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Nov 2, 2018, 9:23 PM
Parashat Hayei Sarah: For Pittsburgh
In memory of those who were killed. May their memory be for a blessing. In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, what I feel and what I think many of us feel, is vulnerable, insecure. We are suddenly acutely aware of what has always...
Dec 15, 2017, 10:37 PM
For Chanukah: On Just Doing Your Best
You do your best and God will do the rest. That is what my students told me was the message of a story we read last week about candle lighting. The story goes like this: Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa, a famous miracle worker, one Friday...
Nov 24, 2017, 4:58 PM
Parashat Vayetze and Thanksgiving: The Power of Awareness
Behold, God is in this place and I, I did not know. אכן יש ה’ במקום הזה ואנכי לא ידעתי Behold God is here, right now, and I am not aware of it. God is in the moment of traffic in the car and God...
Nov 10, 2017, 6:31 AM
Sarah’s Legacy: Equanimity
We all have good days and bad days; some days we are confident and generous and upbeat and other days we are irritable and insecure and unkind. We are inconsistent; our moods shift with the winds and the situations around us. Not so Sarah, at...
Sep 2, 2017, 1:45 AM
Hurricane Harvey and Parashat Ki Tetze
Underneath all the stuff, there is love. In Houston, large swaths of the population have lost almost all of their worldly goods. It is hard to even imagine such a scenario – no clothes, no toiletries, no home, no bed, no computer, no lifetime of...
Aug 11, 2017, 8:34 PM
Parshat Ekev: Not Because We Deserve It
“If you are breathing, that is nature’s way of saying that you belong here. You are enough.” I saw this on a teacher website, something that a teacher said to his students every day as part of a breathing meditation. I would adjust that to:...
Aug 4, 2017, 7:17 AM
Reflections on Parashat Va’ethanan: Why God Makes Me Feel Whole
Often in life, one feels some slight dissonance or discomfort, as if you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. There is your true self and then there is what you have to do to get through the day and they...
Jul 14, 2017, 7:08 AM
Parashat Pinchas: the unstuck children of sinners
Our lives, our choices are not completely determined by our parents’ paths and by our past. We each shape our own destinies. At every moment we have complete freedom to act in a fresh new way. In this week’s parsha we find a few examples...
May 26, 2017, 12:24 AM
Parashat Bamidbar and Shavuot: Finding Your Place
In the vast, uncultivated desert, the Israelites had an orderly method of encampment and travel – three tribes on each of four sides, north, south, east and west, each group with its own representative flag, all surrounding the Tabernacle in the middle. Sometimes we feel...
May 19, 2017, 8:11 PM
Parashat Behar-Behukotai: On Harmful Speech and Awe of God
It is easy to hurt someone with words. We do it all the time, in subtle and unsubtle ways, pointing out how another person is lacking in comparison to us, showing up their ignorance or incompetence, commenting on the relationship between their suffering and their...
Rachel Anisfeld holds a PhD in Jewish Studies and studies and teaches Torah in a variety of Atlanta adult education settings.