Tazriah & Metzorah: Taking Comfort in Pain

This week we read two Torah portions, Tazriah, meaning ‘she gives birth’ and Metzorah, meaning one who has a skin affliction. The laws of impurity offered here governed who was allowed to approach the place of divine presence and were central to ritual practice in Temple times. We learn that women who give birth, people […]

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Parsha Mishpatim: On Action and Intention

This week’s Torah portion is called Mishpatim, which can be translated as “laws.” The heart of the portion is often referred to as the Covenant Code. It appears in the Torah as a set of laws given to Moses by G-d at Mount Sinai. Some commandments contained in this week’s Torah portion may be easier […]

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Open your heart and build a mishkan – Parsha Terumah

This Shabbat, we’ll read Terumah (“gift”), which details what’s necessary for the building of the mishkan. The mishkan, or tabernacle, is the Israelite’s traveling sanctuary, dwelling place for God, as they travel through the desert post-Egypt, post-slavery. More than 13 chapters of Torah are devoted to mishkan details (so many details!), compared to one chapter […]

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Why I Sit

For the past fifteen years, I have sat in meditation daily (with a few days off for various flus and whatnot). I have been davening with talit and tefillin for much longer than that but soon after a dear friend taught me to meditate under an Israeli berry tree, I added the intentional I sit […]

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Sitting Together

This morning was our second morning sit (thanks for your dedication, early birds!), and last night was our second evening sit (this is where I remind you that “Brownstone Enlightenment,” our weekly sitting meditation, is every Monday evening at 8pm and Tuesday morning at 7:30am; the first Monday of each month is geared specifically for […]

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Showing Up

Since starting a daily practice (although in the past few weeks, it’s been more like weekly), I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits of just showing up.  After months of meditating regularly, there were no lightening bolts, no miraculous epiphanies, very few fireworks. I’ve had those sorts of ecstatic experiences in the past, and […]

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