My homemade tallit, or prayer shawl, is the most meaningful Jewish object I own. When I embarked on my journey to Israel with URJ Kesher in December 2015, I packed my beloved tallit along with my Chacos and water bottle - but unlike them, my tallit never saw the light of the Jerusalem sun. I fully intended to don my prayer shawl on the women’s side of the Western Wall, or Kotel, following in the tradition of my Jewish feminist role models, Women of the Wall. Yet, when the time came, I was paralyzed. With...Read More
Growing up, I always dreamed of being a mom. Even as a kid I would brainstorm baby names, tell my dolls bedtime stories and swear that I would be a cool mom and let them eat cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had it all planned out, down to the soccer jerseys and frilly dresses my future children would wear.
It all seemed easy enough — until it wasn’t.
When my husband Matan and I experienced difficulty getting pregnant, we worried that our lifelong dream of becoming parents might never happen.
We knew from many of our friends just how common fertility issues...Read More
Why can’t we remember what it feels like to wear a yellow star? A number? Why can’t we imagine what it is like to be black, brown, yellow, poor, or an immigrant in America? Why can’t we feel the terror of our brother’s mental illness or our sister’s addiction? Why, oh why, can’t we imagine what it is like to be LGBT in a sea of intolerance?
Oh, America, you are breaking my heart.
What has happened to the America we have loved? Can you tell us?
When did we lose the ability to walk 40 days and 40 nights in another’s shoes? When, just when, did we lose the ability to...Read More
During Friday evening services, I use T’filah HaLev (Prayers of the Heart) to reflect on my thoughts about the previous week and the days to come. Lately, my thoughts have turned mostly to what is wrong in America. Though prayer may not provide answers, I find comfort in the sanctuary, where I can talk to God and let the Divine know how I feel, without being judged.
At a recent Friday evening Shabbat service, my rabbi spoke to the congregation and, without singling me out, told me I was indifferent. I wasn’t angry at him for saying so – I was angry at myself because he was correct...Read More
At this time of year in Israel, heat again bakes ancient stone. The land is parched, and it is easy to fall prey to fear. It can seem that the thirst of this midsummer 17th day of the month of Tammuz is not only the thirst of this year but of every summer at once. Time flattens upon itself. The stories of this day are the stories of all the 17ths of Tammuz through time.
This day, our stories say, is the day that Moses came down from the mountain. Some six weeks before, the Israelites had assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai in awe and joy at receiving the Ten Commandments. Moses...Read More