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Ayeka Musings

The Other Other Other Hand

Published in Ayeka by Jeff Amshalem, Ayeka Senior Educator
Posted on December 22, 2019

One of my favorite teachings on Hanukkah comes from Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Barditshov, known as the Kedushas Levi. Here is a very abridged version. Unlike the Exodus from Egypt, which God in His great mercy performed without arousal from below, in the case of Hanukkah there was some help from below, in that the Continue Reading »

Ayeka Podcast

Published in Ayeka
Posted on September 19, 2019

Life Is In the Waiting

Published in Ayeka by Debra Shaffer Seeman
Posted on June 5, 2019

I’ve always loved the 49-day countdown (count-Up, really) to Shavuot. The building anticipation towards Matan Torah, eagerly breathing in the blooms adorning homes and synagogues, Yom Tov tastebuds rewarded with blintzes and cheesecake, staying up ‘til first light awaiting the arrival of the Torah. Up until this year, the CountUp has reminded me of the Continue Reading »

Pesach 2019

Published in Ayeka by Debra Shaffer Seeman
Posted on April 28, 2019

For almost 20 years, I’ve been taken by the idea that the Haggadah is constructed as the movement from silence to words to song – the enactment of freedom through the very modality through which we express it. Meaning, at the beginning of the Haggadah, there are no stories, no tales, no history lessons. There Continue Reading »

Our Butterfly Sky

Published in Ayeka by Shawn Fields-Meyer
Posted on April 11, 2019

In Southern California, over the course of a few days in March, anyone walking — or standing, or driving, or looking out the window — at almost any time of day was treated to a remarkable sight. Flying through the air were thousands upon thousands of butterflies. The creatures — orange and black Painted Lady Continue Reading »

From Behind the Mask

Published in Ayeka by Jeff Amshalem, Ayeka Senior Educator
Posted on March 13, 2019

Megillat Esther is about hiding in plain sight. Hadassah becomes Esther — “I will hide” — hiding her true self until the dramatic scene in chapter 7, in which she also unmasks the villain who has been hiding in plain sight all along, right under the king’s nose. The masks we wear on Purim and Continue Reading »

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 »