October 31, 2015
Can you see what this image, created by Anya Ulinich (speaking Sunday at RS) depicts? A woman dressed in a business suit riding a Shabbat candle-fueled challah! The picture serves as an illustration for Susan Pashman’s column in the Jewish Forward, “My Big Sabbath Lie–And the Joy It Brought.
When Susan Pashman first became a single mother and sole wage-earner, she decided she needed to change careers in order to provide for her 2 sons. So she went to law school and then secured a position in a prestigious firm. That’s when she realized another problem: If she was going to work the expected 90-hour week, how would she find the time to provide a loving, caring home for her children? Just then, Susan witnessed another member of the firm’s incoming cohort, explain to the boss that he was an observant Jew, and needed to leave early on Fridays and stay home on Saturdays, in order to observe the Sabbath.
Ah-hah! Read the rest of this entry »
September 26, 2015
delivered by Rabbi Jill Maderer Yom Kippur afternoon
A man backs his car out of the driveway, and stops short to avoid running into a young boy, riding his skateboard on the sidewalk. Annoyed, the man drives to the local cafe to pick up his morning coffee, and a woman parks her car in the spot he was eyeing. Irritated, he walks into the store, only to see he needs to stand on a long line. When he finally makes it to the front of the line, the person who was standing in front of him, returns to add a cookie to his order. Exasperated, as if the world around him is irresponsible, incompetent and inconsiderate of his needs, the man sits down to wait for his coffee, and to reflect on how the world is everyone else’s oyster.
At that moment a stranger approaches him, and silently hands him a pair of eyeglasses. When the man slides the glasses onto his face, his perspective changes. Through this magical eyewear, the man can view a caption that follows each person in sight. Backtracking through his morning, he starts to see differently. Read the rest of this entry »
September 24, 2015
delivered by Rabbi Jill Maderer Yom Kippur morning
So… Who lives in the Pope traffic box? Me, too. Although logistically complicated, I appreciate that this is a momentous occasion, for our Catholic friends and for our city, and I am intrigued about how we in the Jewish community might find meaning in the Pope’s visit.
On this sacred day, we open to atonement, change, repair. Pope Francis serves as an extraordinary model of faith in repair. Read the rest of this entry »
September 15, 2015
Picture the scene: Thousands of African-Americans marching in the South for civil rights. Marching arm in arm, their voices raised in songs of protest. There are some white allies in the group as well. Even some Jews and some rabbis. They are carrying a Torah scroll, a symbol of the Jewish values that compel us to stand with our neighbors and to fight for racial justice and equality. Setting off from Selma, Alabama, they march together. Marching to end racial profiling, marching to end discriminatory voting practices, marching to end economic injustice, and marching to end inequality in our public schools. The year? No, I am not talking about the civil rights marches of 1965, but rather this very summer, 2015. 50 years on from the original march from Selma to Montgomery, we are still marching. To quote the rapper, Mos Def, “A lot of things have changed, a lot of things have not!” The NAACP, along with partners like the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, marched this summer from Selma to Montgomery; but they did not stop there – they kept marching all the way to Washington, DC. And they arrived today. Dubbed America’s Journey for Justice, thousands of activists travelled over 860 miles to continue the struggle for racial justice in America.
Just as the Jewish community was integral to the original civil rights movement of the 60’s, we must be present again today. Just as it was 50 years ago, racism and civil rights are still Jewish issues. A lot of things have changed, a lot of things have not!
Read the rest of this entry »