Grief and Loss

Shabbat Mevarechim

Posted on July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020 25 Tammuz 5780 This Shabbat is one of those traditionally called Mevarechim, a Shabbat on which we recite the blessing for the new month in anticipation of Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the new Hebrew month). The coming Hebrew month is the month of Av. The most mournful day of the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Hope, Faith and Love are Not Cancelled; and Neither is Shabbat

Posted on April 17, 2020

This week has been very painful, as losses have mounted. Loss during this crisis has come in many forms.  First and foremost, in the tragic and devastating loss of life. Our hearts go out in sympathy to all who mourn the passing of loved ones or friends, and we pray for the souls of the Continue Reading »

Finding Meaning in Challenging Times

Posted on April 7, 2020

The last three weeks have been as challenging as any in my recent memory, and I suspect this statement is true for each and every one of us. And while it is easy (especially for me) to focus on the things that are not-so-great at the moment, I think it is also an opportunity to Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message — a Time for Prayer

Posted on March 27, 2020

This is a time for prayer, not instead of other forms of response and action, but in addition to them. Over the past week we have seen an alarming increase in the spread of the pandemic, and we, reasonably, are fearful and anxious. We fear for our own health and the health and safety of Continue Reading »

Living with the Broken Tablets

Posted on September 15, 2019

The High Holy Days span the period of forty days from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Yom Kippur. According to our tradition, this corresponds to the forty days Moses spent atop Mount Sinai receiving the second set of Tablets. Little has been passed down to us about what was happening down below among the people while Continue Reading »

Covenantal Kindness from Generation to Generation

Posted on November 12, 2017

Our tradition teaches us that the deeds we do for the deceased are among the greatest kindnesses possible. Clearly our sages had in mind that such acts are untainted by thoughts of self-service, since there is nothing the dead can do to requite us. A recent experience, however, helped me see a deeper dimension to Continue Reading »

Why do I miss my non-Jewish mother on Passover?

Posted on March 1, 2017

My mother, Amy Heinel Garthly, of blessed memory, passed away in 2009. Not surprisingly, there are many moments when I miss her and yearn to be able to tell her of some news, or hear her advice on some issue. My mom was wonderful at many things, and a patient and loving presence. It is Continue Reading »