Rabbi Bauman
November 3, 2017, "Laughter and the Impossibility of Literalism" by Rabbi Greenstein
October 28, 2017, "Are You Ready to Go? Me Too." by Rabbi Bauman
October 21, 2017, "The Truth About Noah's Sons" by Rabbi Greenstein
October 13, 2017 Rabbi Greenstein's sermon
October 6, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
Yom Kippur: September 30, 2017: Rabbi Bauman "The Sound of Silence"
Kol Nidre: September 29, 2017: Rabbi Greenstein "It's On Us"
September 22, 2017 Rabbi Strauss's sermon
Rosh Hashanah: September 21, 2017: Rabbi Wohlner "Rewriting the Book of Life"
Erev Rosh Hashanah: September 20, 2017: Rabbi Greenstein
"Three Things That Make Living Worthwhile
September 15, 2017 Rabbi Greenstein's sermon
September 8, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
September 1, 2017 Rabbi Greenstein's sermon
August 25, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
August 18, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
August 11, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner's sermon
August 4, 2017 Rabbi Strauss's sermon
July 28, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
July 21, 2017 Rabbi Strauss's sermon
July 14, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner's sermon
July 7, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
June 30, 2017 Rabbi Wholner's sermon
June 23, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
June 16, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's sermon
June 2, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner's sermon
May 19, 2017 Rabbi Bauman's "Owning Our Hypocrisy"
May 12, 2017 Rabbi Greenstein's graduation sermon
April 28, 2017 Tom Shadyac Addresses Temple: "Five Questions, One Answer
April 7, 2017 Rabbi Bauman "Answer Me"
March 31, 2017 Rabbi Strauss "How to Live More Fully"
March 24, 2017 Rabbi Bauman and Cantorial Soloist, Abbie Strauss "More Love"
March 17, 2017 Rabbi Bauman "Two Roads"
March 10, 2017 Rabbi Greenstein "Seeing What We Don't See"
March 3, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner "Leave Room for God"
February 24, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner "Don't Let All the Feathers Loose"
February 17, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner "How Do You Know That Night Has Ended?"
February 10, 2017 Shabbat Shira "Sermon in Song: Music as Midrash"
February 3, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner "The Four Children Get Biblical"
January 28, 2017 Rabbi Bauman "From Fear to Faith"
January 27, 2017 Rabbi Bauman "Raise Your Hand"
January 20, 2017 Rabbi Bauman "An Act of Resistance"
January 13, 2017 Rabbi Strauss "We are Engaged in a Creative Battle"
January 6, 2017 Rabbi Wohlner "What's Your Impulse"
December 30, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Recognition"
December 23, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Angels"
December 16, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Prevailing"
December 9, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "The Power of Light"
December 2, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "The Real Jacob and Esau"
November 25, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Attitude for Gratitude"
November 18, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Where God Resides"
November 11, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "A Place You Do Not Know: A D'var Torah for Parashat Lech L'cha"
November 4, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "After the Flood: Noah"
October 28, 2016 Rabbi Strauss "The Theory of Everything"
October 21, 2016 Shabbat Sukkot with Dan Nichols Music and Reflections by Dan Nichols
October 14, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Abracadabra"
October 12, 2016 Yom Kippur Panel Discussion; Panelists: Stephen Bush, Shelby County Public Defender; Marti Tippens Murphy, Memphis Director of Facing History, and Cardell Orin, Director of Stand for Children; moderated by Professor Daniel Kiel "Building A More Just Memphis"
October 12, 2016 NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks' Yom Kippur Afternoon Discussion "Giants of Justice"
October 12, 2016 Rabbi Bauman's Yom Kippur Sermon "Where Does It Hurt?"
October 11, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein's Yom Kippur Sermon "The Sweet Spot"
October 7, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Shabbat Shuvah: Become the Person You Want to Be"
October 3, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner's Rosh Hashanah Sermon "A Whole New World"
October 2, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein's Rosh Hashanah Sermon "What Does 'Good for the Jews' Mean These Days?"
