Category: spiritual practice

Wax and Wicks

Jews have laws and customs for so many ritual details: washing hands in the morning, donning a tallit [prayershawl], the order of blessings before and after a meal, preparing a household for Passover, etc., etc., […]

Map Your Heart Out, part 1

“Pursuing Racial Justice: The Jewish Underpinnings of Anti-Racism Work,” held recently at Adas Israel (DC) and featuring Yavilah McCoy of Visions-Inc and Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block of Bend the Arc, offered many insights and challenges. I […]

To open, moving “days between”

In her The Days Between, Marcia Falk writes of the “We cast into the depths” declaration of Tashlikh, the Rosh Hashana afternoon ritual of symbolic sin/crumb/twig tossing: “We seek in this declaration to free ourselves […]

Dwelling Within a Fallible Construction

Sukkot is the holiday “most closely associated with the Oral Law,” according to Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, as so much of the holiday — from identifying “p’ri eitz hadar” [“fruit of goodly trees”] (Lev 23:40) to […]

Grateful Thanksgivakkah

In honor of this odd confluence of holidays — 30 Days of Dead, Chanukah, and Thanksgiving — I offer these thoughts on Jewish worship, text study and the Grateful Dead. It is not necessary to […]

Beyond Bleary-Eyed Page Shuffling

Some Early Morning Blessing Resources offered with thoughts of Temple Micah’s upcoming siddur study group Why open a prayer book? The Art of Blessing the Day God’s Faith Morning Poetry More Links Why open a […]

Beyond Body and Soul: Expanding Morning Prayers

I have heard it said, frequently from the bima of Temple Micah (Washington, DC), that a proliferation of words doesn’t always aid prayer. Rabbi Danny Zemel has often said that his own preference would be […]

Speech, Suspicion, and Security

My God, help me remember that “just as the hand can kill, so can the tongue,” tweet, blog, or Congressional hearing…. Update from House Committee on Homeland Security — “On March 10, the Committee will […]

Naso: Prayer Links

Toward the close of parashat Naso, twelve princes bring identical gifts as a dedication offering for the tabernacle (Bamidbar/Numbers 7:10 – 88). Twelve times, the same five verses, with minor variations of the “mail-merge” sort […]

Is Thanks Ever Simple? – part 2

In light of the challenges I faced when asked to offer simple thanks during one morning’s prayers, I decided to explore the passage, included in many versions of the morning blessings, that begins: “Therefore, we […]