National Day of (Christian only) Prayer?

So I there has been a lot of conversation about the National Day of Prayer and all that hoopla. Officially, today is the "National Day of Prayer." Initially, sounds cool, right? It's like National Badge Day where all the Panhellenic Sororities get to show off their membership to the world...Actually, maybe it is more like badge day than I initially thought. The National Day of Prayer, it turns out is pretty exclusive. Now on one hand I was a proponent because I felt it was cool, get everyone … [Read more...]

Remembering to not Repeat

I think my seventh grade history teacher must have been Jewish.  On the first day of class, she had written on the chalk-board (large enough to take up most of it) the following:"Those who do not learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it in the future"At the time, it seemed slightly contrite, but over the years I have truly come to appreciate the truth behind this statement.  It is often quoted in many different forms with many different attributions, but the point is always the same. If w … [Read more...]

Week 5 of Counting the Omer, Keep Up!

I really love the Omer... okay, rather, I have a love hate relationship with counting the Omer. I love the spiritual lift I get, but I sometimes get annoyed at one more thing to do before sleep... hence why I need to count the Omer nightly.I use a wonderful book that asks you questions and gives you great thoughts for each day that relates to the sepherot (like the chakras). Here is their online version for week 5 - Meaningful Life. The book is called “Counting the Omer – A … [Read more...]

Protesting with Prayer

A certain so called "church" group was in Denver last weekend. I am not going to mention their name because I do not believe in giving them free publicity to fuel their hate. I was going to go to their protest and all the counter-protests and I was going to video tape it and take pictures for Patheos. And I was going to write about the experience and the hate these people spread. I was really motivated to go and write about it.Of the like 20 places they were going to protest, 15 of them were … [Read more...]

The Kabbalah of Counting: The Mystical Meaning of the Counting of the Omer

The Counting of the Omer originated in a deep, loving relationship to the earth.For us, it has become process of re-creation, re-birth and re-newal of a sacred bond that grounds our hearts to the earth and lifts our souls to the heavens.The 49 day period is counted in days and weeks.The 7 days of each of the 7 weeks constitutes the 49 days.Each week is represented by a specific sacred attribute, called Sefirah from the mystical Tree of Life.Each day within that week is represented by … [Read more...]

Mikvah Mania Month

Mikvah* is becoming quite a hot topic lately in the Jewish blogosphere, and I am proud to be a part of that.  The comments to my recent post, spurred other posts, and eventually greater awareness and involvement of the trials women face in observing this great mitzvah. In fact, a prominent Jewish Tweeter commented today that is seemed to be "Mikvah Month" - my response - Great! Its about time!The blog posts, comments, and tweets which have abounded on this topic lately have really shown a l … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 4 – Netzach (The New Militia)

With all of the talk regarding 2nd amendment rights and the militias on the right, I began to feel, as a political lefty, left out. I spoke with my friend Mary about my conundrum. She responded that I should not feel dismay, this May, because she had created a militia for lefties. It is called, appropriately enough, Left’s American Militia. For short it is L.A.M. I was so pleased to discover that Mary had a little LAM, that I immediately wanted to join. She responded that before I could b … [Read more...]

Pulling weeds

One of the things I like best about my Rabbi is that every so often, he likes to just call to check up on me. No agenda, no plan, just "hey, how are you doing?". That happened today.You see, a year and a half ago, my father died. Suddenly and without warning (and 1500 miles away), I grieved hard and heavy and I felt lost. When I returned home after shiva I went to see my Rabbi. Having lost his father in a very similar fashion, he was quite a comfort to me. No, I wasn't crazy, everyone reacts … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, week 3 – Tiferet

TiferetThere is such a beauty in balance, in being balanced. When we look around our world and find things in balance we feel comforted, at ease, all is well and all because of balance. Tiferet symbolizes that comforting balance, that feeling that all is well that all is beautiful. And yet real balance is dynamic, not static like when we take a walk.And yet movement requires us to change our balance. We must unbalance to rebalance with every step.  In Judo we are taught to sweep a … [Read more...]

My Family Legacy

Displaced Persons Camps in GermanyIn the beginning, I was in 7th grade, and through my class on World War II, I realized how what had happened in my family was connected to the greater picture of the Holocaust.My mother’s father had a wife and child before the war. And siblings. As far as we can tell, he was the only one to survive in his village. He was captured as a Russian prisoner of war, taken to Siberia to work as slave labor, and survived, first because one of the other p … [Read more...]