I had the pleasure of speaking at Olney Kehila for Rosh Hashanah services today. Below is the text of the “D’var” that I gave on a Jewish spiritual practice of naming your year as a way to determine how you will be written into the Book of Life.
If you live in the United States — then vote. No excuses. Don’t take for granted a right that people all over the world kill and die for.
A Blessing for Voting
Blessed are you Holy One, Spirit of the Universe,
who grants us wisdom and enables us to choose
those who lead us on this earthly realm.
May we align our hearts with your way and
may our hands cast votes that are for the benefit of all.
First post of the year at PunkTorah.org. This year I’ll be exploring a unique tradition or practice associated with either the holidays or seasons of each month of the Jewish year.
The most prominent rituals of Sukkot are the setting up of our Sukkahs, the “huts” we “dwell in” and the shaking of the Lulav and Etrog. The harvest roots of Sukkot are hardly worth discussing and debating, because they are just so blatant. So let’s talk about that other fascinating tradition: the Ushpizin.
I was honored to be asked to speak at the Rosh Hashanah services of Olney Kehila this year. Below is the text of the “drash” I gave.
I am really honored to be here with you all today. My family seems to have a growing and wonderful connection with Olney Kehila. Not only is Holly, a friend, teacher, and mentor, but my husband crafted the wonderful ark that houses your community’s Torah. I’ve enjoyed services here in the past and just love what a friendly and welcoming congregation this is. One thing, in particular, that’s struck me in the past is the amazing kids you have here. I watch them get so engaged with the songs and chants,and I remember meeting one Bat Mitzvah student a couple of years ago who was working on some project that I can’t even fathom having the maturity to have done when I was twelve.
Tishrei 5772 begins at Sundown on Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The shofar is not only a symbol we all associate with Tishrei, but it’s also a symbol of Judaism. Many of us only think about the shofar at the High Holy days, but in ancient times it was used regularly in religious rites.