“Our life is a walk in the night, we know not how great the distance to the dawn that awaits us. And the path is strewn with stumbling blocks and our bodies are grown tyrannous with weeping yet we lift our feet. We lift our feet.” —Rachel Kadish in The Weight of Ink, p. 51 This morning the mourners will get up from sitting shiva and take a walk around the block. This tradition, an act that literally propels the mourners outside and returns them to daily activities, is also symbolic of the change in a mourner’s spiritual state, from deep and overwhelming grief to a kind of sub-surface sorrow, one that allows for the return to daily life. I will not accompany them, as I … Read moreWalk around the Block
My recent post on the Rabbis Without Borders blog is a reflection about beginning my tenure as a Rabbi Samuel T. Lachs fellow: This week I’m going back in time to my college days by taking a leap forward to become a student again in Philadelphia. Less than a month after celebrating the 25th anniversary of my ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary, I learned that I’d been accepted into the 2018-19 cohort of the LEAP Fellowship, created by CLAL and the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The focus this year will be on the development of Jewish life, culture and thought in modern times across North Africa, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central and South Asia. … Read moreTaking a LEAP
Many of you heard or read the story of my fall. Not the season; the incident involving two dogs, one leash, a fire hydrant and Hailey. In that story, I try to emphasize the uplifting encounter with Hailey and downplay the injury to my thumb. In this installment of the story, I will also attempt to focus on the positive outcomes of spending nearly three hours at the doctor’s office. First, the nurse asks what happened, and she takes notes on the intake form on her clipboard. I tell her about the fire hydrant and how tightly I grasped the leash to protect Luna. I give her the DVD with my X-rays from the emergency room, and she leaves to upload them. Another nurse arrives … Read moreThumbs Up for Resurgeons
My recent post on the Rabbis Without Borders blog is a reflection on how an act of kindness from a stranger lifted my spirits after I fell: My physical bruises are nearly healed. The swelling in my thumb is still noticeable but I have enough mobility to be able to write and type these sentences with only minor discomfort. When I fell, the pain was so great I cried out in anguish, like a wounded animal. Then, even as part of my brain was aware I was broken and bleeding, I was able to stand, unwind Luna’s leash from the fire hydrant, and keep running. Overcome as I was by fear for Willow, my recently rescued dog, when I glimpsed Hailey’s car slowly descending the hill … Read moreIf you see something…do something!