After Shabbat – What then?

April 5, 2014

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Once I got used to keeping Shabbat, I began noticing a change in my Saturday evenings, after Shabbat was done. During Shabbat, I direct many thoughts to “the back of the stove,” the mindspace where my unconscious may be working on it, but my conscious self is not allowed. When a nagging worry shows up to nag, I push it to the back of the stove. When a possible solution to a work issue shows up, I shove it to a back burner to cook some more. At the time, it’s a relief – I don’t have to do that now. However, it gives the half-baked idea some additional cooking time, and builds a little pressure to get on with it come Saturday night.

Thus Saturday evenings went from a time generally wasted to my most productive night of the week. Havdalah is made, ending with Eliahu HaNavi, and I rise in a ball of energy, pulling the pots to the front of the stove.  Suddenly I’m cooking with gas.

What is Motzei Shabbat (the evening after Shabbat) like for you? Is this “burst of energy” just my little quirk, or is it a common thing?

Image: CC Joyce Cory, Some rights reserved.


Metzora: Shave for the Brave

April 3, 2014

rabbiadar:

Post shave, I am a bit incoherent, but Anita found the truth of the experience in Parashat Metzora. I will never read that parashah in the same way again.

Originally posted on Jewish Gems - Anita Silvert:

superman sammy “On the seventh day, he shall shave off all his hair” (Lev. 17:9)

This is Leviticus, so this instruction is given after someone has been in an “impure” state, and needs to move to a “pure” state.  Impure/pure tamei/tahor/impure/pure.  Disease/health/disease/health.

There’s a whole ritual for the leper, the one who needs to be separated from the camp, so he can be cleansed, cured, brought back into the community.  And it involves shaving all his hair off.  Torah may have thought that the priest could diagnose, treat and cure disease but some diseases don’t work that way.  Some just grab you and separate you and never give you back.  Like cancer.

Last night I witnessed “Shave for the Brave” at the 2014 Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Reform movement’s professional rabbinic association.   For those who don’t know, there was a little boy named Sam. Superman Sam

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Is Accessibility Of Public Spaces So Impossible?

February 27, 2014

rabbiadar:

I read this post with tears in my eyes. I spent a year in Jerusalem in school, hobbling around on a cane, or on bad days, crutches. I had come to study, but the bulk of my energy that year had to go into simply getting around. Now that my disability has progressed, I think often about visiting and then sigh, because even the thought is exhausting. I love Jerusalem with all my heart, but every step outside my apartment was a struggle. As a Diaspora Jew, I am hesitant to criticize too much, but as a Diaspora Jew whose heart longs for more time b’aretz, I am very glad to hear an Israeli voice speaking up.

Reblogged as a thought-provoking closer to Jewish Disability Month.

Originally posted on Zeh Lezeh (For One Another):

Beth SteinbergBy: Beth Steinberg

As I skied down that gorgeous piste on January 27th, I wasn’t considering that I was about to make myself a living monument to Jewish Disability Awareness Month. That came a few days later, after I fell, had been surgically repaired and was hobbling down the hallways on my brand new crutches in the lovely little hospital in rural Sallanche, France, in the shadow of the majestic Mont Blanc.

Jay Ruderman is fond of saying “everyone in their lifespan will experience disability in one way or another.” He explains further, “people with disabilities are…the one minority group that we will all join one day as we age.” Sobering. A sub-group that we are all likely to experience, whether because of illness, injury or some other aspect of the aging process.

Before you go and stick your head in the sand, consider some facts about disability. People with…

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Vayakhel — O Lord, won’t You buy me a Mercedes Benz?

February 21, 2014

rabbiadar:

I love this! Best answer I have seen to the question: Why pray if I am not sure anyone is listening?

For readers on mobile devices, here is the link.

Originally posted on Godtalk:

It seems that every time that I get a cold it goes straight for my voice. Instead of my usual mezzo-soprano, my voice has spent most of this week somewhere in the baritone range. My deepest gravelly voice, in fact, sounds a bit like Janis Joplin, which is precisely why I have one of her songs on my mind today:

O Lord, won’t You buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all have Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t You buy me a Mercedes Benz

I love that song! It’s just so direct about it.

But we all know, of course, that this kind of pleading does not work. We are all sadly familiar with the fact that God does not take special orders of this kind. It’s usually something we learn as kids: you can’t get a…

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Parshat Tetzaveh (5774)

February 9, 2014

rabbiadar:

A great post about Jewish headwear from a blogger from whom I always learn something interesting:

Originally posted on Hardcore Mesorah:

Exodus 27:20 – 30:10

Jewish Tall Hats and Turbans

Today we are going to talk about hats. The hats we wear and the roles that hats play in society. We will be looking at the function that hats play in Jewish culture and ritual as well.

