Prayers Unanswered

בָּ֭עֶרֶב יָלִ֥ין בֶּ֗כִי וְלַבֹּ֥קֶר רִנָּֽה Tears may linger when night falls, but joy arrives with the dawn. (Psalms 30:6) My list of those in need of healing grows longer as the days get shorter. I wake up in the dark, sometime between 5:15 and 5:30 AM, and wonder at the Psalmist’s conviction. Each day I arrive … Read more

Season of Our Birthdays

“MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES.” —[erroneously attributed to an] ancient Chinese curse It’s been quite an interesting season leading up to my birthday. And I mean that in the way people use this word as a euphemism for unpleasant. But it hasn’t been entirely unpleasant. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra that I strive … Read more

The Cycle of Return

Last week I posted a teaching about teshuvah, quoting from Yaacov David Shulman’s translation of HaRav Kook’s Lights of Teshuvah. I’d like to add a few more thoughts here, beginning with HaRav Kook’s idea that teshuvah itself existed before the world was created:  התשובה קדמה לעולם “Teshuvah preceded the world.” I’ve been pondering the meaning … Read more

Almost Forty Days

How long does it take to return? That depends… It’s been almost forty days since I set my sights on teshuvah. Even before the first of the month of Elul, when we begin sounding the shofar to awaken us to return, I’ve been preparing for the final shofar blast at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, … Read more

L’shanah Tovah!

Today is the 936th day of March 2020. Today is the 27th day of Elul 5782. I can’t help but notice the discrepancy between the COVID calendar and the Jewish calendar. The former displays a monotonous repetition, each day like the previous one with no productive forward motion. We are stuck in time. Or, perhaps, … Read more

Blood Moon

[photo credit: Jonah Gottfried]   Watching the Lunar Eclipse Voice Memo 1: In the last ten minutes, seeing how it’s slowly disappearing, I can only imagine how the ancient people felt when they saw this. They must have been terrified, or at the very least baffled, confused. What was happening?! It’s very eerie, spooky, Jonah … Read more

PAD: Day 3

Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, I’ve decided to participate in the 2022 April Poem A Day (PAD) Challenge. Of course, I’ll miss a few days for Sabbaths and Passover, but I’m not concerned since it’s just for fun. So far, it has been great fun to respond to the prompts, posted daily by Robert … Read more

Newsletter (Spring 2022/Nisan 5782)

I’m finding my way back to blogging, following a 3 three-month hiatus that also included a six-week break from Facebook. During this time I created curricular units, source sheets and lesson plans; taught classes and facilitated book club discussions; read 21 books; and attended a weekly Spiritual Poetry Writing class. I’ve also been attending a … Read more