September 30, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "With Shimon Peres As Our Role Model, We Can Repair The World."
September 23, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Finding the Light of Hope in the New Year"
September 16, 2016 Guest Cantor Ellen Dreskin "Thoughtful Words"
September 9, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Restoring Wholeness and Peace"
September 2, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein “We Are Within God
August 26, 2016 Rabbi Strauss "Building Relationships Through Asking Soulful Questions"
August 19, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "The Gift of Love"
August 12, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Choose Your Words Carefully"
August 5, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Life is a journey. Pay attention along the way."
July 29, 2016 Rabbi Strauss "Admiring Others" 
July 22, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Save Others From Embarrassment and Consider Others' Unique Circumstances"
July 15, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Look Up! Choose Hope!"
July 8, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Pervasive fear, as history demonstrates, ultimately paves the way to..."
July 1, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Did you know that the NRA was created to promote..."
June 25, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "We meet the first Jewish family in history. I call them..."
June 24, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "It's time for men and women - all of us - to create..." June 10, 2016 Rabbi Strauss "We don't just love to count. Rather, counting expresses our..."
June 3, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Loving kindness isn't enough. It's also our task to..."
May 28, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein What do the Liberty Bell and this week's Torah portion have in common?
May 27, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "If you could be a super hero, who would you be and why?
May 20, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Judaism constantly asks us to..."
May 13, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Planting seeds is a holy kind of work, because..."
May 7, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "When you can't fix something, you can always..."
April 29, 2016 Elkan Scheidt Remarks after becoming Temple Israel President
April 22, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Of all the Jewish holidays, only Passover may be..."
April 15, 2016 Noah Aronson Shabbat reflections
April 9, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Passover is a good time to..."
April 8, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Being afraid and making a bold choice, a brave choice to act is to..."
April 2, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "For people who are free, the future is always..."
March 25, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "If you see a righteous or generous person who is suffering and hurting, remember..."
March 18, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Each of us must become a grager during this season of election."
March 11, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "The world would have been a better place were humans not created."
March 5, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "What we learn from the Torah is that creativity is the essence of..."
March 4, 2016 Rabbi Strauss "We understand that to turn a holy place into a synagogue, first we all have to..."
Feb. 26, 2016 Daryl Messinger "The vast majority of North American Jews identify with..."
Feb. 26, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Forgiveness" (Calvary Episcopal Church Lenten Preaching Series & Waffle House)
Feb. 25, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Seeing Life Anew" (Calvary Episcopal Church Lenten Preaching Series & Waffle House)
Feb. 12, 2016 Rabbi Strauss "God asks us to create the perfect place to..."
Feb. 6, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "The most famous Hebrew word, aside from mazal tov, l'chaim, and shalom, is..."
Jan. 29, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Great ideas don't matter much unless they..."
February, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Between You and Me" (Jerusalem)
Jan. 9, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "Many of the stories in our Torah have components of..."
Jan. 8, 2016 Rabbi Bauman "God is angry because Moses is..."
Jan. 1, 2016 Rabbi Greenstein "Seven Thoughts for The New Year"
Jan. 1, 2016 Rabbi Wohlner "Even though it's the secular new year, I believe we should embrace any opportunity we can to..."
Dec. 25, 2015 Rabbi Wohlner "The trick to life is..."
Dec. 18, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Our task as Jews is to..."
Dec. 11, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Perhaps the most forgotten factoid about Chanukah is..."
Dec. 5, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Our personal fulfillment is an accumulation of..."
Dec. 4, 2015 Rabbi Wohlner "What makes a person righteous?"
Nov. 27, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "The essence of this holiday is not thanks, but..."
Nov. 20, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "When we finally acknowledge our human limitations, we..."
Nov. 13, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "We can't forget about the scars of other people."
