It’s a lovely thing to come together under one big tent, but I also value being part of a community that gets to define itself, a community that represents my way of being Jewish.
Shana Tova! Today I’d like to share with you some of my reflections on “The Diversity of Cultures Within Israel’s Borders.” Our tour began in Jerusalem, a beautiful city, of buildings on top of buildings, up each hill, reaching far into the distance. I didn’t even bother taking photographs. Got it, I thought. This is [...]
There, in the midst of an area that is so sullied by such a hateful and violent past, I saw that arc. It is long, very long, as Dr. King said. It is likely even longer than the arc of our own lifetimes. And yet--despite our deepest fears, despite our great uncertainty for the future of this country, I saw that it does indeed bend toward justice. Let me tell you why.
Whenever I discuss Israel with anyone, the first thing I say is, “Politics aside, it’s the most dynamic country on Earth.” Israel invented WAZE, and drip irrigation, and molten salt solar power plants, and Soda Stream, and your telephone voice mail, and the world’s first electric passenger airplane (it debuted in June at the Paris [...]
Words shared by Rabbi Zari Weiss At beginning of Service of Comfort in the Shadow of Loss Sunday evening, October 28, 2018 19 Cheshvan 5779 L’chol zman v’yet l’chol heyfetz tachat ha’shamayim. For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. There should not ever be a need for a [...]
Take a moment and think about something that prevents you from forging a new journey with a sense of your own wholeness. Do you pay homage to this thing so that it has, perhaps, become an idol? Maybe that idol is depression, a trauma, a sour relationship, the way you view your body. How might you be able to smash it, like Avram does in the midrash?
The truth is G-d, I feel that I spend so much of my time trying to “promote” Judaism to others. I’m always trying to get people to “join” our community and participate more because I know the value of doing so; sometimes, it feels more like I’m in “sales” than the rabbinate; I’m constantly trying to “sell” Judaism to others.
We were heavily criticized by some in the Jewish community for meeting with Palestinians and other Arabs, and some of our Arab partners were likewise criticized for meeting with Jews, particularly Jews who supported Israel. A few members dropped out, but most of us persisted despite disagreements. More important, as we talked to our Jewish friends and others about what we were doing, the climate did start to change.
As we move forward into the future, whatever it may be, may we remember: to walk uprightly, to act justly; to speak words of truth, to be sincere; to not slander or bring shame on others; to conduct our business honorably; to challenge those who break the law, and honor those who honor Creation; to keep our word, to not exploit others, nor take bribes. To strive, as best as we are able, to move through the world with integrity.
Fire has rained down from the heavens. Rivers have run with blood. This is not a baby’s book of cute animals waddling onto the Ark. This is a Torah of Horror.