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.
"...The Israelites had the Tent of Meeting as their place of strength and their reference point to guide them along their journey. For us, appreciating and living in each moment as it comes can be our source of strength and our reference point. If we are feeling adrift or that we've strayed from where we wanted to be, before we try to get back, our first step has to be our ability to say, ‘Regardless of how I feel about this situation, it is what it is.
"...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...."
"An unexpected house guest arrived at our home in Israel two weeks, right off the plane from America. A woman abandoned by her husband and at the very end of her pregnancy, 49 years old and carrying twins. High risk. With no place else to go and nowhere else to turn...."
"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).
"I had planned to write about my eldest son's bar mitzvah this weekend. I had planned to reflect upon some of the challenging tensions of being both a rabbi and a parent; of wanting to challenge him to learn more and work harder than he ever had, yet also conveying a sense that a bar mitzvah is not a culmination/endurance contest but a point of entry into adult Judaism. I wanted to talk about memory and family and the lingering sadness I feel that my late father won't have a chance to see his grandson become a bar mitzvah.
"Heartbreaking news from the U.S. Violence against gays. The worst mass shooting. Hints of international terrorism.
How should my fellow spiritual writers and I respond? Should we write prayers? Statements of solidarity? Or just post blank, speechless pages?..."
"This past Sunday, John Oliver made television history by giving away nearly $15 million. Well, sort of. In his piece about how scarily easy it is to buy debt, he formed the company “Central Asset Recovery Professionals” (or CARP, after the bottom-feeding fish), and then spent $60,000 to buy the medical debt of 9,000 Texans, totaling nearly $15 million.