Toward the end of her complex odyssey, Anna finds herself alone in an ancient Istanbul synagogue, where at long last she unreservedly “name[s] herself” a Jew and experiences connection with a God that “fuse[s] both male and female” and “from that wholeness birth[s] mercy and love.” Vowing to work to “help repair [the] world”–tikkun olam–she moves forward to face her life with a “sense of wholeness” that had eluded her for so long.
Jill Hammer’s recent post on midrash surrounding the Biblical figure of Eve (Hava in Hebrew) sparked me to muse again about the fact that, despite its patriarchal roots and overlay, Judaism is a much more flexible tradition than Christianity and,… Read More ›
Around the age of 8, or maybe 10, I learned my aunt had had a hysterectomy. I remember visiting her house either shortly before or after the operation. I can’t remember which, and it doesn’t really matter. At the time,… Read More ›
A few weeks ago a Slovak journalist reached out to me about the new Netflix four-part series entitled Unorthodox. In the email, the journalist wrote that they had read about my work as a Jewish feminist and wanted some insight… Read More ›
In my last blog post, I explained what we lost when the Israelites became monotheists. That post looked at the move to monotheism from a more historical, feminist perspective. In this post, I want to understand monotheism from a more… Read More ›
I contemplated doing a post on the current rising issues of the Coronavirus but as so much of life has been stopped, altered, and/or rearranged, that I figured I would embody the proverbial statement of “Just Keep Calm and Carry… Read More ›
The Tanakh, Jewish scriptures, predominately call the deity king and lord and use the masculine pronoun. These images evoke a certain level of power. Just how powerful the deity is in then multiplied when “he” is addressed as “G-d of… Read More ›
I have always had a particular fascination with women warriors—particularly ancient and medieval ones. Joan of Arc was a favorite, as was Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt. My father had a sword from Spain hanging on his wall in… Read More ›
This week’s Torah portion, or parshah, is Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1). This parshah sets the scene for the liberation of the Israelites from slavery both by introducing main characters and elaborating on just how difficult life was for the Isrealites under… Read More ›
I attend Czech classes twice a week. This time of year the courses focus on Christmas. I’ve attended three different schools over the last five years, and all handle Christmas similarly. Even though the Czech Republic is only marginally Christian,… Read More ›
This week’s Torah parshah is Vayera (Genesis 18:1– 22:24). The parshah contains the the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the questionable hospitality of Lot, the incestual sexual relationships between a drunken Lot and his daughters, the revelation of Sarah’s pregnancy,… Read More ›
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was the 9th of October 2019. On this day, Jews typically attend shul, offer various prayers, and participate in some form of fasting. The day is meant to be a reflection on the ways… Read More ›
The Torah parshah Ki Teitzei, Deutornomy 21:10 to 25:19, contains 74 of the 613 commandments/mitzvot found in the Torah. These mitzvot cover a wide range of topics and concerns. For example, there are mitzvot about how to sow and harvest… Read More ›
Our visit to Poland coincides with the Feast of the Assumption, a time when tens of thousands of pilgrims arrive on foot to pay homage to Our Lady of Częstochowa, Poland’s Black Madonna. I too am a pilgrim, visiting the sites, not of miracles but of martyrdom. As I make my way through what Pope John Paul II called “this Golgotha of modern times,” I am overcome; like him, I “am here kneeling down” to implore Our Lady to help us heal the vast, still open wound that is our life on this earth.
Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) gives us pause for thought in its contradictions. First, the parshah (Torah portion) contains the aseret hadibrot (Ten Commandments), among which is: you shouldn’t murder (5:17). Then, pasukim (verses) 6:4-5 contain the shema (Hear O Israel! The… Read More ›
For by my side you put on many wreaths of roses and garlands of flowers around your soft neck and with precious and royal perfume you anointed yourself. On soft beds you satisfied your passion. And there… Read More ›
This week’s Torah parshah is Behaalotecha: Numbers 8:1 to 12:16. By now, much of what comes to pass should sound familiar. The parshah starts with another discussion of leadership and the priesthood. It then prescribes a second Pesach for those… Read More ›
Every year when the cherries, pears, plums, and apple trees begin to bloom, I go out walking. I look for every spot in my vicinity where white and pink blossoms are blooming in exquisite profusion like foam on an ocean…. Read More ›
Although Goddess traditions invite us to embrace a world of immanence and change, rather than to seek to escape into transcendence—which some yoga teachings seem to point toward—I have come to believe that the “still point,” is, as Eliot writes, where “the dance is.” In other words, daily practice might grant us the capacity to always move through the world with grace and joy. The mind will be steady as it encounters and embraces the turning world. We will be whole.
Passover is a holiday of remembrance, of ritual re-enactment: this, we say, is what our ancestors experienced. This is what they felt and knew, what they tasted in their blood. The movement from slavery to liberation, from the soul’s winter to spring. We must never forget, we say, we must always remember, be thankful for our freedom, never take it for granted. “In each generation,” the Haggadah enjoins, “we should feel as if we personally had come out of Egypt.”
In “Time Telling in Feminist Theory,” Rita Felski suggests that there are four main ways feminists discuss and use time: redemption, regression, repetition and rupture. They are aptly named as they behave similar to their labels. Redemption is the linear… Read More ›
This week’s Torah portion is Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26). Vayikra is essentially one long discourse on animal sacrifice with an occasional grain or oil offering included. This killing of animals, their subsequent burning and the shared eating of their… Read More ›
Almost every day, I walk in Central Park. There are certain trees there I’ve come to know: the gnarled cherry trees by the reservoir, the bending willows and tall bald cypress by the pond, the sycamores that drop their bark… Read More ›
The parshah for next week is Beshalach (Exodus 13:17 – 17:16). There are a lot of very important events happening in just four chapters. In fact, one could write a blog on any one of the following topics: the Israelite… Read More ›