Sending a 17 Year-Old Child to Israel

June 30, 2014

rabbiadar:

This father and rabbi vocalized much of what I’ve been thinking today as the news came of the murders of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali. “Distress, disappointment anger and despair” describe my feelings, too.

Originally posted on Embodied Torah:

Image

My 17 year old son Solomon arrived in Israel today, about 4 hours before Israeli soldiers found the murdered bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel in a field less than 12 miles from the place from which they had been kidnapped 18 days ago. They had apparently been shot soon after being taken captive. Solomon is participating in the Ramah Israel Seminar, and I should have no worries about his safety in Israel – Ramah is fanatical about the safety of participants on their programs. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feel a twinge of worry. Israel is going to respond, and the response has to punish not only the two Hamas members responsible, but also others involved in covering up their actions and hiding them. I am distressed that Solomon’s Israel experience will be scarred not only by tremendous sadness, but also by the military response that is bound to occur.

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A Note on Comments

May 26, 2014

I’ve had some great comments on this blog lately and I’m delighted with them. Whether it’s a correction or a question, I welcome anything constructive that readers have to say. Feel free to discuss, and don’t worry about pleasing me, please!

That said, recently there have also been a rash of non-constructive comments that are nothing more than spam. “This is a great blog – keep up the great work!” is nice on the face of it, until I realize that the “person” posting it is doing it to leave a link for “American Sewer Service” or “Hot Bodies R Us.” My time is valuable, and so is that of my readers, so I delete all comments that I judge to be primarily a cover for free advertising. I also delete anti-Semitic comments, and anything else that seems to be intended as flamebait.

Please do keep on commenting and asking questions! And I will persist in carrying out the trash, so we can have a nice place to chat.

 

 


Yom Hashoah 2014

April 27, 2014

This article about the power of silence is one of the best pieces I’ve seen about Yom HaShoah.


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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