“Say No to Non!” – Let’s Ban the Phrase “Non-Jew”

To all who care about the Jewish community and the Jewish future, let’s ban the phrase “non-Jew.” Let’s never again speak this phrase or even think it. People in spiritual life are too… Continue reading

See Different: Don’t look now, but Passover’s not over.

Actually, scratch that. Please look now – right now – and see this: the point of Passover isn’t the Seder. Yes, Passover’s symbols, stories, foods and traditions can be highlights of the year. For millions, that’s… Continue reading

Resilience After the Seder

Part of a yearlong series on resilience in Jewish spiritual life. This year’s Passover seder is history. Cups were filled and drunk and filled and spilled and drunk and filled again. Matzah was… Continue reading

The Koan of Shrunken Silence

Part of a yearlong series about resilience in Jewish spiritual life. The teacher of my teachers, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, recounted that one of his children asked him about waking and sleeping. The child asked,… Continue reading

Target the Heart

How should I respond to my congregants who express fear, helplessness, and hopelessness about school lockdowns and assault weapons in the hands of crazy people?” I asked this question after an “active shooter”… Continue reading

Nevertheless, She Persisted: A Purim Tribute for Women’s History Month

Just in time for Purim comes this resource offered on the Bayit Builders’ Blog: Nevertheless, She Persisted: A Purim Tribute for Women’s History Month. This trope mash-up of Esther and the 2/7/2017 Congressional… Continue reading

Nu, What’s New?

What’s new?  No, not the colloquial “What’s up?” but rather “What’s new in your life?” Like a Russian matryoshka doll, this question contains other questions that telescope toward a central core: “How well do… Continue reading

The Sapphire Path

Part of a yearlong series on resilience in Jewish spiritual life. Long before Frank Baum imagined Munchkins and “The Yellow Brick Road,” Jews had a “Sapphire Path” that, according to Torah, Moses and… Continue reading

Connecting to the Tree of Life

By Rabbi Rachel Barenblat and Rabbi David Markus Originally published as part of the Auburn Voices series at Auburn Seminary. Tu b’Shevat, the “New Year of the Trees,” is coming at the next full… Continue reading

Take my advice

Part of a series on resilience in Jewish spiritual life. The older I get, the more willing I become to admit that I don’t know it all and can’t do it all.  Life… Continue reading