Well, this last post is late... but I've decided that considering I was also preparing for my first HHD's at my new congregation, I did pretty well with the #BlogElul challenge. I've decided to #give myself a break and #return to this project in the future. Ultimately, this has been a thought-provoking and reflective process, and I've enjoyed it enough to add it to my yearly HHD routine. Shanah Tovah! #hhds
As I #awaken from a stupor caused by an incredibly busy week that while difficult, made me feel very honored to be the rabbi of my community, I've realized that I left my #BlogElul posts fall by the wayside. I hope that you will not #judge the fact that my attention was pulled away from writing these entries, and I #pray that you understand that when deciding between reaching out to congregants and writing blog posts... congregants will always win. Today, I #asked myself if
Searching is exhausting. Honestly, even thinking about today's #BlogElul prompt wore me out. I'm not even sure that I like the idea that we're supposed to be searching for meaning. I mean, how do we know what or who we're supposed to be searching for and how will we know when we've found it/him/her/etc? Searching, in contrast to learning or feeling, is strenuous and requries consistent (if not constant) focus. I can't help but thinking that if I'm so busy LOOKING for meani
Jewish tradition tells us to begin each day by thanking God for the every-day miracles that we experience. It’s a beautiful idea, and while I agree with all of the blessings included in Mishkan T’filah (the Reform Movement’s prayer book), some of the language can feel a bit “highfalutin” (a technical, Talmudic word). So, in the spirit of #BlogElul – I’ve decided to thank God for the miracles of my daily life by writing a few new blessings. Blessed are you, Adonai our God, So
As Reform Jews, we have the amazing opportunity to shape our own concept of observance. We have the customs, texts, and beliefs of our tradition spread out before us, and we have the ability to choose which ones we want to incorporate into our lives! It’s an amazing position to be in… and it can also be COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING. Having options is a blessing in so many ways, but having so many options can be paralyzing. How can we know what will be spiritually fulfilling?
As I prepare for my first high holiday season as an ordained rabbi, I am struck by the sheer number of things that need to be done. Over the past few weeks, I kept coming back to the question of whether this blog would simply be another item on my to do list. But, after reading some of last year's #BlogElul posts, it's clear to me that participating will be both spiritually rewarding and absolutely worthwile. And so, I am grateful that I am able to spend part of the next 29
The High Holy Days will be here soon! In fact, Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes Rosh Hashanah, begins next week. During Elul, Jews have traditionally set aside part of each day to study and prepare for the High Holy Days (HHD’s). This custom allowed Jewish people to encounter and grapple with the themes of the HHD’s well before they ever arrived for services. In contemporary times, this traditional practice has been transformed by the internet and social media. Include