Rules and Laws are all well and good, but there’s no point in making them if they can’t be enforced and understood. The Torah brilliantly opens parashat Yitro by (sort of) reuniting Moses with his family, brought to him by his father-in-law, Yitro. I
This week’s Torah reading is Chaye Sarah, the life of Sarah. However, it begins by telling us she died, and that Abraham was unprepared. It’s questionable as to whether or not he was even present at the time, as the text tells us that
As we gather on this auspicious occasion of Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate not only the Jewish New Year but also what is often referred to as the “Birthday of the world.” The concept of creation holds a profound place in our faith, and today,
A few months ago, a couple of my colleagues mentioned using an app called Ten Percent Happier, by former ABC news anchor Dan Harris, for meditation and mindfulness. No, he’s not paying me to talk about the app, or the benefits of meditation, and
One of my first classes in rabbinical school at AJR was “Contemplative Practice” with Rabbi Jill Hammer. One of the assignments had to do with “mindful eating,” where you take a small food item–perhaps a grape or raisin– look at it, touch it, squeeze
Like many of the quotes and poems that make their way into use, a poem attributed to an anonymous person in a concentration camp, or in hiding, became somewhat of an urban legend, and has often been taken out of context, as well as
Approaching the eighth decade of life often brings with it terms like downsizing, purging, paring and the freedom to let go. Many of us opt to see our children and grandchildren enjoy their inheritance while we’re here, to eat off the china with them
A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak to a university class about being one of the first generation of women and queer rabbis. At these kinds of talks, I usually tell mostly the same stories – of how a guy trying to
Although I grew up with a strong Jewish identity, I did not experience a traditional Jewish education and came to Torah in my late teens through influential involvement with a Jewish youth organization called ATID (Hebrew for "future"). A few years later, contacts within
Parshat Pinchas has been like a stone thrown into the pond of my being; it has rippled out over the decades: from the Rosh Hodesh portion that reminded me of my womanhood, to a challenge to step into my female Jewish authority, and finally
Each morning at the start of the Shacharit prayers there is a passage in which we praise God for having “fashioned man in his wisdom” and “creating within him life-sustaining organs… If but one of these were to function improperly, it would be impossible
This past week, I participated in a Ritualwell class with Alden Solovy on "Writing From One Word of Torah." I distilled 3 stream-of-consciousness prompts on the word "Baruch/Berekh," the root of which can mean "blessing' and "knee, into this poem.
An email from My Jewish Learning about “A Woman of Valor” prompted me to pivot the next evening’s planned adult learning session to looking at these 22 verses from Mishlei, the Book of Proverbs. These verses comprise a song called Eshet Chayil...
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korha has a point; at what point does life become wearying? When does the joy go out of our lives, and when does a long life become a too-long life? Or from the perspective of a younger person, like Rabbi Yehuda