Remember the feeling you had when you got on an airplane alone to study abroad, or when you packed up everything you owned and moved to a new city? All the emotions that might have come up for you—fear, excitement, trepidation—could very well have been Avram’s response to the famous line from the Torah portion of this year’s National Refugee Shabbat, Parshat Lech Lecha:
“Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I...Read More
Time flies – that’s the bad news – the good news is we are the pilots. This is especially true during the High Holy Days and the fall festivals; another New Year is beginning. Where did the last year go? It went fast. As each year ends and a new year is on the horizon, we get a chance to look back and to look ahead at another new beginning: B’reishit.
I know many of us are especially reminded about those we love who are no longer with us and events of the past as we approach the new year. For me, it brings back childhood memories when we travelled to my Nanny’s house. all the...Read More
At the last URJ Biennial, I was privileged to participate in a Shabbat luncheon program sponsored by the Women of Reform Judaism, reflecting on the forty-fifth anniversary of my ordination and celebrating the publication of "The Sacred Calling: Foud Decades of Women in the Rabbinate" (CCAR Press), a winner of the National Jewish Book Award. I appreciated the opportunity to sit on this panel with colleagues and friends. Together, we touched on many different topics including the history of women in the rabbinate, the story of Rabbi Regina Jonas, and the challenges faced by female rabbis,...Read More
One of the joys of reading Torah year after year is finding the relevance and connection to our lives in new and different ways. As Rabbi Ben Bag Bag said in Pirke Avot, “Turn the Torah over and over for everything is in it. Look into it, grow old and worn over it, and never move away from it, for you will find no better portion than it.” I’m in the midst of planning for our WRJ District Biennial, and couldn’t help but notice the lessons to be learned from Sukkot in considering the potential for making meaning at the upcoming conference.
This Shabbat is known as Chol Ha Moed Sukkot...Read More
In this week’s Torah portion, Ha’azinu, Moses faces the reality that he will not be joining the Israelites as they enter the Promised Land. As he faces his death he tells the people “Don’t blame God when things go wrong. God is not here to serve us. God created us to be a blessing to the world.”
Moses knew that the Israelites would too easily blame God for their trials and tribulations. God had been telling Moses what to say to the people so, minus Moses, who else would they think to blame? The God that Moses told them was their guiding force. But Moses, knowing that he would not...Read More