“The Earth God Has Given” – Blessings as Mindfulness and Gratitude

The practice of saying blessings is very ancient in Judaism. In this Talmudic text, the sage Rabbi Levi gives a beautiful explanation and meaning for the practice: Rabbi Levi raised a contradiction between two texts in the Psalms: On the one hand, it is written: “The earth and all it contains belongs to the Eternal”Continue reading ““The Earth God Has Given” – Blessings as Mindfulness and Gratitude”

Hineini: Celebrating Jewish Choices

NOTE: This is the sermon that I delivered on Yom Kippur Morning 5778 (2017). It gives the thinking behind my decision to begin officiating at Jewish weddings that include a non-Jewish partner. In ancient times, long before they were synagogues or rabbis or prayerbooks, there was the shofar. In those days, the shofar was soundedContinue reading “Hineini: Celebrating Jewish Choices”

From Human Doing to Human Being: A Yom Kippur Sermon About Mindfulness

I’d like to introduce you to the philosophical treatise that has most influenced my life: Calvin & Hobbes. You may laugh, but anyone who’s ever read Calvin & Hobbes knows that it addresses serious questions about existence and values and meaning…all through the eyes of the world’s most precocious 6-year-old and his imaginary tiger friend.Continue reading “From Human Doing to Human Being: A Yom Kippur Sermon About Mindfulness”

Moses and “Moses” – Celebrating Harriet Tubman

They say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I’m not so sure about that. This weekend, Jewish families all over the world will sit down at their tables for the Passover Seder. This season celebrates freedom; it acknowledges that somewhere in the depths of our history/mythology we were slaves. And that through forces humanContinue reading “Moses and “Moses” – Celebrating Harriet Tubman”

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