Healing

Music, Trauma, and Healing

Posted on July 29, 2022

A note from Cantor Risa Wallach: I recently attended the Women’s Cantor Network conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There, I had a chance to study with Cantor Heather Aranyi of Congregation Beth Am of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. I found her teaching to be of interest and I share in here with you.  Originally published in Continue Reading »

A Prayer for the Dead and the Living after Buffalo and Uvalde

Posted on June 3, 2022

The Jewish memorial prayer is called Eil Malei Rachamim, God Full of Compassion. I offer this version for the dead and for the living: Eil ma-lei ra-cha-mim, sho-chein ba-m’ro-mim, ham’tzei m’nu-cha n’cho-na ta-chat kan-fei ha-sh’chi-nah… God full of compassion, transcendent Presence, grant perfect rest under the wings of Your presence to Your precious children who Continue Reading »

When Shabbat Ends, There Is Work to Be Done

Posted on May 27, 2022

This evening, we should be gathering in pure celebration — of Shabbat, of God’s creation, and of the loving fellowship of our community. Instead, our celebration is mingled with sorrow, with lamentation, as we grieve the horrific destruction of life — in Buffalo, in Ukraine, and, this past Tuesday, in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children Continue Reading »

Our Scars are a Road Map to Healing

Posted on April 8, 2022

This has been a time of building up walls and of tearing them down. We have endured a prolonged period of enforced separation to protect us from the dangers of COVID. And many of us have had to tear down walls that were infected with mold spawned by floodwaters from Hurricane Ida. It is as Continue Reading »

We Can Help Heal Each Other

Posted on March 25, 2022

There is a tense moment at the opening of this week’s Torah portion, Shemini. It has been only a year since the liberation of Israel from Egypt and nine months since our people arrived at Mount Sinai. Led by Moses and Aaron, the Israelites have received the Torah and labored to build the Tabernacle that Continue Reading »

A Shabbat Message for Memorial Day in the time of COVID-19

Posted on May 22, 2020

Our parashah for this Shabbat, B’midbar, has extraordinary resonance for this moment in our lives. B’midbar, which means “in the wilderness,” describes the beginning of our people’s difficult journey of 40 years through the desert to the Promised Land. Along the way they encounter many challenges. They experience fear, anxiety, frustration, uncertainty, and deprivation. Yet, Continue Reading »

Seeking Soul Connection

Posted on September 15, 2019

In July, I had the opportunity to spend a week participating in the Beit T’Shuvah Immersion Program for Clergy and Educators in Los Angeles. Beit T’Shuvah is a Jewish residential addiction treatment center that focuses on recovery and spiritual wholeness through a comprehensive program of Jewish spirituality, psychotherapy, and the 12 steps in a caring, 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 »