"Lately my to-do lists seem to be spontaneously breeding. I write a list, then later that day or the next, I'll start another list. I might find the first list and add to it. I might have one list on my computer, a different one on the refrigerator and a third on a scrap of paper in my purse. I am not sure that the ‘to-do’ list apps on my portable electronics help, since no two lists match. Each list seems important, or, has at least one important item on it...."
"I feel a little anxiety. A little sadness. I'm excited, but also a little helpless. For the first time, my kids don't want me to drive them to school. I expect this from my middle schooler, but my 9 year old? When did he stop needing me?..."
By Rabbi Melinda Mersack, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
"We're almost at that magical time of year – that time that makes me happy I live in New England and able to witness the most beautiful fall foliage. Taking nature walks this time of year fills me with a sudden, invigorating desire to make this my new start.
What is it about fall that brings so many new beginnings to mind?..."
"I was teaching, earlier today, about a 7-step process of seeking and finding comfort in the wake of deep trauma or rupture in relationships. This was week three in a series which examines one step week for 7 weeks, and I am sharing this one because it happens to have fallen out on a day in history which could seriously challenge the premise but ultimately did just the opposite, I think...."
"...We took a moment to be in awe of some of the things that robots are being designed to do these days. But then, I have to admit, I needed to voice my discomfort at this particular example. It somehow felt less ‘holy’ to me to have a robot write a scroll. Why is that? If the robot can write more perfectly, why is that ‘less’? Is it something to do with the skill and effort of the traditional scribe? Or the sense that the scribe is the embodiment of over 2,000 years of tradition?
"...Cooking has always been my greatest meditation, even when I strove to divorce myself from that identification as the lady in the kitchen, and as I chopped and diced and stirred and mixed, I wondered whether it was all worth it. I was hungry, I had work to do, and honestly, lentils are lentils. I can throw a bunch of salt, pepper and olive oil on top and it'll make me happy, won't it?..."
"...Personally, I believe in emotional residue – meaningful or otherwise – and I bring up it up because there is a town in Poland that has one of the strongest emotional imprints I have ever come across; one that is both full of anguish and beautifully sweet. That town is Kazimierz and the emotional residue I speak of has been captured in the photographic work of Richard Tuschman...."
"...I asked him if he thought the day was surreal; here he was after all, living and talking and laughing while all of us knew that the end was so close. To a certain degree it felt strange he said, but mostly he thought it was just perfect. He told me he was the king of the Court, everyone there, his favorite people in the world, in fact, to spend time with him...."
"...Many texts in Judaism are devoted to women's dress. It is understood that a woman should dress modestly. Today in more traditional Jewish circles that often means wearing a skirt which covers the knee, sleeves which cover the elbow, and if married, a head covering. Exactly how long the skirt, shirt sleeves, and how big the head covering range greatly depending on how strict the community is. Liberal Jewish women more or less wear what they want.
"If you look carefully you can find it tucked neatly between the excitement of children returning from summer camp and the beginning of the new school year. It is a two-week period in late August when everything is ending and everything is beginning again. A slow hum underneath the quiet. A tiny ripple disrupting a still pond. The roads feel empty, but our feeds are full of smiling faces...."