All of Us: ‘Rock Band’ Judaism and Emotional Contagion

Scientists report that playing a game like Rock Band  can make you more caring – and the reason touches the core of what it means to be Jewish. Humans tend to experience less empathy for “strangers”… Continue reading

Shabbat HaGadol, the ALEPH Listening Tour, and reclaiming the voice

Kabbalat Shabbat – Shabbat HaGadol Kehilla Community Synagogue April 15, 2016 • 8 Nisan 5776 Shabbat Shalom.  Thank you Reb David, Reb Dev, Hazzan Shulamit, Reb Burt, Reb Diane and the whole Kehilla family for… Continue reading

Going free in the light

Shabbat Dvar – Parshat Tazria Elijah Minyan & Shirat HaYam San Diego, California April 9, 2016 • 1 Nisan 5776 Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.  Thank you Reb Wayne and Ellen, David and Rhonda,… Continue reading

Keeping the fire burning

Kabbalat Shabbat Dvar – Parshat Tzav Or Shalom Synagogue Vancouver, British Columbia March 25, 2016 • 16 Adar II 5776 Shabbat shalom.  For months Rachel and I have looked forward to this weekend, and… Continue reading

Keeping the Light On

Next time you are in a synagogue, gaze at the eternal flame atop the Ark.  Its symbolism represents the beating heart of spiritual and community life, if we make it so. Our spiritual… Continue reading

“If One’s Means Do Not Suffice”: Confronting the High Price of Doing Jewish

Judaism and justice go hand in hand. The Jewish value of tzedakah (charity, from the Hebrew word for “justice”) underscores that to “be Jewish” is partly to “do Jewish,” and to “do Jewish” means… Continue reading

Building the Trusting Heart

Pretend you’re designing and building a new state Capitol. Imagine in precise detail the stones, woodwork, glass, tools, glue, joints, wiring and metalwork you’d need: such immense architectural plans could fill books. Now imagine getting… Continue reading

Seeing Bigger

Travel in your mind to the top of our atmosphere, where Earth’s envelope of life-giving oxygen and nitrogen blends into the cold vacuum of space. Looking down from that heady height, as astronauts have done since 1961, the Earth… Continue reading

A Space for Spirit

Perspective is everything. How we see the world – our point of view – shapes how the world affects us and thus how we live. The opposite also is true: how we live shapes… Continue reading

From Sigh to Song: A Way Toward Freedom

Jews are a People of the Book; Jews also are a People of the Song. In fear, poverty, war and exile, song packed light and eased the way. This spiritual secret is encoded in Jewish spiritual DNA: we can sing… Continue reading