Vegetarian Teshuvah

During Labor Day I was thinking a lot about the idea of labor and what it means to work. I kept coming back to the fact that we’re in this preparatory period, the month of Elul, leading to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and it’s so much work! This time is all about teshuvah, meaning […]

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Blessings

I remember when I first started learning about mindfulness and realizing that the Jewish practice of blessing is basically a framework for mindfulness in our every day lives. We are tasked with paying attention to each thing we do, blessing and sanctifying and making the mundane holy. By elevating our experiences, we shift our awareness, […]

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Come light the menorah…

We lit candles on the chanukiah tonight and watched them during our sit. It was incredibly lovely, especially watching them each burn out, one by one, returning us to darkness. I’ve been thinking so much about bringing light into dark places, and yesterday during the practice day with Rabbi Jeff Roth, he brought up something […]

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Shabbat and Trungpa

I was looking up some mystical interpretations for Shabbat, and I started thinking about how you are supposed to get a new soul (or vayinafash, get re-souled), and found the phrase for that special extra shabbat soul- “neshama yesairah.” Apparently Rashi defined this phrase as a “widened heart for resting and happiness,” which for some […]

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Shema! Wake up!

This morning, and for the last few days, I’ve been feeling fairly uninspired. It isn’t depression or even sadness, but a sort of dullness where I have trouble connecting to anything or anybody in a rich and profound way.  I think in the movie Office Space it’s referred to as “case of the Mondays.” Those […]

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Desperation and R. ben Dordia

Alison always makes fun of me for posting such dark blogs. I say – it’s Elul! It’s in the air! I hope you find it interesting. Like Alison, I too read a crazy story the other day that had to with Teshuvah: (Babilonian Talmud, Avodah Zara 17a) It was said of Rabbi Eleazar ben Dordia […]

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Monday Morning Poem

First Lesson by Philip Booth Lie back, daughter, let your head be tipped back in the cup of my hand. Gently, and I will hold you. Spread your arms wide, lie out on the stream and look high at the gulls. A dead- man’s-float is face down. You will dive and swim soon enough where […]

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Listening (a story)

One of my favorite meditations is about listening. Listening to all of the sounds around me- the morning birds, passing car radios, upstairs footsteps, kids yelling, my breath- and in me- my heart beating, ears buzzing, throat swallowing, and also a deep silence around all of these sounds. Thinking about this reminded me of a […]

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