Tag Archives: Mitzvot

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The [Prozdor] New York Experience

This post was written by Adi Shneorson, a 9th grade Prozdor student. Early on the morning of Sunday, April 19th we kicked off our adventure to New York when a few dozen kids from the greater Boston Jewish community loaded up onto a big coach bus at Hebrew College. Although we were all pretty tired, that didn’t stop us from immediately connecting and growing with excitement as we bounced off… Read Article →

Lili (center) at one of the work sites in Far Rockaway with both new + old friends, Abby Miller (left) and Ruby Singmon (right).

Learning to Bring Service Into My Daily Life

This post was written by Lili Klayman, a ninth-grade Prozdor student. Last week during April vacation, a group of 26 students from Prozdor and TELEM (myself included) went on a community-service trip to New York. When my mom asked me back in March if I wanted to take part in the journey, I was pretty unsure. It had nothing to do with the trip coinciding during my vacation and time off from… Read Article →


Building Devotion

Judaism is often described as a religion of law, an identity that it shares with Islam. But it is perhaps more accurate to consider Judaism as a religion defined by its commitment to embodied practice and experience. This is abundantly clear in the final chapters of Exodus, which concludes with a series of intricate laws concerning the construction of the Tabernacle. The Torah’s focus on seemingly mundane details began with… Read Article →


The Whole World Is A Sukkah: Intergalactic Judaism

I’ve probably taught 20 different courses over the past 11 years at Prozdor. While most have been about Israel and the Bible, every now and again I take a shot at something new. This semester I had a crazy idea: what would it be like to teach a class about how Judaism would look, feel, and be celebrated differently if it wasn’t an Earth-based religion? How we would we mark… Read Article →


Relief Trip to Seabright

The 2014 Relief Trip to Seabright New Jersey was a moving experience. 19 Prozdor volunteers drove to Seabright on the morning of Wednesday April 24th, not many of us knew what to expect. Hurricane Sandy struck Seabright, New Jersey so hard that an organization solely for lifting people back on their feet was born: Seabright Rising. The town in which we worked is very small, everyone knows about Seabright Rising… Read Article →


The Omer, Extra-Time Goals, and Babies: Is Timing Everything?

When I was little, I was notoriously impatient and notoriously meticulous. I would look at older kids and want to be older. I would count down the days until vacations or camp with anticipation and diligence. I would follow the train schedule stop-by-stop on the way from Boston to Washington seeing how many minutes late or early the train was. It was frustrating, but also gave me a clear goal… Read Article →


How to Love Your Neighbor

This is the story of how studying the most famous verse in the Torah – found in this week’s Torah portion – challenged how I understand love and changed my relationship with my dad. The commandment – “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) was one I learned early in grade school. As a kid, I knew well that, 2000 years ago, when a man asked the great Hillel the… Read Article →

Blood Spatter

Covering the Blood Before Us

In the Torah portion of Acharei-Mot, we learn the obligation of “kisui ha’dam,” to cover the blood produced from slaughtering (Leviticus 17:13). Commentators take a number of different approaches to explain the reason for this mitzvah. Rambam argues that this ritual is meant to distance Jewish practice from pagan blood rites. He suggests that pagans would collect the blood after slaughter and eat the animal’s meat while sitting around the… Read Article →


Noticing The Good, Doing The Good

A child takes her lunch box from her backpack and brings it to the kitchen. How can this be a sacred act? This question came up in the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class that I am leading at Shir Tikvah in Winchester. Why is it sacred you may ask? Isn’t it just common courtesy to help out by bringing the lunchbox in, rather than requiring the parent to hunt… Read Article →

Mikva Mikveh

The Man in the Mikveh

By the time you are reading this, I will have married the love of my life, Rachel. Before our wedding, we had the opportunity to complete the mitzvah of immersing in the mikveh at Mayyim Hayyim in Newton.  ow I got to the mikveh is very important to understanding my experience. As a founding lay leader of Eser, the young adult learning series run by CJP and Hebrew College, I… Read Article →