Sunday, July 25, 2010

How not to miss J'slem - Tefillin strap marks

So, this morning, for the nearly the first time since I left Israel last year, I was relieved for a moment that I was NOT in Jerusalem this today.

Got up, went to morning minyan (also an unusual occurrence since I haven't been able to daven much these days, another post later on that), layed tefillin, davened, took the tefillin off, left shul, headed to the local Starbucks for something cold and unhealthy to drink.

As I got out of my car in the parking lot in front of Starbucks I happened to glance down at my arm and saw the imprints from the tefillin straps. My first thought was, "Oh well, at least I'm not in Jerusalem." 

I never thought twice about tefillin strap imprints when I was in Jerusalem - how has so much changed in so short a time? How sad is that?

וְאֵרַשְׂתִ֥יךְ לִ֖י לְעוֹלָ֑ם
וְאֵרַשְׂתִ֥יךְ לִי֙ בְּצֶ֣דֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּ֔ט וּבְחֶ֖סֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים
וְאֵרַשְׂתִ֥יךְ לִ֖י בֶּאֱמוּנָ֑ה וְיָדַ֖עַתְ אֶת־יְהֹוָה

And I will betroth you to me forever,
And I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice,
And in loving kindness and in compassion;
And I will betroth you to me in faithfulness,
And you will know Hashem.
Hoshea 2:21-22

Created by Jen Taylor Friedman in 2006. Check out her blog at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Act of Becoming Human - A poem by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The Act of Becoming Human
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

At what point do we, does one, do I decide who I am? 
Is it a matter of time? 
Of learning? 

The search for "my authentic self" is
internal and beyond,
immanent and transcendent.... 

It is in the process of encountering the other,
every other,
and The Other,
as life unfolds
that the contours of your soul, our Soul, my soul
can be felt, discerned.

How can I know God if I do not know myself?
How can I know myself if I do not encounter you?
What am I alone?
Is there such a thing?


God is.
You are. 
I am.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sinat Chinam: Will We Never Learn?

Anat Hoffman, who is often the most public face of Women of the Wall (Nashot HaKotel) was arrested this morning during 
WoW's Rosh Hodesh Av service. 

Shalom Chevre,

I wanted to share this article in Jewschool about Anat Hoffman being arrested this morning for holding a Torah at the Wall. She was there with Women of the Wall for davening for Rosh Chodesh Av. Several friends of mine from RRC were there as well. This blog presents an accurate account of what went down there. If you are on facebook, you can see some pictures on the page of the "Women of the Wall Nashot HaKotel."

The blog entry ends with the very words that I had just typed to a friend of mine. Today, Rosh Chodesh Av, begins a 9 day period of semi mourning before enter a day of fasting and mourning for the destruction of the Temple over Sinat Chinam - baseless hatred.  Have we learned nothing??

May me all go into these 9 days with open eyes and open hearts.


Anat Hoffman of Women of the Wall Arrested | Jewschool