Can We Talk? Toledot 5775

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

This morning, I joined the hospital’s Palliative Care team as they met with a group of siblings whose mother had had a devastating stroke yesterday. While the team was still seeking more medical information, the conversation included a healthy dose of “when to let go.” Only a couple of months earlier, the sister who holds their mother’s Power of Attorney, and their mother had sat down with a hospital staff member to talk about Mom’s wishes at the end of life. The sister-daughter described how the staff person had walked them through various scenarios of medical circumstances that they might find themselves in and to give Mom the opportunity to...

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Who Appeared? Vayera 5775

Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I invite you to take a moment to clear your mind, breathe and bit, center yourself, and let a question sit within for a bit. Here’s the question: Where were you, when God laid the foundations of the earth? Let the answer come to you. When you’re ready, open your eyes.   Now think to yourself of a moment when you felt closely connected to God, to the Divine, to the holy One. What was that experience like for you, if you’ve had one? If not take a moment to think of a time when you’ve felt deeply connected to another person, when maybe you’ve had a sense of being part of something much larger than yourself.   And with that we turn  to...

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Going to the Chapel of Love

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Blog | 6 comments

I love officiating at weddings. I love it. Love. It.   And somehow I am surprised.   But, really, preparing for and officiating these sacred events allow me to use my personal strengths and proclivities (and you can read what the couples have to say here).   I love to hear people’s stories. Wedding preparation practically obligates me to ask questions, lots of questions, lots of personal questions: how did you meet? What was the first date like? When did you know? How do your families get along? Tell me about the proposal (I love the answers to this one). Why do you want a rabbi to officiate? Why get married now, after so many years together, or so soon...

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We Begin Again – Beresheit 5775

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Blog | 3 comments

This time last year, I was packing boxes, finishing the legal documents to close on our new home two hundred miles away, saying farewell to the many people I care about living around Lake Tahoe. It was a tumultous time, given that moving and changing jobs are two of the highest stressors people encounter in their lives. And I had a sick daughter and a husband who hated where he was living. And I threw my hips out with the packing. And I had no job prospects. And yet, I was excited for the new adventure, carrying a faith that we could handle how it might unfold. My daughter is healthy, happy and working. My hips have recovered. Our home is beautiful and cozy and my...

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Under the Chuppah, Inside the Sukkah

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

When we moved into our new home almost a year ago (!), we were thrilled to have what looked to us like a ready made chuppah, or wedding canopy. A friend exclaimed, “And sukkah, too!” A sukkah is an impermanent, fragile hut, to remember our ancestors’ experience in the wilderness, where we were untethered to place or land or borders, while tied closely to each other, and to the traveling Mishkan, the dwelling place of the Holy of Holies. And indeed, we’re using it as a sukkah this year, our very first as a family. Not much to speak of, but we do sit and eat there. (Or at least I do.)   This weekend, I’ll be officiating at my fourth Sukkot wedding in the...

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L’shana tovah u’metukah

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments

Rosh Hashanah is upon us – tomorrow night. And I confess I’ve seen three movies in two days! This is the first time in at least 12 years that I haven’t had a major role to play in at least two services, if not all of them, over the next two weeks, and I find myself mostly exulting. I will actually get to pray – with friends, in different communities I love. I’ll be involved on Yom Kippur (at Congregation Ner Shalom), but in a small way, co-leading (my favorite) one section, chanting torah, and helping with the children’s service. But mostly, I’ll get to pray. And I’m pretty happy about it. I started doing an Elul blog, and...

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