Shabbat Message: The Common Thread of Tikkun Olam

Posted on January 13, 2023

It is appropriate on this Martin Luther King Day Shabbat, that we read in parshat Sh’mot the story of how the Israelites became enslaved by the Egyptians, and how they started on their road to redemption. As I read through the parashah I am struck by Pharoah’s attempt to enlist the Israelite midwives in thesubjugation Continue Reading »

Gender and Rabbinic Torah

Posted on April 1, 2022

I have a colleague in Texas named Cantor Sheri Allen. Cantor Allen recently penned an op-ed in the Forward, entitled: “I’m a cantor in Texas and parent of a trans child. My state’s assault on trans youth is terrifying.” Cantor Allen’s son, Preston, is transgender. In this op-ed, she illuminates the dangers of a recent governor’s Continue Reading »

Standing for Repro Rights from Jewish Text and Tradition

Posted on January 28, 2022

I’m pleased to be able to speak on #ReproShabbat once again this year and during this week, along with clergy around the country, for the Shabbat when we read from parashat Mishpatim. I first want to acknowledge that much of my Jewish source material here is provided by my colleague, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg at the National Continue Reading »

Tikkun Olam Shabbat: We come together to be together and act to bring healing to our world.

Posted on January 21, 2022

In the wake of the hostage rescue at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas, so many emotions have been stirring within — relief, fear, gratitude, vulnerability, anger — it’s hard to know what to do with all these feelings and stay grounded. How fitting that tomorrow is our Tikkun Olam Shabbat. Tikkun Olam means “repairing the world,” helping to make Continue Reading »

Due Justice

Posted on August 13, 2021

The following verses resonate loudly to me from this week’s Parsha, Shoftim, from the book of Deuteronomy (16:18-20): (18) You shall appoint magistrates and officials for your tribes, in all the settlements that the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall govern the people with due justice. (19) You shall not judge unfairly; you Continue Reading »

We Must Pray in a Room with Windows

Posted on June 18, 2021

In Talmud Berachot 34a, Rabbi Yochanan teaches that one may pray only in a room that has windows. His prooftext is from the book of Daniel, where we learn that while he was in exile in Babylonia Daniel prayed in a space that had a window facing Jerusalem. The message of this text is twofold. Continue Reading »

Pride and Celebration For All

Posted on May 24, 2021

I’m standing in a mixed and colorful crowd, electric with excitement in the Castro District of San Francisco. The street is filled with people as far as the eye can see heading eastward.  There is a chill in the air from a fog just rolling in, with heat still coming up from the pavement.  We Continue Reading »

How to Make your High Holy Days — and Daily Life — More Inclusive

Posted on November 1, 2016

We are now in the middle of what is colloquially known as the Jewish High Holy Days: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur the New Year and Day of Atonement, respectively. These two events, outside their religious significance for Members of the Tribe, are incredibly special because of their motif and their ability to bring people together. Continue Reading »