Nov. 6, 2015 Rabbi Strauss "We need to find time to have..."
Oct. 30, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "What destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, say the rabbis, was the utter failure of people to..."
Oct. 23, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "I think the best way to deal with our fears is..."
Oct. 16, 2015 Rabbi Wohlner "The Jewish people are the people of..."
Oct. 9, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Shabbat is our passport to..."
Oct. 2, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Knowing we can change our lives and make them better is...
Sept. 25, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "God's word, God's presence, is a..."
Sept. 23, 2015 Yom Kippur, Yizkor service, Rabbi Greenstein
Sept. 23, 2015 Yom Kippur, Rabbi Wohlner "Judaism is Like Riding a Bike...or is It?"
Sept. 22, 2015 Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur, Rabbi Greenstein "Joy is a Choice"
Sept. 18, 2015 Rabbi Strauss, "Imagine if we had a community where people really gave each other..."
Sept. 14, 2015 Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Bauman "Building Sand Castles"
Sept. 13, 2015 Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Greenstein "Chazak: Be Strong and Let Us Strengthen One Another"
Sept. 11, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Judaism is a tradition that doesn't really believe in..."
Sept. 4, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "How do you keep a legacy alive?"
Aug. 28, 2015 Rabbi Danziger "The road to Hell is not, as they say, paved with good intentions.The road to Hell is paved with..." 
Aug. 21, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "A Jewish tradition has a complex relationship with..."
Aug. 14, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "We, unlike some of our ancestors, actually have an incredible amount of..."
Aug. 7, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Young children believe that their parents can..."
July 31, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "The only kind of religion that survives serious adversity is..."
July 24, 2015 Rabbi Wohlner "There's no doubt Jews love..."
July 17, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "The best way to mark our history of suffering is to..."
July 10, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "God is excited by their choice to..."
July 3, 2015 Rabbi Wohlner "How on Earth did I get here?"
June 26, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "We matter because we are..."
June 19, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Silence and close-mindedness achieves..."
June 12, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "It's not just what you see, it's how you..."
June 5, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "The light of Judaism will not stay ablaze unless..."
May 29, 2015 Rabbi Bauman What takes up more "air time" in the Torah than anything else?
May 22, 2015, Rabbi Greenstein "It's important to be a descendent, but it is even more important to become an ancestor."
May 15, 2015, Rabbi Bauman's and Rabbi Greenstein's sermon
Aril 24, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "God smiled at this moment and declared, 'This is where My name should live.'"
April 17, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "From a moral point of view, there may be no such thing as a bystander, because if one is present, one is taking part."
March 27, 2015 Sally Rosenberg "Every place we go has miraculous potential if we remember to..."
March 24, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein Sermon 2, Calvary Episcopal Church's Lenten Preaching Series
March 24, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein Sermon 1, Calvary Episcopal Church's Lenten Preaching Series
March 20, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Judaism is a religion that is based on the idea that..."
March 13, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Renewal happens only when human beings..."
March 6, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Living in God's presence inspires us to..."
Feb. 27, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "People aren't born heroes. People become heroes."
Feb. 20, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "When each of us builds a sanctuary of the heart, then God is able to..."
Feb. 13, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "How could our ancestors even think of living in a society in which human beings would..."
Feb. 6, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "Shabbat is supposed to be our weekly reminder that we can always...
Jan. 30, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Trees are like people."
Jan. 23, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "Being heirs to the story of the Exodus means..."
Jan. 16, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "We're commanded as Jews not to be..."
Jan. 9, 2015 Rabbi Bauman "They were enslaved because of their own lack of attention to what really matters."
Jan. 2, 2015 Rabbi Greenstein "All these matriarchs and patriarchs we're facing in the Torah represent..."
Dec. 26, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "The most repeated commandment in the entire Torah is..."
Dec. 19, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "The shamash has the best job in the world! The shamash gets to..."
Dec. 12, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "Most people are troubled because they don't..."
