Parsha Chayei Sarah – Still Yourself and Receive Life’s Blessings

This week’s parsha, Chayei Sarah, begins with the death of Sarah, at age 127. Abraham, her husband, purchases a burial property for her, and later marries another woman, Keturah,  who bears him six more children. He also sends his most senior servant to his birth land to find a wife for his son Isaac, and […]

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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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Making solo space within — Parsha Tazria

This week’s Torah portion, Tazria, explains that during specific periods in a person’s life, she or he must spend time in physical seclusion, truly alone, in order to return physically and spiritually to a balanced state of being; once a person returns to this place of balance, she is then ready to return to the […]

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Having a Conversation with the Universe – Parsha Tzav

The parsha deals with the offerings and sacrifices that G-d has deemed necessary for Aaron and his sons to become holy and prove their worth as priests to the Israelites. Moses receives and delivers the message of G-d, an intermediary.  When Moses was born and cast into the Nile, he was retrieved by Pharaoh’s daughter […]

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The task at hand – Parsha Beshalach

This weeks Torah portion, Beshalach, conveys some wonderful insights into the contemplative practices that we have been exploring together at the JMC. The story opens as the Israelites have embarked on the exodus from Egypt following a long and painful process of liberation. The text tells us that Pharaoh expressed regret for allowing the nation […]

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Jonah and In-Between-ness

Here we are in the Days of Awe, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The books of life and death are open. This is the time, we’re told, that the gates to heaven are open. Teshuvah (returning/realigning/repenting) is most possible now. It’s a good time to meditate, I think. We can watch our own shifts […]

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Integration over Oatmeal

A few weeks ago, I was at the Garrison Institute for the Awakened Heart Project and Institute for Jewish Spirituality Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Program’s first retreat. After a week of teachings, practice, and silence, we were going to have a “talking breakfast.” We were told that another group was beginning a conference at the […]

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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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Awareness and Big Emotion

All these years I’ve meditated and been committed to a truly noble path, supported by extraordinary teachers and spiritual community, I kept waiting to calm down. Not to get so worked up– to have my big emotions and wild mind gently subside. I think I’ve finally stopped expecting that to happen, and started believing in […]

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Ask JMC

Dear JMC, What is Jewish meditation, anyways? – Wondering in Brooklyn Hi Wondering. Thanks for asking! JMC Brooklyn’s working definition of Jewish meditation is here.  Our definition is purposefully expansive and somewhat vague, because we want the JMC to be as inclusive as possible. Judaism as religion and identity is individual, evolving, and personal, as […]

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