"The summer months usher in vacations from school and shul. We tend to lose the weekly Torah portions from Shavuot (early June) through the High Holy Days. Thus we lose the dog days of the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy; Israel's trudging through the wilderness in search of the Promised Land. In doing so, we also lose some of the most valuable lessons brought about from the narrative...."
After an historic vote in the UK whether to leave or remain in the EU, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield considers what it means to have Independence, to be Dependent and whether there is room for Interdependence. Whatever your views on Europe “this as an opportunity to improve on our relationships, whether national, international or personal.” View Rabbi Hirschfield's discussion below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...There I saw Marsha for the first time. She was already hovering between life and death. And there as well was her daughter Amanda lying in the same bed, with her arms wrapped tightly around her mother. Amanda looked up at me and said, ‘Why is this happening?’ And I blurted out, ‘I don’t know.’ I did not know what else to say. All those years of reading theology and studying Jewish philosophy abandoned me in an instant...."
"...For me, when I actually visualize in anticipation for a milestone, important feelings and thoughts come up. Generally the feelings that emanate are exactly the ones, which inhibit our ability to be present later on. So, let the feelings arise and then explore and dig into them, even and especially when they feel painful. Happy events can sometimes bring up uncomfortable and even sad thoughts. Resolving all of that gives us the chance to take in all of the sweetness of our joy...."
"Are you one of those people who envies teachers for having summers off? It's okay...I used to be like you, because I was one of those teachers who worked every summer at camp. I learned quickly that teaching hours at camp are even more intense than in school, and when the camp session ended I needed at least a week to recover before returning to my classroom...."
Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan Rabbi, arranged and performs Shalom Aleichem set to Bob Dylan's song, "Don't Think Twice It's Alright."
To listen to his inspiring performance, click here.
"...So I've decided...if I can't find it, maybe I should found it. Feel free to join me. I've long had fantasies of sitting with a bunch of mystically oriented, open-minded, and open-hearted souls, discussing the biggest questions with warmth, compassion, love, and a desire to understand. When I consider this fantasy from just the right angle, it seems very possible, and maybe even necessary...."
Sandra Lawson didn’t expect to perform a public benediction at her local pub in this city’s Roxborough neighborhood.
But when her friend Jay, who was entering firefighter training, asked her for a blessing earlier this year, she stood with him in the middle of the room and put her rabbinical school training into action.
“Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, please bless Jay on his journey of being a firefighter,” she said, placing her hand on his shoulder. “Come back and have a beer with me...."
"I received a hate call two weeks ago.
It came right after I had had the honor of offering an invocation at our local Memorial Day celebration. The gist of my prayer was people died for freedom, and as the living we honor the dead by not taking freedom away from others. And then I said it...‘regardless of religion, color, sexual orientation or financial standing’ I live in the South, and I knew saying ‘sexual orientation’ meant being brave. The next day, I got the call...."
"...Ask most Jewish people to identify which holiday is the one with matzah and they'll all say ‘Passover.’ Ask them which is the one when we build temporary huts in the backyard to eat in for a week and they will correctly identify ‘Sukkot.’ Ask them which is the holiday when we celebrate receiving the Torah and some might respond ‘Simchat Torah,’ the second day of Shmini Atzeret when we return to the beginning of the weekly Torah readings again (in Israel, Simchat Torah is Shmini Atzeret).