The Cracks Let the Light In–Purim 5775

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

I have been inhaling articles about the Israeli Prime Minister’s upcoming speech to Congress that bypassed normal diplomacy by circumventing the White House.   But more, I have been profoundly disturbed by the Prime Minister’s playing fast and loose with facts in serious dispute among the intelligence leaders from Shin Beit, Mossad and the Israeli Defense Forces. The likelihood of Iran being an existential threat is small, for example, according to many who both are in a position to know way more than I and who have been in the profession of protecting Israel their whole adult lives.   I totally get the Israeli fear of existential threats, and Iran makes...

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Making a Heart of Flesh…Finishing Four Units of CPE

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Blog | 13 comments

Today was the (very beautiful) closing ceremony on my fourth and final unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. It’s taken me four years to complete these four units, begun during my last semester of rabbinic school in 2011. And they have given me what the prophet Ezekiel describes:   I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ez. 36:26)   My own spiritual journey, to soften or remove my heart of stone, led me to seminary in 2006 as part of a long, circuitous route, where I finally or again recognized that learning and sharing my tradition, making it relevant in our time, and...

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Softening Our Hearts – Vaera 5775

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Blog | 4 comments

Last week, my husband Sam bought us a book about tidying up—and he is convinced that we can tidy up our home once and for all – discard our accumulations of detritus, keeping only what we love, finding a place for each beloved item and nothing else. Because he has faith that we can change. Finally. After all these years. Also this past week, I co-officiated my second, and likely final, Jewish-Catholic wedding. Everyone was really happy with it–the bride, the groom, the parents, the aunts and uncles, the friends, the priest, everyone was happy… everyone except me. I had discussed with the couple, and with the priest, two things that were important to me:...

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On the Occasion of Mom’s Yahrzeit 2015/5775

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

  I fell a lot in 2014 – four different times since mid-August. Different injuries: broken glasses from when I fell on my face while carrying too many groceries up my front step, bumps on my head, bruises, and finally, this time, cracked ribs. None of these are fun, I am having trouble finding the humor in it, but I know there is some.   But the weirdest part of this is that it keeps bringing my mother to mind, as we approach her yahrzeit on Friday, January 2. She went through a period when she fell often, and with some dangerous repercussions.   One day, she got up from the kitchen table and seemingly flew into the refrigerator door handle. The family...

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All Lives Matter: Vayeshev 2014

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

What a few weeks it has been for anyone who has been on the other side of being the other…First Michael Brown’s killer and then Eric Garner’s killer walk away from the criminal justice system without an indictment between them. Rabbis and others are killed in a heinous murder in a synagogue during morning prayers in Jerusalem. The Senate finally releases its torture report to let us know in too much detail what we already knew: the United States government tortured in the erroneous belief that it was fighting terrorism. Both parts of that sentence should give pause.   I have read copiously about the lack of indictments and its indictment of the American...

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Who are Those Guys?

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Today I heard a story from a friend about someone who “paid it forward” at a store, so that she did not have to pay the dime for a bag, having left hers at home, and how this small act of kindness had made her day. A truly tiny act of kindness made her day.   The person who filmed the police killing Eric Garner did it as an anonymous source (until he was arrested on a gun charge).   Deep Throat, the anonymous source who exposed the corruption in the Nixon Administration, remained that way until after his death.   I have visited a young man at the hospital who is waiting for a liver transplant and hopefully it will arrive before his body can no longer...

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