Nitzavim: Listening to the Still, Small Voice Inside

We are one week away from Rosh Hashanah, a time of spiritual reckoning. Our parsha, or Torah portion, this week is Nitzavim, meaning “ones standing.” In the parsha, Moses tells the Israelites that all the people stood before G-d to enter into the covenant. What would it be like to imagine ourselves standing before G-d […]

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Parhsa Vayeishev: Thinking Outside Our Spiritual Boxes

This week’s Torah portion, or parsha, is called Vayeishev, which translates to “And he lived…” It is taken from the book of Genesis. It is a dramatic piece, full of deception, jealousy, and resilience. It begins with a description of Jacob, the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom G-d made a covenant, and […]

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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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Passover as a birthing story

I have to admit I’ve avoided writing this for a long time. Not because I didn’t want to write about it and not because I don’t love the topic – as a long-time meditator, longer-time Jew, Jewish Meditation Center Board member and sit leader in my local community, I’m pretty involved. It’s just that when […]

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Meditations on Tzav

Traditionally, Parsha Tzav (“command”) is read the Shabbat before Passover. Like much of Leviticus, Tzav, which comes from the sixth through eighth books, it can seem a bit arcane. It consists of the instructions for ritual sacrifice to be carried out by Aaron and the priestly class at the ancient Temple. But even rituals that […]

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Parsha Va’era

This week’s parsha, or weekly Torah portion, Va’era, is the second parsha in Exodus, the book detailing the Israelites’ exodus from slavery under Pharaoh to freedom. “Va’era” means “I appeared” or “I let Myself be seen.”  God says “Va’era” to Moses, as in, “I let Myself be seen by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” and by this, God means something […]

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Chanukah Blog Roundup

From the JMC Archives: Chanukah – 5771 – 8 days of practice by Yael Levy Honoring Two Sides of the Same Moon with Faith by Brian Kaye Come Light the Menorah… by Alison Laichter JMC’s Getting in the Mood… for ChanukahWritingMeditation From around the web: Defining Hanukkah:  Spiritual vs Political  Seeking inner light at the darkest time of the year G–dcast does Chanukah! Bake Off Tablet reviews Hanukkah recipe books Hanukkah and the Olive Harvest The holiday’s secret “roots” as a harvest festival.  […]

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Parsha Toldot – Planning and Expectations

This week, we read Parshat Toldot (“descendants”), and learn about Jacob and Esau.  We all know the story: before Jacob and Esau are born, Rebecca learns that “one brother will be mightier than the other,” and “the elder will serve the younger.”  Jacob emerges clutching Esau’s heel, foreshadowing his later attempts to overtake and outwit […]

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Parsha Vayera – The Journey through Akedah

Parsha Vayera describes perhaps one of the most renowned narratives in the Torah – the “Akedah,” the binding of Isaac by his father Abraham, as its conclusion. Vayera also contains many important and valuable stories – the birth of Isaac, the casting out of Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham attempting to convince G-d not to destroy […]

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JMC Named One of the 50 Most Inspiring Jewish Nonprofits in North America!

The JMC has been named by Slingshot ’11-’12 as one of the 50 most inspiring Jewish nonprofits in North America! This is super exciting news that we wanted to share with everyone. Slingshot was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to the most innovative and effective organizations and programs in North America. The […]

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