Shabbat Shirah: Feed the Birds

During the month of Shevat, we have a special Shabbat — Shabbat Shirah, which the Shabbat where we read Parsha Beshalach (Ex 13:17-17:16). There are many named Shabbatot during the year, Shabbat Gadol, Shabbat Shuvah, etc. etc. Shabbat Shirah is more than just a Shabbat where we read a “special” Torah portion, I mean — aren’t all Parshot special? Ostensibly, Shabbat Shirah, Sabbath of Song, is called this because we read the “Song at the Sea” (Exodus 15). But like in so much of Jewish life, we’ve built and built on that.

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Kislev, Re-dedication, and Tzitzit

As Kislev approaches my mind once again turns to the corners of my Tallitot — which are vacant of Tzitzit.  I have had an amazing emotional block around tying Tzitzit to my daily tallit and my ceremonial one.  Tzitzit are hugely important to me.  As a spiritual practice they not only make sense to me at a primal level, but also as a “magickal” tool via the tying of knots — and it’s a direct mitzvah from the Torah.

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A Bracha for Voting

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.

Tishrei: Talking to the Dead

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.

Read on at PunkTorah.org

 

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Juicy Delicious Judaism – A Rosh Hashanah Drash

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.

L’Shanah Tova

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.

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