B. Shira Levine
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Nov 1, 2023, 6:08 PM
The music of silence
The below is adapted from a kavanah I gave at an evening prayer service on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at Ahavath Achim synagogue. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence...
Oct 28, 2023, 1:19 AM
Humanity nourishes your Jewish soul
Last night I was honored to participate in the intown community vigil–organized by Ma’alot and other Jewish artists, rabbis, and community leaders. It lifted a weight, cleared the fog around my soul, and restored some faith. Everything still feels horrible. Families wait in unbearable agony...
Aug 12, 2023, 5:16 AM
Scrolling bystanders, part 5: The True Judge
This is installment #5 in the “scrolling bystander” series: Introduction (2017); Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 (2023). It’s easy enough to comprehend that negative speech is like a bag of feathers in the wind (see Intro). You can never get those feathers back in the bag....
Jul 27, 2023, 7:15 AM
Scrolling bystanders, Part 4: Sinat Chinam
Today is Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, known as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and the day on which Jews mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples. It is a fitting occasion for this ongoing exploration...
Jul 26, 2023, 7:42 PM
Scrolling bystanders 3: Truth can’t set you free
This is part three of a multi-part series “Scrolling Bystanders,” covering lashon hara (“evil speech”) and other Jewish laws on speech. Previous installments: Introduction (2017), Part 1, Part 2. Next we come to the Torah’s prohibition against “talebearing,” perhaps the most commonly-cited biblical verse when...
Jul 26, 2023, 6:59 AM
Scrolling bystanders, part 2: Mandated mindfulness
This is part of a multi-part series on lashon hara (“evil speech”). Check out part 1 here. OK technically, the kickoff of this series is this “Introduction” post from 2017, which covers some of the basics from the Chofetz Chaim. The post then confidently concludes,...
Jul 26, 2023, 12:15 AM
Scrolling bystanders, part 1
A blog series on lashon hara (“evil tongue / evil speech”), in multiple parts. One of my favorite stories to tell about my husband (even though it took place decades before I met him) is about when he met someone new in the music community...
Jun 1, 2022, 2:43 PM
To despair is to desist
Hopelessness in the face of injustice is not something we can simply roll over and accept. To quote my favorite passage from Pirke Avot – traditional to read this time of year on long Shabbat afternoons: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but...
Mar 15, 2022, 9:11 AM
Behind the spiel
I’m on record giving Purim a monocle emoji…it’s mostly Megillah Chapter 9 I don’t love (I’m not even great with hanging Haman or any form of capital punishment really!), but I also bristle at the concept of forced happiness, because if improperly messaged it can...
Jan 10, 2022, 6:06 AM
I am a shomer Shabbat* employment attorney and my practice has specialized in workplace DEI law since at least 2017–yet in all my writings about intersectionality, anti-Semitism, and the relationships between the Black and Jewish communities over the years, I have not yet attempted to...
B. Shira Levine writes about Jewish spirituality and observance, parenting, intersectionality, and the U.S. and Atlanta Jewish communities. Views are her own and not those of her employer, synagogues, or any other organization.