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Archive: June 2018

Amida in Learning

Published
Posted on June 24, 2018

Because we recognize that while there may be community elements to prayer, everyone has his or her own uniquely private spiritual life. We may all be standing together, but at the peak moment of the silent prayer, everyone is in his or her uniquely private personal space. So here is the question that I would Continue Reading »

“Oxygen Mask Judaism”

Published
Posted on January 26, 2017

By Meredith Lewis, Director of Content and Engagement, PJ Library Last spring, my five-year-old turned to me, unprompted, and asked, “Mom, what’s the story of Passover again?” Easy, I thought. I have a master’s degree in Judaic Studies and have worked in Jewish education for years. Plus, I’ve seen The Prince of Egypt multiple times. Continue Reading »

Soulful Staff Meetings

Published
Posted on January 8, 2017

By Aryeh Ben David The favorite part of my week is our staff meetings. I wonder how other organizations begin their staff meetings. Do they jump into business? There is always so much to do. Do they begin with a D’var Torah? Is it pro forma or does the D’var Torah impact the staff meeting? Continue Reading »

A Few Thoughts on Chanuka

Published
Posted on December 16, 2016

Isn’t our custom on Chanuka a bit strange? We light a candle… and then we are prohibited from using or enjoying the light! It’s actually kind of ridiculous. Do we cook food and then say that it is forbidden to eat the food? Do we sew clothes and then say that it is forbidden to Continue Reading »

Thought & Identity: A Challenge in the Classroom 

Published
Posted on November 4, 2016

By Jeff Amshalem, Ayeka Educator Last year, I struggled with a particular class, 11th grade Jewish Thought and Identity. Despite the great topics, driven by questions like “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, “Where does the Torah come from?”, and “Is Judaism a religion, a peoplehood, or a culture?”, we weren’t connecting on Continue Reading »

Questions to Personalize Your Rosh HaShana

Published
Posted on September 26, 2016

In Hebrew, the word – “l’shoef ” – means both “to inhale” and “to yearn”. If I stop yearning – it’s as if I’ve stopped inhaling. Yearning gives me life; inhaling enables me to yearn. If I stop yearning – I stop living. What are you yearning for this year? In the words of Mary Continue Reading »

Beginnings

Published
Posted on September 18, 2016

By Mali Brofsky, Ayeka Educator Here we are, at the beginning of a new year. For me, it feels so full of beginnings – the beginning of a new semester of teaching, the beginning of a new school year for my children. The upcoming holidays with their promise, and their challenge, of a fresh spiritual Continue Reading »

Holy Choreography

Published
Posted on August 21, 2016

By Shawn Fields-Meyer, Ayeka Educator One of the most powerful moments of prayer comes not through words, or song, but rather in a moment of quiet.  Our tradition guides us in holy choreography: just before the Amidah — before we enter into an intensive stream of dialogue with God — we do a little dance. Continue Reading »

Meeting the Worst Person in the World

Published
Posted on August 8, 2016

I love the aisle seat on planes. I stretch out, get up and walk around. Don’t need to inconvenience anyone when I have to wander. Recently I flew back from the States after a long trip and was so happy and content to be going home in my aisle seat. I took off my sneakers, Continue Reading »

A Torah of Violence

Published
Posted on August 1, 2016

As published in Times of Israel & Medium, August 1, 2016 The word for mute in Hebrew – i’lem – shares the same root as the word for violence – alimut. A common interpretation of this linkage is that a person who cannot express his/her voice may become aggressive. An inability to voice one’s opinions Continue Reading »