Rabbis Without Borders

Nurturing rabbis as American religious leaders, Rabbis Without Borders makes Jewish wisdom an available resource to the wider public. For more information about Rabbis Without Borders programs, visit the Rabbis Without Borders site by clicking here.

Shanah Tovah! September 26, 2016

How a new understanding of two old words, could not only bring you greater happiness, but also help heal our fractured world.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The National Anthem Is Not A Loyalty Pledge. It's Liturgy. September 21, 2016

"...But, the National Anthem is not a loyalty pledge, it is liturgy. It is a national, civic ‘prayer.’ Liturgy expresses values and ideals and provides a common language of connection. Liturgy can be at once descriptive and aspirational. And liturgy carries with it multiple meanings and can mean different things to different people. Our engagement with it must be dynamic and nuanced...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: To Repair The World – And Not Just The Jewish People! September 20, 2016

"One of the things I most love about the High Holidays is their focus on universality. During the rest of the year, Jewish consciousness and Jewish prayer concentrate primarily on the concerns of the Jewish People, while the season of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur turns our attention to the entirety of the human race and to the world as a whole. Although it is certainly understandable that throughout most of the calendar our emphasis is on our Jewish family and our Jewish needs, for me it is a bit myopic and constricting.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Just Saying No To The Container Store September 19, 2016

"...Looking around at the pretty color-coded hangers on sale, I am reminded of what I am not. I am not as able to find things in my closet as other are. I see not only the potential for improvement but a reminder of my own shortcomings. These products fit into my aspirational self. But the ultimate failure of these products to be the cure-all only serves to make me feel that my shortcomings are deep failures of which I ought to be ashamed...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Who Is This Shmelf The Hanukkah Elf? September 16, 2016

"...Wherever one lands in deciding whether this is the right book for their family, what I find most interesting is that this book highlights the balance of universalism and particularism in the Jewish community. It ultimately concludes that there is something particular about Judaism (Hanukkah) that should be celebrated, and yet that kids should share a connection to something a bit more universal, at least in America (Christmas). Some will agree, others will disagree. And that's okay...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing September 15, 2016

"...We can always explain, rationalize or justify our behavior – both to others, and to ourselves – but ultimately, what we do proclaims itself. We begin to realize that the choices we make today will become our legacy tomorrow...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Truth, 'Truthiness,' and Tradition September 14, 2016

"...So much is at stake. If one could prove that Torah literally came from the Divine to a person named Moses, who transmitted it to other leaders and on to the rest of the Israelites, I might not remain a Reform Jew. If one could prove that Torah was never transmitted by God to the Israelites at all, my interlocutors might not remain Orthodox Jews. But I have yet to wield such compelling evidence – and neither have my colleagues...."

One Woman Wants to Make it Easier to Find a Rabbi September 13, 2016

"Rebecca W. Sirbu wants to help you find a better rabbi. And she wants to help rabbis of all stripes find gigs — whether at a congregation or somewhere else. Her answer: RabbiCareers.com. “Need someone with strong analytic skills, the ability to work well with a variety of people, and knows how to speak passionately for a cause?,” RabbiCareers asks potential employers on its website.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Awakening The Senses September 13, 2016

"...Nothing has been more meaningful in my journey toward the High Holidays than reading Ginny Kubitz Moyer’s latest book from Loyola Press, Taste & See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with our Five Senses. This book — listed in the Ignatian Spirituality section of a Jesuit publishing house — is a source of inspiration in my search to elevate everyday experiences and imbue them with holiness. This book's author–a high school English teacher in California–is my spiritual guide...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Gender Politics of the Prayer Shawl September 9, 2016

"I went shopping for a new tallit (prayer shawl) at two competing Boston Judaica shops last week. In both stores I found the tallitot, the plural for tallis, separated by gender. And obviously so. The experience reminded me of when I was first pregnant with my daughter and first learned she would be a she. As I perused the baby clothing aisle at Target, I realized half the items on display were definitively not for my kid. The gender messaging wasn't subtle.

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