This morning, we went to the Western Wall to pray with Women of the Wall for Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the festival celebrating the new month. Though a large group of progressive Jews were present, there were also thousands of Ultra-Orthodox men and women who had been bused in to protest a recent ruling by the Jerusalem District Court allowing women to pray as they wish at the Kotel. It was a moving, tense, and, at times, frightening scene. After we took some time to process our experiences, we reflected together on the day.
Gavi: After an...Read More
Never in my life have I craved Shabbat as deeply as I did on Friday, April 19th, 2013. My wife Nicole and I were expecting our family to arrive from all over the East Coast to celebrate our newborn son Caleb’s Hebrew name, during Kabbalat Shabbat at Temple Israel of Boston, where as I serve as a rabbi.
When I awoke to learn that one of the suspected Boston marathon bombers was “at-large” in or around Boston, and that our city and surrounding areas were in virtual lockdown, I was stunned. Five days had passed since the horror of the marathon bombings, five days filled with tragedy,...Read More
I began my journey to Judaism nervously. Unlike the Charedim (ultra-Orthodox) who are anxious before the word of God, I was anxious in the uncertainty of the future.
I am sitting in a crowded Temple sanctuary as a chazzan (cantor) begins the first gentle strains of the Erev Rosh Hashanah liturgy. I am equally aware of the haunting musical refrain as I am not actually being a Jew. I shuffle nervously in my seat and survey the friendly faces around me with an uncomfortable smile.
Weeks later, I am sitting in a tidy office across from another friendly face. The rabbi pats his...Read More
It's Friday evening. The smells of rosemary chicken and freshly-baked challah fill the house. My daughters, 3 and 9, sigh as I gently detach the iPads from their laps. One by one, our screens are powered down. My husband, Ken, is usually the last holdout, in his office, madly scrambling to send out just one last email before the sun sets. Then he unplugs too. We light the candles, and sit down to a sumptuous meal.
I'm prepared. I've printed out the next day's schedule, along with maps and phone numbers that live on my cell phone. Most people in our lives know they will not be able to...Read More
Everything seems simple at 30,000 feet.
I'm on my way to Austin, TX, for South By Southwest (SXSW), one of the most exciting and influential music/film/interactive conferences in the world. Tomorrow night will be the culmination of five years of work, dreams, and struggles; of pushback, scowls, and great joy; of transcendent communal moments, quizzically raised eyebrows and outright looks of disdain. Tomorrow night,...Read More
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