For this week's Torah portion, Kedoshim, Kol Aleph – the Jewish Renewal Blog – reprinted a piece I wrote in 2013, immediately on the heels of the Supreme Court arguments in the Windsor and Obergefell, the same-sex marriage cases. In it I imagine oral argument before the heavenly court to revoke the biblical prohibition on homosexuality, with no less than the famed Rabbi Hillel as the attorney for the petitioners. I was honored that this piece was selected for inclusion in this year's array of Torah commentary from Renewal rabbis and students.Read More
I bit in, and everything in me suddenly said, "Why yes, Grandma Minnie." A few bites later, it was again just a delicious thing and now sentimental too. But for that first moment, I had the unmistakable sensation of my grandmother next to me, our hearts turned toward each other in a way that hasn't been possible for nearly half a century.Read More
An improvisation to help you move from the jagged week into some spacious, giddy Shabbat consciousness. Melody by Shlomo Carlebach. Guitar played by Susie Miller. Singing by everyone at Congregation Ner Shalom last Friday, March 17, 2017.
Now beware. There are risks associated with stirring the waters, as any activist knows. The thing is, when you stir the waters, the waters get stirred. There are ripples; and the consequences can be unpredictable. Other activists might be stirred up or stirring up in different ways, and the hulls of your ships might bang up against each other – the hulls of your friendships, your partnerships, colliding. This happens. And so it is important to remember that someone stirring the water differently is not necessarily your enemy. And that there is room on these waves for all of us to ride.Read More
So how do you create monumental Iron Age architecture without axes, hammers or iron tools? Yes, it could just mean that the milling happened at the quarry, many miles away where the ringing and clanging would not bother anybody. But that's too easy an answer for us Jews. Instead, our midrash, our vast array of legend, goes wild here. How did whole stones come to be so regular and perfectly shaped if iron chisels were forbidden? How were they transported if iron crowbars couldn't pry them onto wagons? One midrash suggests that the stones, once uncovered in the quarry, perfectly shaped, would hoist themselves up in the air and levitate to Jerusalem.Read More