Dialogue, deeds, and (not) averting disaster

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on July 26, 2023
For those participating in the project known as Daf Yomi – the daily study of a two-sided page of the Babylonian Talmud, meant to take one through the entire work in seven and a half years – we are currently just about half way through the current cycle, in the midst of Gittin, the talmudic tractate about divorce law. But in the digressive way of the Talmud, Gittin also contains one of the most sustained rabbinic narratives, or series of narratives more or less stitched together, on the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 c.e. Read more...

From Despair to Hope

by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on August 5, 2022
"Eicha yashva badad, hair rabati am, haitai k'almana - Lonely sits the city, once great with people. She that was great among the nations has become like a widow". Read more...

Sacred Play-Acting

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on July 15, 2021
Like a number of Conservative Jews, I first learned the “script” of Tisha B’Av at summer camp (in my case, Ramah Poconos). After a pre-fast meal and as the sun began to set, we filed into the Beit Am Gadol (meaning, fairly literally: the Large Communal Space). At the front, by the stage which usually hosted camp plays, a choir of staff, and perhaps campers from older groups, sang mournful Hebrew songs as everyone gathered. The lights in the room were turned down, and instead the vast, hanger-like space was lit with candles. Read more...

The 10th of Av or What Happens Next

Photo of Michael Berenbaum
by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
posted on July 30, 2020
The Jewish Calendar does not change, we do. As we observe Tisha B’av with fasting and lamentations this Thursday, I am flooded with the memories of other places that I have been when this summer sacred fast day occurred, memories of Camp where, as the lone summer sacred day – we cannot say holiday – the whole camp was Tisha B’av. Read more...