Maintaining Self and Struggle

A meditation linking God’s four-letter name – YHVH (yud-hey-vav-hey) – with the human body/soul can help focus on God’s presence and power in our lives. I have relied on this meditation since Rabbi David Shneyer taught it to me some years ago. The variation presented here, incorporates a teaching from the prophet Micah on what […]

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Yet More on Psalm 27 (3 of 4)

The close of Psalm 27 — קַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה: חֲזַק, וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ; וְקַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה. Hope in the LORD; strengthen yourself, let your heart take courage, and hope in the Lord [Psalm 27:14] — is often cited as a motivational aphorism, particularly for the penitential season. This is its role in this meditation for Elul, for example. […]

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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 convene the first in a series of hearings examining radicalization in the American Muslim community and the community’s response to […]

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Shoulder to Shoulder, All Faiths and Philosophies

March 7, 2011, is the beginning of a new month in the Jewish calendar. The new moon, with its slim light, is traditionally understood as a time of some anxiety and of hope. Prayers recited just prior to the new moon ask that the new month bring increase in a variety of areas. “At the […]

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At the New Moon

Here’s a new PDF prayer supplement, “At the New Moon,” brought to you by “Rosh Hodesh Elul DC,” a loosely formed group of men and women in solidarity with Women of the Wall. (Print back-to-back and fold.) “In Solidarity/For Understanding” was developed in support of Women of the Wall by Virginia Avniel Spatz, based on […]

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Is Thanks Ever Simple?-part 1

Or: Don’t think of a Green Hippo! Recently, the leader of Fabrangen West‘s Birkot Ha-Shachar/Psukei D’Zimra [Morning Blessings and Verses of Song] introduced the service by asking that we consider the pshat [literal meaning] of the prayers. She mentioned a common tendency to hear (or speak) a negative edge to even the most positive sounding […]

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