This is the day the Holy One made; let us rejoice and celebrate!
Lifecycle celebrations or observances, along with holy days, are key moments of spiritual sustenance. Jewish tradition is rich with rituals that open us to the spiritual connections of those liminal moments of life’s joys and sorrows, its milestones and majesty. I work with people to create Jewish rituals, both traditional and new, that speak to those transitions and offer an opening to wonder, healing and freedom.
I live and work in Sonoma County, and am also available for lifecycle rituals elsewhere, especially throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
I found a fruitful world, because my ancestors planted it for me. Likewise I am planting for my children. B. Taanit 23a
Welcoming a new member of the family is such a blessing and a joy! Jewish tradition offers both the bris (the covenant) and baby naming ceremonies for both boys and girls. These can be in your home, or someone else’s, or in a synagogue. Ashkenazi (Jewish Northern European) tradition suggests that the baby be named for a family member who has died, as a way to keep their memory alive. Sephardic (Jewish Spanish, Mid-eastern) tradition suggests that the baby be named for a living family member. The ceremony can honor the new life, the transition of the family or the person for whom the baby is named.
Hi Rabbi! Thank you so much for our lovely baby naming this past weekend. Everyone truly enjoyed it and commented on how much they liked the service. Thank you again for a memorable day in Hailey's and our life!
My child, forget not my teaching... Let kindness and truth not leave you; Bind them about your neck; Write them on the tablet of your heart; so you will find grace and favor in the eyes of the Ground of Being and humanity. Proverbs 3. 1-4
Please see my B'Mitzvah page.
Ani l’dodi v’dodi li -- I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. (Song of Songs 6:3)
Please see my Weddings page.
No heart is as whole as the heart that has been broken. - Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
Jewish tradition offers deep emotional insight into the ways of death and dying. Each step offers the mourner a way to embody his or her grief --- tearing of the clothing over our hearts, the period for wailing before the funeral, covering the loved one with earth, sitting shiva (the period of intense mourning, traditionally seven days after the funeral), ways to care for mourners, kaddish (the memorial prayer for our dead that does not mention death) and yizkor (the four times a year remembrance of our loved ones), each ritual allows for spiritual healing amidst the loss. As Arthur Miller writes of Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, “Attention must be paid.”
Dying and death raise important questions about meaning, about life, about relationships, about love and about what happens next. Using my own and others’ experiences with loss, I create a funeral or memorial service that supports the mourning process.
I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated everything you have done for my Mom and for my brother, aunt and me. Thanks to your guidance, the memorial for Mom was just perfect. It meant so much more that you had developed a relationship with her over the past months, during what was a most difficult time in her life. She really valued your care and wisdom and I thank you for reaching out to her. I know it meant a lot to her.
How can I ever thank you enough for Saturday night. Havdalah with shiva was so profoundly right for acknowledging my mother's death, and you lead us all so beautifully.