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.
"Lately I've been talking with rabbinic colleagues about how best to minister to our congregants who are struggling with the news out of Israel/Palestine. We're hearing from people who are unable to fall asleep because they can't stop thinking about the images of destruction and grief, or who wake up and immediately start agonizing about the conflict or worrying about loved ones..."
"Not long ago, a friend of mine posted an excellently snarky commentary about a new television show called, Married at First Sight. On this show, potential—I don’t know what you call them…”contestants,” perhaps?—fill out personality assessments and undergo “spiritual counseling,” and then four experts narrow down several hundred people to three couples. Then they get married. Without meeting one another first. "
"On Tuesday, Rabbi Tsafi Lev of West Hills fasted on the Hebrew calendar day that commemorates the breach of Jerusalem’s walls before the destruction of the Second Temple. Although Lev doesn’t normally abstain from food and drink on this minor Jewish fast day, he wanted to do so this year in the name of nonviolence as intense fighting continued in Israel, Gaza and beyond..."
"Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15th is a fast day in Jewish tradition. It is called the 17th of Tammuz, named after the date on the Hebrew calendar. It is a minor fast, meaning that the fast lasts only from sun up to sun down. It commemorates, among other things, the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls which led to the destruction of the Second Temple..."
"...what has been most challenging for me personally has been the internal tension between my liberal values and my loyalty to Israel—and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way...Morality, Haidt argues, isn’t just one thing. It has five main different facets to it—care for others, justice and fairness, loyalty, respect for authority, and a sense of sanctity. Liberals, he notes, tend to focus mainly on the first two (care and justice), and feel much less strongly about the other three (loyalty, authority and sanctity).
"Last Thursday, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, passed away, leaving his bodily existence for…well, for whatever comes next..."
By Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders blog on MyJewishLearning.com
"On the news. In the papers. On the internet. On social media. On our bimah — where we placed them for all to see, along with yellow ribbons, less than two weeks ago. In a moment of despair, the psalmist wrote in the 121st Psalm: Esa einai el heharim… I lift up my eyes to the mountains..." Read more...
"These days it seems like I am always tired. Not the 5-am-wakeup-so-I-can-get-to-the-gym kind of tired. And not even the 11-pm-bedtime-after-a-long-night-of-meetings tired. And while those kids certainly tire me out, I don't think I can blame them for this one either. These days I'm tired because I'm empathizing more with each member of my community. People keep getting sick — really sick. Diagnoses of cancers left, right, and center.
"“Yes,” I told the baffled American immigration official, “I was in Belarus for a roots trip.” But this in no way captured my experience of touring in the environs of Minsk with a German speaking group out of Austria...."
By Rabbi Ruth Abusch Magder, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders blog on MyJewishLearning.com
"I've been given a gift this week -- the opportunity to open the door for someone who wanted to reconnect with Judaism. I know what it's like to be spiritually thirsty. I know what it's like to feel "on the outside," in galut -- exile -- from community and from God...."
By Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from her blog, Velveteen Rabbi