Reclaiming Authentic Welcome

Headshot of Rabbi Adam Greenwald
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by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on June 2, 2022
It is often the case that the things that "everybody" knows to be true – aren't. Marie Antoinette never said: "Let them eat cake." Vincent Van Gogh did not cut off his ear to impress a lover. And, despite what my well-meaning mother told me, swallowed gum doesn't sit in your stomach for seven years, and if you make a funny face there is absolutely no chance of it sticking that way. There are lots of similarly popular myths about Jewish law: Read more...

Holidays of Memory: Holding the Past in the Present

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by Rabbi Ben Richards
posted on May 27, 2022
Growing up in a relatively patriotic family in America, I had the experience of partaking in various American rituals and practices throughout the year: watching fireworks while eating pudding on the Fourth of July, seeing military heroes march in parades, and ceasing from the vast amounts of labor expected of me from a very young age (kidding). Every time we would celebrate these holidays, we would do it with joy and fanfare. Our focus was about the new, the changes, and the revolutions, centered on what was to come. Read more...

Lag B'Omer - R E S P E C T !

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by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on May 18, 2022
Lag baOmer, the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer (which falls on the 18th of the Hebrew month of Iyar), is a strange, somewhat mysterious minor festival on the Jewish calendar. The counting of the Omer itself is a biblical commandment, mentioned in both Lev. 23:15-16 and Deut. 16:9: 49 days from when the first of the barley crop (the earliest ripening crop in the Land of Israel) is harvested, at the time of Passover, and culminating in the holiday of Shavuot on the 50th day. But there is no mention of any one day of the count being more significant than another. Read more...

The Secrets of Motherhood

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by Rabbi Myra Meskin
posted on May 5, 2022
Jewish tradition holds many stories of mothers and those seeking to be mothers, of step-mothers and mothers-in-law, and even of adoptive mothers. One challenge for those of us seeking the tradition from a female-identified perspective is that while there exist stories about us, these stories are rarely interpreted by us. Therefore, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a modern midrash – a mode of biblical interpretation originally utilized by the rabbis which has now been reinvigorated by modern women. Read more...

Remembrance and Freedom

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by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on May 2, 2022
The new state of Israel declared its independence on the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyyar. The partition of Palestine was determined by a narrow vote of the United Nations on the 29th of November, 1947. Independence was declared seven months later, at a time eight hours before the end of the British Palestine mandate on May 15, 1948. Hence the date was determined by the exigencies of international politics. Read more...