Category Archives: Uncategorized

Uncategorized Parenting Your Teen logo

Positively Helpful

Nine feet of snow outside, extreme warmth inside. Over a three-month period last winter, seven of us were brought together for Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens. In each session, we explored values, studied relevant Jewish texts, and mostly shared questions and experiences in confidence. Our group was diverse in terms of geography, Jewish practice, and educational choices we have made for our children. For me, with children soon… Read Article →

Uncategorized Charna

Christmas in July

“Mommy, do we celebrate Christmas?” my three-and-a-half-year-old asked me recently. I had expected—and then fielded—this question back in December when lights, trees, and plastic Santas started popping up all over town. But I was surprised it was coming up again, off-season. I told her that we do not celebrate Christmas. Predictably, she pouted. She pouted not because she understands what Christmas is or what it means to celebrate that holiday,… Read Article →

Uncategorized Shabbat-wordaizer

Shabbat at Our Home

  Several years ago I attended a workshop called “Making Shabbat Special” at the JCC with Rabbi Julie Zupan, a warm and thoughtful rabbi who is now an instructor for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens.  She shared a variety of ideas that sparked my own family practice.  Some of the ideas she shared were nice, but actually were not the type of Shabbat that I wanted – for example, a… Read Article →

Uncategorized balak-donkey

Towards an Ethic of Trust

Then the Eternal opened the donkey’s mouth, and said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?” Balaam said to the donkey, “You have made a mockery of me! If I had a sword with me, I’d kill you.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Look, I am the donkey that you have been riding all along until this day! Have I been… Read Article →

Uncategorized ben-marina

Eser’s First Engagement

Hebrew College’s young adult learning series was never intended to be a Jewish dating service. The program gathers together 20- and 30-somethings every week in living rooms across eastern Massachusetts for informal, but serious, text-based discussions of various aspects of Jewish life and culture. JDate it is not. But for the first time in its history, Eser can claim credit for a match. Ben Ginsburg and Marina Rakhkin of Brighton… Read Article →

Uncategorized hqdefault

Sound and Silence

Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates the gift of Torah, begins on Saturday night. The Torah itself describes this occasion as being accompanied by dramatic and terrifying noise and spectacle: thunder, long shofar blasts, earthquake, fire and smoke. As I write these words, I am listening to the jackhammers and sirens on the street below, and I wonder: Why did the giving of Torah require so much noise? And if Mt…. Read Article →

Uncategorized 3305

A Priesthood of the Imperfect

Parshat Emor begins with a discussion of taboos around priestly purity, forbidding members of the priestly tribe to have contact with the dead or to engage in certain mourning practices. The rabbis read the verses to exclude the situation of a “met mitzvah,” an abandoned corpse, one for whom there is no one else to engage in the rites of burial — in such a case, the priest is permitted… Read Article →

Uncategorized Mama and Edan August 2014 (3)

Connection and Community

Through a far-too-snowy and far-too-cold winter, the Sunday morning gatherings of our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class at Temple Emanuel in Andover have provided a sense of warmth and community beyond anything I anticipated as a first-time PTJL instructor. Over coffee and bagels, we spend some time simply “checking-in” – sharing stories of our lives since we were last together; our challenges, our triumphs, our aggravations, and our comedic… Read Article →

Uncategorized rabbi hillel greene

Seeing the world through a child’s eyes

Before becoming a parent, I received some advice that I only thought I understood.  Things like, “go to the movies while you can,” “sit down to a nice quiet meal now and then”, and of course the perennial advice given to a parent to be, “get as much sleep as humanly possible while you still have the chance.”  On some basic level I recognized that after having children my personal… Read Article →