The Sisterhood Of Huntington Jewish Center met two nights ago for our Rosh Chodesh gathering. This is a monthly tradition of women studying texts together.
It’s that very powerful time in the Jewish calendar year: it is Elul, the month before Rosh HaShana. I was honored to facilitate.
Here are some questions that we looked at:
How well do we listen when someone is talking to us?
Are we checked out, interrupting or present with them?
What is our response when faced with an intractable situation?
Do we rebuke, engage, bide our time, or move on to find kindred spirits?
A start might be to gather in a circle, as we did, and join our voices in the niggun and depth of Adon Olam. We can hold each other in support at this sacred time of possibility and transformation.
Certainly we are not alone. We are all held in way that are both seen and unseen.
Thank you to Rabbi Adina Lewittes and B’nai Jeshurun for our study materials
There is so much work that goes into the planning of the wedding. These include the venue, the flowers, the menu, the bridal party and of course planning the ceremony.
The moment that the couple become “married” is just spectacular.
This third week of counting the Omer, we are exploring different aspects of Tiferet:Beauty. I am in the midst of working with many couples, who are planning their ceremony’s and getting married. I’m struck by how eager they are to listen to their partners’ as they talk about themselves. They are respectful, and kind and funny. They are so very thoughtful about the words that they want to share on their wedding day. This a reminder to me that Tiferet, is always yearning to be both expressed and embraced.
We can choose to explore what it’s like to leave our comfort zone and take on the practice of a week of Matzo. It seems to me that when we feel constriction .. expansion is such a grand thing. There’s pleasure in the Matzo crunch. There will be, for me, even greater pleasure, in the release and bite of that French bagette. via Daily Prompt: Explore
Today I found myself looking this stunning and familiar painting on a Chagall Calendar. I have seen the painting many times. But today, with the new moon of Shevat about to make its appearance I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Something about her gaze..is it uncertainty or is it focus? The groom, on the other hand, is very present and feels connected to his bride. For sure they are surrounded by music and sunshine.
This was a beautiful and intimate Interfaith wedding that took place in Manhattan. The couple exchanged vows and rings. It was touching to share the reading that they selected:
The Promise by Eileen Rafter
The sun danced on the snow with a sparkling smile;
As two lovers sat quietly alone for awhile.
Then he turned and said, with casual air
(though he blushed from his chin to the tips of his hair),
“I think I might like to get married to you.”
“Well then, she said, ‘there’s a thought.
But what if we can’t promise to be all that we ought?
Can you promise, say, that you won’t rage and shout,
If I’m late yet again, when we plan to go out,
For I know I can’t promise I’ll learn to ignore
Dirty socks or damp towels strewn all over the floor.
So if we can’t vow to be all that we should
I’m not sure what to do though the idea’s quite good.”
But he gently smiled and tilted his head
Till his lips met her ear and softly he said
“I promise to weave my dreams into your own,
that wherever you breathe will be my heart’s home.
I promise that, whether with rags or with gold I am blessed,
Your smile is the jewel I will treasure the best.
Do you think then, my love, we should marry- do you?”
“Yes, she said smiling, “I do.”
And with the breaking of the glass they were wed!
Recently I was in the Museum of Design in Copenhagen. This photo was part of a display in their garden cafe.
How exciting: someone asking another person “tell me about your dreams and I’ll tell you about mine.” How bold to create an invitation to talk about fear and worries…how brave it is to be vulnerable.
Wishing you a partner in your life that you can open up to…and that they too can open up to you.
There’s a beautiful story in The New York Times about Jewish and Muslim families spending time together to get to know each other. Fighting against both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia intimate dinners are shared to get to know each other. Candles are lit, children are blessed and stories are shared about maintaining a unique religious life in our diverse city.
PatchWorks Films have produced some beautiful movies that deal with Jewish and Interfaith Stories. These films provide tools for schools and synagogues and churches to explore Interfaith and intercultural complexities.
check them out at
I had the honor to officiate at an Interfaith Wedding, here in the city, on Saturday. The couple wrote their vows, and asked me to do a contemporary reading of the Seven blessings. I read part of the prayer in Hebrew and part of it in English. They were sensitive to many of the gusts not understanding Hebrew. We did the traditional blessing over the wine and the groom broke the glass.
My Christian colleague offered the blessing of the candles in memory of those who were with us only in spirit. He also introduced a reading as well as a introduction about both faiths.
There was a lot of joy in midtown as two kindred souls were united in a blessed marriage.