Jews in Jerusalem,1895

Jews in Jerusalem,1895

Even if you aren’t a hat wearer, we all take notice of hats. Some of us more than others. However hats and head dresses are something that are not just pervasive in our society, they are actually part of the uniform of many important people. From the earliest years most of us have looked to people’s hats as a symbol of who they are and the role they play in our world. We begin to identify the different notable people by their hats; police, firefighters, nurses, chefs, etc.

Hats can tell us a lot about a person. Be it a baseball…

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A Blessing For Trees: Poems Upon The Skies

January 26, 2014

rabbiadar:

Dear Readers, if you have not yet encountered the work of Ilene Winn-Lederer you are in for a treat. I’m reblogging one of her posts so that you can acquaint yourself with her marvelous Torah-themed mystical art.

Originally posted on :

BlessingOfTheTreesModel3ALike the universal languages of music and art, trees speak to us without words, inspiring us to describe them with our own words and visual expressions. In Deuteronomy (Devarim) 20:19-20, we learn that even in wartime is life precious and that trees are essential to our continued existence: “When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy its trees by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayst eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by thee?…” Equally eloquent are the words of the late Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran in his collection of aphorisms, Sand And Foam: “Trees are poems the Earth writes upon the sky…”.


I was reminded of these ideas during our recent observance of Tu B’Shevat

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Martin Luther King Day, 2014

January 20, 2014

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ – the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr

Today we in the United States celebrate Martin Luther King Day. A few days ago, I noticed articles about it being a Day of Service, not a day “off” but a day “on.” And every year, I wonder how many people have already planned the day, and wind up just feeling guilty and avoiding the whole thing. I wonder how many aren’t “off” to do “service.” So here is a project for those of us who are not cleaning beaches or sorting coats or working at food kitchens:

If you are in school, and working one or more jobs to stay in school, and there is no free time….

If you are the parent of young children, or a sick child and there is no free time…

If it never occurred to you that today is anything but a holiday, and you needed a holiday, darn it…

If you are working two or more jobs just to keep body and soul together and there is no free time…

If you are a celebrity, and a million people are making demands on you…

If you are disabled by physical or mental illness, and your options are limited…

If you are overwhelmed by life, for any reason at all….

There are still ways we can do for others.

I can say “thank you” to the person who does me a service.

I can drive carefully, with regard for the lives and safety of others.

I can speak kindly to the person who is in my way.

I can give others the benefit of the doubt.

I can speak up for someone else who is being mistreated in a way that may seem small to me but may be big for them.

I can acknowledge the humanity of others, by my manner and my speech.

If in a world of billions, even a thousand of us do one or more of these things, the world will shift. The balance will be altered. Try and see.


Jewish Geneology

January 3, 2014

rabbiadar:

I’d like to introduce my readers to Dr. Laura Schulman and her blog. This is the first of a series of posts about Biblical stories, with wonderful additions from midrash and the Zohar.

Elsewhere in the blog she writes vividly about living with bipolar disorder, and I heartily recommend those posts as well.

Happy reading!

Originally posted on Bipolar For Life:

The lovely Gimpet of Repressed Expressions has been encouraging me to write something Jewish.  It hadn’t crossed my mind, really, because it’s so much a part of who I am that I don’t think about sharing it with others unless somebody asks me specifically.  I have no qualms about sending people translations of Psalms and parts of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) though, so I guess that constitutes sharing.

That’s enough of an introduction, so let’s dive into the meat of this material.  My goal in this post is to show you how the Hebrews came to be a people, and how the different Abrahamic faiths split off from a common root.

That root was Abraham, whose original name was Abram.  Actually it was Avram, but the “v” is changed for a “b” in translated Christian Bibles because in the first translations into Greek and then Latin, the translators didn’t know…

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2013 in review – Thanks for reading!

January 3, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Shiphrah, Puah, Phyllis, Rebecca and Liz

December 23, 2013

rabbiadar:

My friend and colleague Rabbi Laura Novak Winer has some wonderful insights on Parashat Shemot and on the rabbis who organized Shave for the Brave.

Originally posted on Rabbi Laura:

Okay, so we were a day late. But I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to study parshat Shemot with the Temple Beth Israel Women’s Torah Study Group.

image

Shemot is one of my favorite Torah portions. Its kind of like having a favorite child, I know. Yet Shemot speaks to me unlike other passages from Torah.

Unlike other sections of Torah, the names (shemot) we learn are those of women.  And not just 1 woman, or 2 but 7 women!  All together, we interact with 12 women in this one portion:

Shiphrah and Puah, the brave midwives
Yocheved, Moses’s mother
Miriam, Moses’s sister
Bat Pharoah (the daughter of Pharoah) whom the rabbis name Batya
Tzipporah, Moses’s wife
Tzipporah’s 6 sisters, whom Moses helps save from a dangerous situation

12 women paralleling the 12 tribes of Israel.

12 women who start a revolution.

12 women who, through their civil…

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