A journey to matter… a hike to BE

I am on a journey.We know the journey never ends. At least that is what all the stories and moshuls* and cliche's tell us. It's not the destination, it's the journey.Every step along the way provides new cognizance, illumination, and often times erudition of ideas.I have lived 30 long years. Nothing in my life was given or taken in halves. When life was really mamish** good, it was good and when it was bad... it was mamish bad. And דווקא (davka***), I always came out the other end, even … [Read more...]

The Laws of Sukkah According to Dr. Seuss

The Laws of Sukkah According to Dr. SeussYou can build it very small 1 You can build it very tall 2 You can build it very large 3 You can build it on a barge You can build it on a ship 4 Or on a roof but please don't slip 5 You can build it in an alley 6 You shouldn't build it in a valley 7 You can build it on a wagon 8 You can build it on a dragon 9 You can make the schach of wood 10 Would you, could you, YES you should Make the schach from leaves of tree but shouldn't bend it at … [Read more...]

The saddest day on the Jewish calendar

Today marks the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It is Tisha B'Av.Tisha B'Av means literally, the 9th (tisha) day of the month of Av. There were many tragedies that happened on this day in Jewish history and commemorate them and remember the sadness, today is a fasting day. We began fasting last night around 8:20 (well, that is Denver time) and the fast will end 25 hours later at 9pm (again, Denver time).The fast of Tisha B'Av commemorates 5 tragedies that befell the Jewish people … [Read more...]

How do you approach a future of Judaism?

The future of Judaism is the future we see now: the trends that have already changed the Jewish landscape and will continue to do so for a long, long time.The Downfall of Denominations Denominations are becoming more and more meaningless as our culture moves further into radical individualization.Does anyone in the Reform movement really care about "reforming" anything, or conservatives plan on "conserving" Jewish tradition? Hardly.Most people involve themselves, in a Jewish sense, with … [Read more...]

Would a stone by any other name, mean the same thing?

I was struck (no, not literally) by an image I recently came across on Flickr. It was of Palestinian men collecting rocks... well these were rocks on steroids, huge chunks of concrete, to hurl at Israeli soldiers and settlers who might wander down their streets.It occurred to me when I saw this picture that we use rocks for very different purposes. These Palestinians use rocks to hurt and maim. Even in the broader Islamic culture, rocks are used to inflict pain and death. This punishment is … [Read more...]

Dear Pop…

Dear PopYour granddaughter has been nagging me to write about what you taught me, how you directed my growth as a Jew. It has been hard for me to put this into words. But this morning when I could not sleep it came to me. To say that Judaism was a vehicle for social action is too easy. For to you, social action was a vehicle for Jewing. I know that term is unexpected to you. When you walked this earth it was only used in the pejorative. But a teacher of mine since your passing has … [Read more...]

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Always stop to pee – and other lessons from my dad

While I wrote a nice sentimental tribute for my mom for mother's day (here if you missed it) - that just wouldn't be right for my dad, our father-daughter dance was to "Beep-Beep" after all (pictured).  My dad's lessons are very practical, though they still have a Jewish component.Always stop to peeWe took a lot of road trips when  I was a kid, my dad is a big fan of traveling by car and seeing nature pass outside your windows.  This lead us on a lot of back-roads and you never knew when the … [Read more...]

My Tatti Taught Me A Little Shuckel…

Okay, I admit it... I don't have the best memory in the world but there are a few things from my childhood that stick out clearly. I have mentioned some of them before, here in this blog, but with Father's Day rapidly approaching, I have asked my team to write about their father's and how they shaped their Jewish life. And so, I thought I would talk about the memories from my childhood of my dad.The men in my life have always figured prominently. Not sure why. Maybe because I was the first … [Read more...]

Modest is Hottest?

There is a catch phrase which for awhile I loved, but now sits unwell with me:  "modest is hottest."  Well, if it is hottest, doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of being modest? Doesn't acknowledging it on that level take away some of the inherent subtlety of modesty, in the grand scheme of things?Tzniut, the Hebrew word for modesty tends to be most commonly translated about modesty in reference to clothing.  I think defining it down on this level does an injustice to tzniut and people w … [Read more...]

Different Days, Different Relationships

As you are aware by now, last week we celebrated Shavuot and had a chance to do some great learning.  One of my favorite discussions, and one I thought our readers would appreciate, came from a session early in the night with my Rebbetzin, T.  The class was on Megilat Ruth.T introduced the class by commenting on the juxtaposition of what we read on the different days of Shavuot.  The first day we read about the receiving of the Torah.  It is a big, loud and flashy moment, filled with thunder an … [Read more...]


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