1. Please, when you comment on a post, remember that there are human beings who will read what you have written. Kindness is a Jewish value; cleverness is not. When in doubt, err on the side of kindness.
2. If #1 did not impress you, please understand that if I deem a post to be unkind, I will invoke my powers as blog-owner to edit or delete it altogether. If you feel very strongly about your own point of view and your right to speak about it without regard for other people’s feelings, feel free to start your own blog.
3. Antisemitic comments and comments containing name-calling will be deleted as soon as I become aware of them.
4. Questions are wonderful. Please ask lots of them. There are no stupid questions, except for the sort that serve only as disguises for unkind statements or antisemitism, in which case, I will cheerfully turn them to my own purposes.
5. If you think I’ve been unfair or unkind, use the Comments section of any post to start a conversation with me about it.
28 thoughts on “Comment Policy”
No questions. Just good to see a comment policy!
Thank you so very much for posting this for those who are being CALLED to Celebrate Sabbath w/ our Lord, but have no idea where to begin. THANK YOU AGAIN for the easy to follow instructions & guidance! Some of us…have no significant other, so this site is helpful to work around that. SHALOM my Friend, Shalom!
I have a question as a curious Jewish girl.
Before I ask I want to inform you that I am myself a Jewish girl.
I year or so ago I moved from Miami, where I was raised, to Brooklyn. The Hasidic culture was interesting. Unlike Miami, they were having children at incredibly young ages and the men tended to be extremely sexist. In fact, I would hear stories about how they cheated on their wives and they would even sometimes try to talk to me. I went to a dinner once and I told my friend, “this is delicious, I can’t cook for my life.” Her husband responded, “you’ll make a terrible wife.” The Hasidic culture in Miami is very forward and almost liberating. The wives have jobs, the husbands have jobs, and they aren’t in as much of a rush to get married; they definitely don’t pay each other to set each other up with people.
Why is this?
Geography has always been a factor in Jewish culture. I am not surprised to hear that hasidic culture in Miami is different than Hasidic culture in Brooklyn. Reform culture differs between the two cities, too.
The differences develop because of history, differences in the surrounding (non-Jewish) community, even the climate. Between hasidic communities there may also be differences even in the same place: Satmar Jews and Lubovitch are quite different in their practices.
Thanks for a great question!
You might find it interesting to look into Chassidus, as well as neo-hasidism. Chassidus is where Hasidic Judaism started from, and (from what I’ve learned so far) is about connecting with Judaism through Joy, mystic experience, etc.
My understanding of the Hasidic (and Haredi) communities in Brooklyn is that they were formed by Polish immigrants, after the decimation of Jews in Poland during the Holocaust. As a result, a lot of trauma carried through, and that can really affect how things develop(ed). There’s likely more to it than that, but that may be a start. Also, some of this may be influenced by NYC being (at times) a pretty intense place – and that may have something to do with all this?
Btw – I’m from Brooklyn as well!
(Note: if anybody comes across this, and I have gotten parts of this wrong, I apologize, and *please* correct or further inform me!)
I’ve just realized I said “Jewish girl” twice. Please excuse any grammatical errors. I’m exhausted.
Rabbi, I messaged you last summer. I was telling you how I was a young gay man and wanting to convert. You advised me to seek out a synagogue, so I have been going to one.
I am messaging you, because I don’t know who else to talk to. Please, bear with me.
My problem is this:
I have been going to Shacharit services every Shabbat morning since the middle of last August. l pray three times a day now (waking up early as a college student to do morning prayers isn’t convenient). I have been reading the parsha twice, at a minimum, a week. I have been learning Hebrew from books in my college’s library. I thought I was being a good “Jew-in-training.” I have been exploring and diving in.
Naturally, I have asked the rabbi to convert me and all. We have had a few meetings, but he seems to keep me at arms’ length and very formal.
But, I also have a friend who has taken interest in Judaism. She says to have always wanted to be Jewish (I understand that.) So, she came with me to service and decided to come for a few more times. She started Looking into Judaism. Mind you, she was pagan before and told me if she did convert she would probably “still cast spells from time to time.” She hasn’t put great thought in it whatsoever. It was decided within a week or two at most.
Well, my problem is this: The rabbi, I believe, favors her over me. She told him she wanted to convert, and then he gave her a hug and a kiss. He spoke with her the very next week. When I told him, he gave me a grave look, sat down, and said, “Not right now. Here’s my card, so email me. We can meet next week.”
We met over a *month* later after he didn’t respond to about eight emails.
He told her that she “would make a good contribution to the Jewish gene pool.” This is not to mention that he responds within minutes, *literally*, to her emails.
With me, he is stern and shallow. He is friendly sometimes, but I get the impression that I upset him somehow. I have asked if me being gay was somehow an issue, and he said of course it wasn’t. He looked offended I would say such a thing.
