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Ayeka Musings

Jonathan Haidt is stirring my soul

Published in Ayeka by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on December 24, 2018

Jonathan Haidt’s books have been stirring my soul, both his latest book, The Coddling of the American Mind. How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, and his previous one, The Righteous Person. It is remarkable to me how on the one hand he can write such provocative and powerful Continue Reading »

What’s Stirring My Soul: Am I really blessed?

Published in Ayeka by Yehoshua Looks
Posted on December 24, 2018

It’s been almost 3 years since I read Kate Bowler’s New York Times op-ed, Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. At the age of 35, professionally successful, in a loving marriage and the mother of a toddler, Kate was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She is the Continue Reading »

What’s stirring your soul? Books that move you

Published in Ayeka by Dasee Berkowitz
Posted on December 24, 2018

I direct Ayeka’s Becoming a Soulful Parent program. I have three kids. And I spend a lot of time with them. But I actually don’t really read many parenting books. What is drawing me in right now is reading about aging. I can’t get enough of it. I am halfway through Atul Gawande’s, Being Mortal: Continue Reading »

Amida in Learning

Published in Ayeka by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on June 24, 2018

Something is seriously askew. We all know that the peak moment in Jewish prayer is the silent standing prayer. Not saying the Shema, not the singing, not Hallel, not any ecstatic group experience. Everything leads up to this one silent prayer. The silent prayer usually only takes 3 or 4 minutes. A morning service can Continue Reading »

Tu B’Shevat: Celebrating Nature and Changing our Own

Published in Times of Israel by Dasee Berkowitz
Posted on February 1, 2018

Can a person ever really change their nature? Can I? There are moments as a parent — and as a person — when I feel I have had it. When patterns of behavior (mine or my children’s) make me feel like I am locked in an endless repetitive cycle. Why are they behaving this way? Continue Reading »

A Mysterious Gift

Published in Ayeka by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on September 25, 2017

Many years ago I received a very unusual gift – a gift I did nothing to deserve. I never met the giver of this gift. It came anonymously. The unusual thing about this gift was that it continually changed. It kept changing and growing, transforming and unfolding. With the passing of time, I now know Continue Reading »

Beginnings, and Endings, and Beginnings Again

Published in Ayeka by Mali Brofsky, Ayeka Senior Educator
Posted on September 1, 2017

It’s that time of year; the new school year is coming, the time when educators are supposed to be thinking about beginnings. Instead, I find myself thinking about endings, which of course, always precede (and succeed) beginnings. I have always been this way, prone to nostalgia and melancholy about things coming to a close. I Continue Reading »

A Hard Truth for the 3 Weeks

Published in Ayeka by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on July 25, 2017

The hard truth I need to face during these 3 weeks is that I have become someone that I don’t want to be. I have fallen into an unhealthy spiritual routine. I have become full of anger, judgment, and self-righteousness. I have endless knee-jerk judgments. These responses are shallow, unnecessary, and do not help me Continue Reading »

My Hard Truth for the 3 Weeks

Published in Ayeka by Yehoshua Looks
Posted on July 25, 2017

The hard truth I need to face during these three weeks is that it’s time for me to get on with my life, to get back to being myself, as if I can. It’s been almost nine months since my father died and I’ve been coasting. It’s ironic that at a time of national mourning, Continue Reading »

Ayeka: Presence and Presents

Published in Ayeka by Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer,  School Rabbi at Milken Community Schools and Ayeka Mentor 
Posted on June 25, 2017

What does a year of Ayeka bring? For the student, countless gifts: focused learning, spiritual reflection, exploration of the soul. And for the teacher? After a school year of teaching Torah with the help of Ayeka, educators on our faculty found that the most significant gifts emerged directly from the greatest challenges. What started as Continue Reading »