Tag Archives: Adult Learning

Seventy Faces of Torah jordan-braunig

How Far We Haven’t Come

Parshat Naso, B’midbar 4:21-7:89 There should be a name for the particular sense of pride, the utter self-righteousness, that arises when we modern readers encounter the deeply problematic practices of our Israelite ancestors and proclaim our own cultural advancement. There is truly no better time to assert our moral superiority, to affirm our ethical evolution, than when we confront ancient rituals like that of the ordeal of the bitter waters… Read Article →

Community Blog elisha 2016

Are we Off Topic?

Five sets of parents sat around the stylish South End living room, all very comfortable with one another after two-plus years of learning together. This comfort wasn’t just an extension of the hours they’d sat swapping parenting struggles and tips, or looking at texts to find layers of meaning that could add to their family life. They’d also spent time with one another’s families outside of the monthly meetings, and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Sue Fendrick

The Bells That Still Can Ring: On Rest and Action

I wonder if there is a song lyric quoted more often in High Holiday sermons than the chorus of Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”: “Ring the bells that still can ring/Forget your perfect offering/There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.” It’s not hard to see the homiletical appeal of Cohen’s poignant words to congregations of imperfect human beings. Nor is it a stretch to understand why these words… Read Article →

Community Blog stephanie-weller-levine

Asking BIG Questions: An Eser Perspective

When I signed up for Eser, I figured that if I’m going to explore hot-button issues and Jewish texts with a group of fellow participants, I’m going to ask the “ultimate” questions of soul and immortality. This year’s Eser theme is “10 Social Issues You Can’t Ignore,” and includes topics such as: race relations, immigration, climate change, and gun control. My feelings about two of the topics – capital punishment… Read Article →

Community Blog Robin F

Neither Vertical nor Horizontal, But at an Angle

There are certain moments of Jewish parenting that are so well-defined and ritualized that managing our way through them is, if not easy, at least clear. We are shepherded through life cycle moments like brit milahs and b’nai mitzvah with lots of congregational and rabbinic support. The Jewish playbook covers these situations explicitly – and we parents can feel confident in our response. Unfortunately for most of us, those clear-cut… Read Article →

Community Blog ahava-rosenthal

The Perfect Job

“Sounds like the perfect job for you Mom”, my 19 year old son said to me wryly, “You’re a parent and you’re Jewish.” Would that it were so simple. As new parents, we are reminded frequently that children are not born with a manual. Yet, Jewish text and tradition can serve as guides that help us navigate the daily challenges of raising kids. Creating a home rich in Jewish values… Read Article →

Community Blog Sara Brown

Me’ah Musings

A few weeks ago, on a dark and windy night, I left work at Hebrew College and headed to St. Mary’s church in Brookline, to attend the first meeting of a new Me’ah Select class called, “All the Land in its Diversity is One: Jews, Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain.” After navigating a few snow banks, and finding a parking space, I entered the church, which is hosting this class, through its membership… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Lisa Goldstein

Aligning Ourselves with the God Who Changes

Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 It is a lovely coinciding of our inner and outer worlds that we begin a new book of the Torah just as the new secular year begins:  a fresh page, a fresh day, all kinds of possibilities.  And yet, as we enter Parshat Shemot and the book of Exodus, it takes us all of seven verses before we come to the constriction traditionally associated with the… Read Article →

Community Blog woman smiling

What Do You Need From Me?

I think we can safely say that, as parents, we love our children. And I think we can say with equal surety that we don’t always like them. I mean, do we ALWAYS like anyone?  Even ourselves? We have a lifelong challenge to accept our kids for who they are. Why is it so hard to do? Perhaps one reason is because when they come to us with their struggles,… Read Article →

Community Blog David Lobron2

Enough Slack on the Rope

This fall, I participated in Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens at the Dorshei Tzedek religious school while my kids were in their classes. The course was led by Judy Elkin, and took place over 5 Sunday mornings. Our class of 18 parents explored a wonderful variety of texts together, everything from “Maimonides on Anger Management” (Is there anything this prolific Jewish medieval philosopher didn’t cover?) to “How to Hug… Read Article →