Choosing Life, Blessing and Joy

Reading Nitzavim on Yom Kippur by Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell “You stand this day, all of you, before your God, the Holy One of Blessing: you tribal heads, you elders, and you officials, all the men of Israel, you children, you women, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper...

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Practicle Preparation for a Spiritual Yom Kippur

It almost reads like a riddle:  Q: If you fast once Yom Kippur begins, and the candlelighting at the dinner before Kol Nidre brings in the start of the Holy Day, then how do you light candles and then eat dinner?   A: On Yom Kippur, you light the candles at...

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September is National Recovery Month

Some inspiration for National Recovery Month: For anyone who would find strength in Jewish insights for a path of recovery, Rabbi Kerry Olitzky’s book Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery: A Personal Guide to Turning from Alcoholism and Other Addictions. Thank you to Emma Fiebach for “My Taglit (Discovery)” about her...

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Everyone’s Steps to Repentance

You can picture the daily scene:  A father yells in anger as his daughter comes home in the middle of the night, after hours of drinking.  The entire household touched by her alcoholism, they begin to isolate from some friends, tell protective lies to other friends, and close down emotionally...

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Elul Reflections: Rouse Us

How does tradition wake us up to change?  In Sephardic congregations, the shofar is sounded at the morning services during the month of Elul.  This is for the purpose of trying to wake us up to the serious task of tshuva, repentance, atonement and changing our lives. “Whose voice do...

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Elul Reflections: God Knows My Guilty Look

  A sage is a passenger on a horse and wagon.  As they pass a farm, the driver sees some hay.  He stops his horse, looks around carefully to make sure no one is watching, runs out, and grabs a bundle of hay.

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Jewish Meditation and the Dislocation of the Journey

Please join us for Jewish Meditation before Shabbat services on Friday evenings, starting August 9, 5-5:30pm (you are welcome to arrive 4:45 to settle in; please be sure to arrive by 5:15 when the doors close for silence).  In these coming weeks we will focus on brief teachings from This...

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Jewish Meditation

What is Jewish Spirituality?  A recent conversation with a few congregants helped to shine a light on the spiritual quest many in our community are pursuing.  Some of you have shared an interest in Eastern traditions of meditation and mindfulness and asked whether there is a place for such practice...

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Judaism and the 12 Steps: A Message for Everyone

What can Judaism offer to the spiritual journey in recovery?  The more I learn about Judaism and the more a learn about recovery, the clearer the answer becomes.  Jewish wisdom enriches the spiritual journey of recovery in many of the same ways Judaism deepens any of our spiritual journeys. In...

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