When the Barber Shop Gets Spiritual

When the Barber Shop Gets Spiritual

Every year I discover new dimension in the Jewish calendar, sparking my curiosity about some ancient custom or ritual and looking for meaning and application in my everyday life. Enter Lag B’Omer. This year, my next haircut is getting spiritual. Lag B’Omer? Say What? Lag B’Omer is a Hebrew calendar date, the 33rd day of […]

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 […]

Passover Pro-Tips

A not exhaustive but decently comprehensive list for seder hosting By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh   Plan Ahead The beginning of the seder should not be the first time you’re picking up the Haggadah. Get to know the book, and make some decisions about what you want to do and not do for your seder. You […]

The Love You Give

People don’t know this, but Judaism is ALL ABOUT LOVE. The word in Hebrew is ahavah. Say it with me: inhale…, exhale a-ha-vah. Do it again! Feels good to say it, feels good to breathe it. I spent a lot of decades of life being single, enjoying Valentines’ Day vicariously though other peoples’ romances. I watched […]

The God I Work For

By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann (As told at Light and Heat: Stories of Hope and Defiance, December 2018) A rabbinic mentor gave me this piece of advice when I was applying to rabbinical school: in any school, any movement within Judaism… you’re banging your head against a wall. The question is which wall. A movement is defined […]

Mishkan Rocks the Vote

By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann Being a Jew in America rocks. I know now is a strange time to be saying that, given the events of last week and the increase in anti-Semitic attacks across America since 2016, but guess what… have you ever tried to be a female rabbi, or queer rabbi, a female wearing […]

The Year of the Good Apology

Kol Nidre: The Year of the Good Apology By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann I’m sorry to tell you this, but just by being here, by fasting, by listening to me talk, by striking our chests at the litany of sins for which we are all in one way or another guilty…it’s not like that affects atonement. […]

God May Speak, But We Sing

Rosh Hashanah 5779: P’sukei D’Zimra Kavana By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh I come from a very musical family. My great uncle, his brother my grandfather, their cousin, all of their children and even me and my sister — and that’s only my mom’s side of the family. Dad also had musical chops. My point, however, is […]

Who shall live, and who shall die?

Yom Kippur 5779: Unatanah Tokef By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh This year when I started looking at the liturgy of Unatanah Tokef to speak to you now, I found myself unexpectedly desensitized to the question: “Who shall live, and who shall die?” Usually, when the time comes during the year to ask this question about the […]

It’s Always Worse at Night

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5779: Kavanah for Hash-ki-veinu By: Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh My Zayda was a doctor and in his wit and wisdom coined a few phrases in our family, one being: “It’s always worse at night.” This was the refrain that evolved in response to our modern-haunts: an ear infection, sniffle, heartbreak, and grief-stricken evening. […]