Dec. 5, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "A person cannot live for three minutes without..."
Nov. 28, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "To be a Jew means to be..."
Nov. 14, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "Why is the Torah so clear on this issue? Because the highest mitzvah is..."
Nov. 7, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "Taking the Bible literally, is therefore impossible for two reasons."
Oct. 31, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "What does God say instead? BE a..."
Oct. 24, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "No one comes out of the story of Noah joyful."
Oct. 17, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "The passage that begins our Torah is ambiguous."
Oct. 11, 2014 Michael Danziger "Sukkot is one of the rare holidays in Judaism that isn't..."
Oct. 10, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "The most precious things in life cannot be..."
Oct. 4, 2014 Yom Kippur (Yizkor service), Rabbi Greenstein "One of the overarching themes in the Torah is..."
Oct. 4, 2014 Yom Kippur, Rabbi Bauman "Whole in the World"
Oct. 3, 2014 Kol Nidre, Rabbi Greenstein "Be Here Now"
Sept. 26, 2014 Morris Dees, "A Season for Justice"
Sept. 25, 2014 Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Bauman "Finding My Place"
Sept. 24, 2014 Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Greenstein "The Blessing of Being Jewish
Sept. 19, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "Whenever we have a fire, we..."
Sept. 12, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "We are connected to, and by, the act of..."
Aug. 29, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "The central focus in this introspective time in the Jewish calendar is..."
Aug. 15, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "How can we best sanctify time? By..."
Aug. 8, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "Israel faces a grim future unless it can..."
Aug. 1, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "The only way to survive devastation and crumbling walls is..."
July 25, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "The greatest response to terror is..."
July 18, 2014 Rabbi Hinchin "Let's pray...while we run."
July 11, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "When Elijah heard the 'small, still voice,' he..."
July 4, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "There is a link between the Jewish people and the World Cup."
June 27, 2014 Cantor Patti Linsky "This is what Judaism brings into my life..."
June 20, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "We all fall prey, at times, to the consuming monster of..."
June 2014 Reform Judaism in Israel Presented by ARZA - The Reform Israel Fund
June 13, 2014 Rabbi Grossman Final sermon at Temple Israel
June 6, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "What does love sound like in our tradition?"
June 3, 2014 Rabbi Sam Stahl "Do Jews Still Consider Themselves The Chosen People?"
May 30, 2014 Sharon Benoff, WRJ Vice President D'var Torah
May 23, 2014 Jonathan Frisch Remarks by new the President of Temple Israel
May 16, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "The benefit of our relationship with God is..."
May 9, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "Our lives really don't belong to us."
May 2, 2014 Rabbi Grossman "Why am I working in Paradise?"
April 27, 2014 Professor Paul Liptz "The Shoah and Eretz Yisrael: How the Holocaust Still Informs the Landscape and People of Israel"
April 25, 2014 Professor Paul Liptz "Judaism in the Jewish State"
April 25, 2014 Professor Paul Liptz "The Meaning of Holiness"
April 25, 2014 Professor Paul Liptz "Women's Challenges in Israel"
April 24, 2014 Professor Paul Liptz "On the Frontlines: External Threats and Internal Tensions that Israel Faces
April 18, 2014 Sally Jones Heinz, Executive Director of Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, presents Rabbi Micah Greenstein and Temple Israel its Pathfinder Award.
April 11, 2014 Rabbi Bauman "The vibrancy of Jewish tradition is...."
April 4, 2014 Rabbi Grossman "I was, and still am, a slave to the treadmill."
March 28, Rabbi Greenstein "The wisdom of Torah is...."
March 14, 2014 Rabbi  Bauman "Purim is all about ...."
March 7, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "The details matter because..."
Feb. 28, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "This too is for the best."
Feb. 21, 2014 Rabbi Grossman "What is normal?"
Feb. 14, 2014 Rabbi Greenstein "Judaism is a yin and yang."
