Image: My little office assistant, Jojo, likes to sunbathe when she can. This is a photo of her enjoying the sunshine with the caption, “California Girl.”
I’ve hardly posted in the month of December, 2018. Some of that has been because I was traveling on a family vacation. Some of it has been because I had two different accidents that have taken time for recovery. But the big reason is that I’m starting some new projects, and something had to give.
First new project: This spring I’m co-teaching two terms of “Angels in the Bible and Beyond” with Dr. Jehon Grist through Lehrhaus Judaica. You can find information about those classes in our online catalog, on the page where my classes are listed. Teaching a new class means first doing a lot of reading and sorting: what that I know can be conveyed in x number of sessions and will be both interesting and possibly useful? What can I learn, to add to what I already know, that will make the class better? I love getting ready for a new class, because there’s so much for me to learn and to think over.
Second new project: I’m taking an old interest of mine, ritual studies, and turning that lens on the process of gerut, conversion to Judaism. There are several parts to such a project: my studies in ritual studies stopped in 1981, when I graduated from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, but the field has been perking right along with new ideas and postmodernism and such. So task #1 was to catch up on what I’ve missed. Task #2 was to take a long hard look at the texts that underlie modern-day gerut, mostly but not exclusively in Talmud and in the codes. And Task #3 was to take my own memories of being a giyoret (female of ger) and of being a rabbi guiding people through conversions, to look at the rituals involved. I hope the result will be an academic article, but I’ll just have to see how it all goes.
Third new project: I’m looking at a new format for teaching online. Writing blog articles has been helpful to people, but I’m running out of topics and I have been told there’s a huge audience unlikely to read even short essays. So I am working on moving to video in the near future. Instructions on how to find me will be posted here, of course.
I’m not officially closing this blog, but it isn’t the focus for my creative energy right now. I will post from time to time, so those who subscribe to the blog will get notice of it, and those who follow me on Twitter will hear of it. So no worries!
לַכֹּל, זְמָן; וְעֵת לְכָל-חֵפֶץ, תַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
As the seasons change, and the years turn, we change and turn to new tasks. I wish us all a peaceful conclusion to the old year of 2018, and many good works in the upcoming year.
13 thoughts on “New Projects, New Priorities”
Well, that’s a blow to the gut.
Glad for you. Rotten for us.
Ahhh, Maureen – I will be posting from time to time, maybe just not as frequently. Thank you for caring so much!
It is wonderful to hear of the new projects that you are dedicating to! Thank you so much and to a successful endeavor! בהצלחה!!
Thank you, Otir!
I am excited for you!
Thank you, teme!
Sounds exciting! Wishing you well in your healing an dother endeavors. Happy 2019!
For so long, from so very far away, I’ve considered you my Rabbi. I still do. Thank you for your courage and your immense kindness and much happiness to you and yours always.
Thank you so much – your note touched me. I have not quit blogging entirely, but I suspect that posts will be less frequent and perhaps a bit longer in future.
I hope that all is well with you!
בהצלחה in your new ventures! I’m particularly interested in hearing updates about your gerut work.
Thank you! You’ve been on my mind – how are you doing, and what are you doing?
The gerut work is going rather slowly, as I am also preparing a class on angels in midrashim for the spring. However I WILL pursue this article on gerut because I think there are problems with the way we handle it (on the rabbis’ end, not the convert’s.) So stay tuned!
Rabbi Adar — I’m also interested in hearing what becomes of your gerut research. If it becomes an article, I hope you’ll post a link to it here!! Good luck with all of your other projects too! blessings, jen