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

See Your Way to Freedom

Part of a yearlong series about resilience in Jewish spiritual life. Freedom! For many, freedom is the spiritual goal – to be free of suffering, free of burden, even free of the travails… Continue reading

A New Year (As New As We Make It)

Part of a yearlong series on resilience in Jewish spiritual life. Pop the Champagne!  Cue the confetti!  It’s a new year!  Everything’s new and fresh! Of course it ain’t so simple – but… Continue reading

Leave God Out Of Your Election Commentary

Roy Moore’s first words after losing his U.S. Senate election in Alabama invoked Psalm 40 for God’s control of the election.  At the same time, my liberal friends and colleagues – who for years lamented… Continue reading

Matt, Mom and Me

I don’t usually give titles to talks, but this week’s Torah portion and what’s happening in our world speak so deeply to me that they called out a title for the words I… Continue reading

How Small Stuff Can Set Big Examples

A funny moment reminded me how anyone’s small behaviors can affect others in big ways. A synagogue invited me and a colleague for a weekend teaching spirituality. As guests invited to explore “spiritual Judaism,”… Continue reading

Israel’s Six Resilience Rules

Part of a yearlong series on resilience in Jewish spiritual life. Even an over-anxious cad like the Bible’s Jacob can teach a lesson about resilience.  In this week’s Torah portion (Vayishlach), he teaches… Continue reading

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Part of a yearlong series on resilience in Jewish spiritual life. Today’s shrill era in which some vocally try to silence others isn’t new. The only difference is that more of us – at… Continue reading

A Century Since Balfour: Israel and the Trap of Over-Simplifying

It’s a momentous anniversary for Israel and world Jewry. This week marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917) conveyed the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Mideast territory under British… Continue reading