I’m confused, and my feelings are hurt. I’m getting the message that me pouring my heart and soul into Torah is second rate to my friend/acquaintance and her relation to Judaism.
Her life isn’t my business, but am I in the wrong for feeling so hurt/ignored?
Any help would be appreciated.
No matter if you are member of the LGBT community, a racial minority, a recent immigrant or none of the above. Sometimes the student or teacher just do not mesh. What is did not hear is what is you relationship with other members of the community? You mentioned what you are doing and that sounds great but I wonder what are you doing with other Jews. Jews in the community. Where you live it might be difficult to do but you might have to find another rabbi. Last, I helped someone who was being put off my the rabbi and I went to the head of the ritual committee and said something. You might have to have other members of the community intercede for you. Just my thoughts.
I’m not the Rabbi – but your feelings are always valid. I’m sorry you’ve experienced that sort of discrimination/exclusion from the rabbi at your congregation… I don’t know where you’re located, but you may want to look into CBST or Keshet, or other LGBT congregations.
I don’t know how this situation has developed for you, since your comment, but as general advice: I’d suggest talking to/confronting the rabbi about it. It could cause him to change, or see the pain he’s causing – or you could confirm that this treatment is really occurring, and allow yourself to decide what you want to do about that.
I hope things have worked out more for you since this post.
Best of luck – from another convert-in-process 🙂
I am so so sorry that I have missed seeing your question until now, Justin. I am unsure how it happened and I apologise.
I have no idea what is going on with that rabbi. It could be any number of things, but it sure sounds like the two of you have difficulty communicating. That’s not necessarily on you; it sounds like you have tried to clarify the issue.
I suggest you look for a more congenial rabbi. Not every rabbi is going to be a good fit for every potential student. Sometimes finding your rabbi requires a few false starts.
I hope that you have already found a rabbi with whom to study, and again, I apologise for failing to see your message until now.
Hello Rabbi Adar, Do you have an email where I can contact you? l’shalom Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez
Ruthadar -at- Gmail will get to me.
Dear Rabbi Adar: Last year I came across your eleh ezkerah and was deeply moved by it. I have adapted it to be used in my congregation (a Conservative Synagogue0, giving you full attribution but I just wanted to say Todah Rabah. I would love to send you a copy of what I have done with it – I am not sure where to send it – please let me know if you are interested in seeing what I have done.
Rabbi, I’m flattered. I’ve sent email your way.
Thank you, Rabbi Adar, for helping me and my chavrusot
answer our Tetzaveh questions about the great beauty of the priestly garments, and how they must have been effected by the work of the priests.
We all loved it! And a new question arose from your commentary.
Why did Hashem create life to be messy?
G-d could have done it any way. Why this way?
What purpose does messiness have in our lives
and in the great plan of Creation .
Thank you so much for being in the world
and for considering our questions.
Blessings, blessings, blessing on you and your work.
Channah Yael and her Chavrusot
What a beautiful question! I will answer in a new post.
I live in a small community in southern Ontario Canada I don’t know,of any rabbis or Jewish places of worship in my area. Would like to convert but don’t know where to start. I have done some reading but would like to talk with someone knowledgeable like a rabbi to guide me and answer my questions.
If this is too much like advertising on your page, you will not hurt my feelings by deleting after you read it! But, I wanted you to know that Unified Field Theology: A Journey from Evangelical Fundamentalism to Faith in What Is should be printing today. It is the story of my journey to a much larger understanding of life, and your teachings through this wonderful blog are part of that growth. You are cited in the book. Thank you!
Thank you! Congratulations on the completion of another book!
Here is another “Rabbi who blogs” who you might want to include in your list. His name is Rabbi Jon Spira-Savett. He is the Rabbi of Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, NH. His blog is at rabbijon.net
Thank you! I need to update that list!
Dear Rabbi Adar, I heard an interview with this author and many other good recommendations about this book. I’m sending this comment in response to your recent blog. Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life–in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There) by [Hurwitz, Sarah]
Sarah Hurwitz’s book is on my “to read soon” stack. Everything I’ve heard about it is good.
Thank you very much for such a wonderful text! Good luck to you
hello, I am an English teacher in Italy. I organise events on meet to let people practice English. The topic this period is TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT RELIGIONS and I always invite people of different religions. Is there a Rabbin who can partecipate to the event when we speak about Judaism? Thank you in advance
Santina DI RIenzo
Santina, Let’s talk via email. You can reach me at ruthadar-at-gmail-dot-com.
Hi Rabbi – thank you for this engaging blog, I’m learning a lot. I am a Jew who knows very little about Judaism. I’m working on a novel that includes a Jewish character, and I was wondering if you’d be open to answer questions that I may represent his faith as accurately as possible. Thank you!