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Kibbutz Rabbi

rabbi in cave

“My rabbinic work here has been a delicate dance between the worlds and involves a lot of listening and constant inner work and fine tuning. I am a member of a kibbutz and live in a region of rural, mostly secular communities. I accompany individuals and families in times of joy and sorrow, offering a Jewish perspective that is often new to them. I am also involved in bridge-building activities with Israeli Arabs, teaching and learning about each other’s cultures, sharing ideas of tzedek (justice) and chesed (compassion and loving kindness). There is nothing obvious about being a liberal female rabbi here in Israel, and every day brings with it new challenges and surprises. I experiment with ancient words and new melodies, modern ideas and chassidic niggunim – when they echo from the lips of those second and third generation pioneers, when I see tears in the eyes of parents singing the priestly blessing with their hands on the heads of their children – that is when I feel truly blessed.”

(Rabbi Lila Veissid, Rab’11, Regional Rabbi at  Emek Hefer, Kibbutz HaMa’apil officiating at a Bar Mitzvah in an Israeli cave.)

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