Feb. 7, 2014 Cantor Kaplan "Saving lives? That's what a ______ does."
Jan. 31, 2014 Cantor Kaplan "We make life holy by...
Jan. 24, 2014 Rabbi Grossman "It all depends on what you're listening for."
Jan. 20, 2014 Rabbi Micah Greenstein Remarks at the Be the Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration
Jan. 17, 2014 Rabbi Micah Greentstein "Great ideas do not matter much at all unless..."
Jan. 10, 2014 Cantor John Kaplan "According to our Jewish values, poverty is..."
Jan. 3, 2014 Rabbi Katie Bauman "The sharing of our experiences is powerful."
Dec. 27, 2013 Cantor John Kaplan "How does God's promise of hope reveal itself in the world?"
Dec. 20, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein "The Torah wants to teach us that any child can..."
Dec. 13, 2013 Rabbi Adam Grossman "Your hands are the hands of God."
Dec. 6, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein "Sometimes the most powerful words we can ever communicate are..."
Nov. 29, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein "The most significant religious message of Thanksgiving is..."
Nov. 22, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein "The essence of Thanksgiving is not thanks, it's..."
Nov. 15, 2013 Rabbi Katie Bauman "We have to have the courage to expose ourselves to fear and loss..."
Nov. 8, 2013 Cantor John Kaplan "What better way to demonstrate ouf gratitude to God than to..."
Nov. 1, 2013 Rabbi Adam Grossman "I'm a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte."
Oct. 25, 2013 Rabbi Katie Bauman  "When life throws curveballs at us, we..."
Oct. 18, 2013 Rabbi Harry Danziger  "I said to God..."
Oct. 11, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein  "The Hebrew word for faith means..."
Oct. 4, 2013 Rabbi Adam Grossman "Everybody Knows Your Name"
Sept. 27, 2013 Rabbi Katie Bauman, "It is a holy thing to be on a journey."
Sept. 14, 2013 Dr. Scott Morris, "How Old Was Moses When He Died?" (Yom Kippur discussion group)
Sept. 14, 2013 Yom Kippur, Rabbi Katie Bauman, "Hide and Seek"
Sept. 13, 2013 Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre), Rabbi Micah Greenstein, "The Playing Field of Life IS the Game of Judaism"
Sept. 6, 2013 Shabbat Shuvah, Dr. Alan Lightman, "Imagining Creation As Told By God"
Sept. 5, 2013 Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Adam Grossman, "10-4 Good Buddy; 10-for, Over and Out"
Sept. 4, 2013 Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Micah Greenstein, "The Gift of Growing Older"
Aug. 30, 2013 Rabbi Adam Grossman "The secret of life is a tea cup."
Aug. 23, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein "History is too often forgotten."
Aug. 16, 2013 Rabbi Micah Greenstein "Who are the enemies?"
Aug. 9, 2013    Cantor John Kaplan  "If everyone else decided to jump off a bridge, would you jump too?"
Aug 2, 2013     Rabbi Micah Greenstein  "WHAT we see depends on HOW we see."
July 26, 2013   Cantor John Kaplan  "If I Were a Rich Man"
July 19, 2013   Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism   "The six words that distill the very core of who we are..."
July 5, 2013     Rabbi Adam Grossman  "It's easy to know what we're going to be selfish for, yet what are we willing to be selfless for?"
June 7, 2013    Rabbi Adam Grossman "Well, howdy partner!"
May 31, 2013   Rabbi Micah Greenstein "It's time to talk about prostitutes."
May 24, 2013   Rabbi Micah Greenstein "You do not HAVE a soul. You ARE a soul."
May 17, 2013   Ginnifer "Ginny" Goodwin
May 25, 2012   Rabbi Micah Greenstein
May 18, 2012   Remarks by new Temple President, Paula Jacobson
May 11, 2012   Rabbi Katie Bauman
May 4, 2012     Cantor John Kaplan
April 27, 2012   Rabbi Adam Grossman