Busy Busy Busy: Making Space on the High Holy Days

As the High Holy Days approach and I prepare to join Rabbi Dan Ain and Jeremiah Lockwood for 92Y’s OBSERVE: High Holy Days in Brooklyn services, I’ve been thinking about the Jewish practice of creating spaces for people to gather and reflect. It seems like there’s often no time in the day to really pay […]

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Thanksgiving Meditation

There is a built-in sense of indebtedness in the consciousness of man, an awareness of owing gratitude, or being called upon at certain moments to reciprocate, to answer, to live in a way which is compatible with the grandeur and mystery of living.  – Abraham Joshua Heschel One of the reasons I love holidays is […]

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JMC Tu B’Shvat Roundup

Tu B’Shvat is coming… get ready with some of our favorite links across the world wide internets: From the JMC Blog Archives: Shana Tova Trees! by Alison Laichter From around the web: Tu B’Shvat: A Beginner’s Guide Judiasm 101 de-mystifies the “Jewish Arbor Day” A Tu B’Shvat Haggadah By Hazon.org G-dcast does Tu B’Shvat! Rebirthing the […]

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Ebbing and Flowing – Parsha Vayigash

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayigash (“and he approached”), the dramatic story of Joseph comes to its conclusion when he reveals himself to his brothers after accusing Benjamin of stealing from him and demanding he stay as Joseph’s slave. In this parsha, Joseph says to his ashamed brothers that while they intended to do evil […]

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Reflections on September 11

September 11, 2011 Ten years ago today I was a college student and lived in the East Village. After the first plane hit the World Trade Center, a friend called and told me to look outside. Then my TV and phone lines went out. Running to school, the only place I thought felt safe, I […]

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Shavuot: Honoring the Beauty in Messy Relationships

While reflecting on Shavuot’s arrival, I was somewhat surprised to recognize that this holiday is one that often slips by me without much celebrated observation. Even with 15 years at an Orthodox Jewish Day school, I don’t have many strong memories tied to celebrating Shavuot like I do for so many of the other Jewish […]

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Chanukah – 5771 – 8 days of practice

Make for me a holy place that I might dwell within you, that I might dwell among you.  shemot 25:8 Chanukah — A time to for us to remember ourselves as the Mishkan, the dwelling place of the Divine Presence. To remember that all of us are sacred vessels, formed and shaped as we are so our […]

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A Thanksgiving Meditation Practice

Although we all have an internal wisdom, few of us are prophets. We don’t always dream of what lies ahead, and we often don’t follow the dreams and destinies that present themselves. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day when many of us gather with family and friends and feel grateful. Grateful for our capacity to truly […]

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Re’eh – See!

Parsha Re’eh – ראה – Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 This week’s parsha, Re’eh, begins with the line “See (re’eh), I place before you today a blessing and a curse.” Basically, Moses is offering the Israelites two options: follow the rules and be blessed; abandon God and be cursed. Moses instructs the people on the laws of the […]

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What Happened at Sinai? Some Thoughts on Shavuot.

Last night Rabbi Ellen Lippman led a beautiful teaching on “What Happened at Sinai?” I’ve heard the idea before that everyone who has and will ever exist were there for the receiving of the Torah, revelation, “Rabbi Isaac said: At Mount Sinai the prophets of each and every generation received what they were to prophesy… […]

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