Marking Yom HaZikaron

The full name of Yom HaZikaron – Israeli Memorial Day – is “Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism.” What began as a time to remember Israeli soldiers killed in the line of duty later expanded to remember victims of terrorism as well, and as of today, there have been […]

The Power of Proximity

Yom Kippur 5779: The Power of Proximity By: R’ Lauren Henderson The haftarah we’re about to read was written for a people trying to find their way home. In 539 BCE, the emperor Cyrus exiled the Jewish people from Babylonia to Persia, and then, two years later, had a change of heart and decided to […]

Teshuvah Starts with Showing Up

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5779: Teshuvah Begins with Showing Up By: R’ Lauren Henderson Many of you know, I got married this summer. Two weeks before our wedding, I got a call from my mom. Slowly, she said, “I have to tell you something- if Dad is still this sick a week from now, I’m not […]

A Reminder Of What Our Light Stands For

Last week, our friends and partners at HIAS Chicago and JCFS were informed by the US State Department that their refugee resettlement program was being shut down, effective at the end of February 2018. Jewish Child and Families Services and HIAS Chicago write in their statement: “The decision to discontinue resettlement efforts was not ours. […]

Pain, Suffering, and Sunshine

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just Yom Kippur on which Jews avoid food and drink for a day of seriousness and self-reflection– turns out there are five fast days throughout the year and today is one of them:  the 17th of Tammuz. The 17th of Tammuz, a fast day that runs from the first […]

Light Up Your Consciousness

Hanukkah Blessings from the Jewish Emergent Network Why do we add a candle for each night of Hanukkah?  As Hillel the Sage once said, l’ma’alin b’kodesh, to increase the sacred: every act we perform should increase holiness in the world. We add a candle each night to bring more and more light into our communities […]

Growth Mind, Beginners Mind

Growth Mind, Beginners Mind

What was the beginning of Rabbi Akiva? They say that he was forty years old, and had not learned anything. Once, he was standing at the opening of a well. He said, “Who carved this rock?”. They said to him, “It’s the water that constantly falls on it every day.” They said to Akiva, “Haven’t […]