Rabbi's Message

After the Ecstasy, More Ecstasy

Before we even reach the High Holy Days, I want to invite us to think about what is possible after the High Holy Days.  The Yamim Nora’im, the Days of Awe that reach from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur, are

Teshuvah & Canada’s Aboriginal Children: Confronting Destruction, Building Repair

Thirteen years ago, I was in prison.  I was not an inmate.  I was working for an organization called Tova: Artistic Projects for Social Change, and I was assisting Tova’s founder, Teya Sepinuck, who was creating a theatre project with

A Few Pictures from Israel & Palestine

I am writing to you from Israel.  I have been in Israel for three weeks and I’m overflowing with images and experiences that weave together the deeply heart-breaking and profoundly inspiring realities of life here.  I have been having conversations

We Are Connected in Mysterious Ways

The Yiddish word bashert means “intended.”  It has the connotation of a connection that was meant to be.  Destined.  Guided.  Two people intended to find one another.  It is usually used for those romantic connections when a seemingly random series

Liberating Language

Have you ever heard of or thought about language liberation? I was recently at a counseling conference and an integral part of the conference included translation of all of the lectures, teachings, and announcements from English into French, sentence by

The Blessing of Wrestling

Genesis 32 describes Jacob preparing to meet his brother Esau after twenty years of separation, coming face to face with the brother he cheated out of his birthright and their father’s blessing.  Alone and in darkness, Jacob encounters an angel

The Rabbi-Community Relationship

“A rabbi with whom no one disagrees is not a rabbi; a rabbi with whom everyone disagrees is not a mensch.” These are the words of Rabbi Israel Salanter, father of the Mussar (ethical character development) movement of the 19th

Understanding Anti-Semitism & Internalized Anti-Semitism / Report from February 23rd Community Conversation

At the most recent Wrestling Together community conversation, we explored ways that each of us has been impacted and distorted by anti-Semitism. Our personal stories, alongside historical context, hold the keys to understanding how we, individually and collectively, carry the

Ritual Roles Part 2 – Participation, Leadership & Non-Jews

Please Note:  This article is too brief a discussion of sensitive, complicated ideas. If anything I have said here is upsetting and angering to you, or you would like to explore these perspectives more fully, I particularly invite you to

Ritualizing Stories That Never Happened – Reflections on Wrestling Together in December

There was a gorgeous moment of surprise and laughter that opened our December Wrestling Together session. Quite fittingly, we began a conversation about ritual with the ritual of lighting Chanukah candles. I shared some teachings about the mitzvot of candle