Friday, April 20, 2012

Opening Our Lives to the Holy

Rabbi Michael M. Cohen: Opening Our Lives to the Holy:

While the 39 categories tell us what not to do on Shabbat, they also inform us what we should do the other six days of the week. And what is that? Build a mishkan, a dwelling place for God in the world.
This is our charge: to understand that no matter what work we do in our lives from teaching to working in a restaurant to being a garbage collector, we must see the purpose of that work as creating a place for God to dwell among us. We must see whatever work we do as contributing importantly to the tapestry of our world. That work becomes holy when we act with truth, compassion, love and humility. We must release the sparks of holiness contained in what we do not just during the counting of the Omer, but everyday as well.

'via Blog this'

Friday, April 6, 2012

Shabbat Lunch is a Country Song. Who Knew?

Yesterday, I listened to a country song on the radio, a lyrical lament of a time gone by, as country songs often are. But one line made me laugh: “sittin’ around the table don’t happen much anymore.” It doesn’t, at least not at my house Sunday through Thursday. Though my kids are still small, we are already scheduled within an inch of our lives, my husband and I are attached to our oh-so-smartphones, and dinner is usually in shifts of macaroni and cheese.
And then comes Friday night, the beginning of Shabbat. The wind up to observing the Sabbath is at times chaotic, because while that sun sets Friday night, no matter what, Shabbat doesn’t make itself. In Hebrew, to observe Shabbat is to be shomer Shabbat, a “guardian” of the Sabbath. I always thought it sounded like Shabbat was prone to attack, or would wander off alone if not for your protective skills. Not so far from the reality.

Shabbat Lunch is a Country Song. Who Knew? – Jew and the Carrot –
By Kirby Oren-Zucker

'via Blog this'

It's Passover! Break Out the Easter Eggs!

Dan Zevin: It's Passover! Break Out the Easter Eggs! by Dan Zevin

Here in the Zevin household, April ushers in both Passover and Easter, reminding us that another year has gone by without my wife and I getting our act together and deciding what religion our children are.
I am a non-practicing Jew and she is a non-practicing shiksa. It wasn't an issue before we had kids, since both of us were fans of any activity that didn't require practicing. This doesn't mean I don't feel culturally Jewish, or that she doesn't feel culturally gentile. On second thought, she doesn't feel culturally gentile. I'd describe her as a culturally Jewish girl trapped in a culturally gentile woman's body. Especially the nose. It's no wonder she loves teaching our kids Yiddish words, yet tends to teach them the wrong ones. "It's so hot in here," she'll tell the kids. "I'm fapitzing!"

'via Blog this'