"...Without offering a word, he responded by pulling out his worn wallet, which contained neat stacks of bills in various denominations. On each of them, he or someone else, had scribbled what appeared to be questions in red marker; inquiries like, ‘How are humans like chickens?’ or ‘How do you recognize honesty in the dark?’..."
"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.
Originally published in 2011, we bring this piece to you today in memory of those lost on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
"I live in New York City. Two friends, including someone at whose wedding I had recently been the rabbi, died in the World Trade Center. The acrid smell came through my apartment windows for days and sacred ashes, which I wiped away with tears, fell on my window sills for weeks.
Director of the Clal Diversity Project, Rabbi Steve Greenberg, is featured at Religion in an Age of Extremism, a day-long Shalom Hartman iEngage conference commemorating the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Held at the JCC in Manhattan on Sunday, September 11, the conference runs from 10:00am - 4:30pm.
Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu, Director of Clal’s Rabbis Without Borders and the founder of the site says, “The need for RabbiCareers.com has become increasingly clear over the past couple of years. First, there has been a rise in the number of congregations unaffiliated with any Jewish denomination, these communities do not have access to the denominational rabbinic placement process and have a hard time finding rabbis.
"My favorite chassidic teaching is a teaching about prayer couched in a homily on Noah’s Ark. God tells Noah to make a window in his ark. Teyva, the word for ark, means container. Teyva is also Hebrew for letter, or word, containers of meaning. Thus, the teaching on prayer is: make a window in the word. This means that our prayers should not be confined by the “box” of conventional liturgy.
"Enterprise, what a God-haunted mission you are on. All around you there is light, star-shot and splintered in the endless skies through which you journey. And yet you cannot grasp the Light from which all else proceeds, catching only fleeting glimpses in your own souls and the countless souls of those you encounter in the seemingly endless multiverse of unknown magnitude...."
"George Carlin spent most of his professional life as a provocative, thoughtful, funny and sometimes offensive, commentator on human life and contemporary American culture. He was the guy whose record albums (assuming you are old enough to know what those were) we bought as kids with a measure of transgressive glee, and brought home to listen to with even greater glee.
"...What about when love doesn't carry the day? It is well-known that Jewish law states that for wrongs between people, God does not forgive until forgiveness is asked and received by the people involved. And in theory, no one wants to be that person who can't let go, who refuses the request for forgiveness. But is it really possible, or even right to forgive everything?..."