Marcia's Blog

Dec
01
On my shelf, I have a wild assortment of dreidls. After all, it is rare that any mitzvah that can be artistic remains unembellished. I have jars of plastic dreidls of all colors, dreidls of silver filigree, dreidls carved of olivewood, ones made of clay, and even one tiny dreidl – easily a hundred years old – made of "oferet yetzukah" – pressed lead. Stories of the origin of the dreidl suggest that the toy and its "gambling" game were used by... + read more
Sep
17
Why we Wear White Wear a Talit for Kol Nidre Avoid Wearing Leather There are those who teach that we wear white on Yom Kippur to be like the angels with whom we sing Kadosh! Kadosh! Together we yearn to ascend, to be lighter, more clear, clean, pure and transparent. And also, wearing white and particularly wearing simple organic fibers like linen or cotton, approximates the garments that we wear when die and are buried. Indeed, you may have already noticed among... + read more
Sep
10
On Erev Rosh HaShanah, Jews throughout the world come together to celebrate the New Year and embark on the high and holy work of the High Holidays. I send you love and brachas for the New Year! May it be a year of prosperity, health, peace, abundance and renewed hope for the future. We learn from the writings of the great mystic, Rabbi Isaac Luria, that the work of the High Holy Days is “Binyan HaMalkhut.” I would like to share with you some of Reb Zalman’s... + read more
Jul
17
Tisha b'Av is a crucial aspect of the spiritual/historical cycle of the Jewish year. Tisha b'Av is a time of grief, yet our Tisha b'Av gathering also reminds us that hope can spring from destruction in surprising ways. Many people do not understand why we should mourn the destruction of the Temple, because they do not particularly want to see the physical Temple rebuilt or (G-d forbid) sacrifices resume, and life has gone on in a way that makes that past seem irrelevant.... + read more
May
01
For a whole week we walked and ran through the hot desert with Moshe, Miriam and Aharon leading the way. We were escaping from slavery! We were getting out of Mitzrayim! With a strong arm of justice The Holy One, the One God of the Universe, had helped us escape. We were rushing so fast that no one even had time to bake any bread for the journey. We had only flour and water, so we mixed flour and water together and poured it onto the hot rocks whenever we stopped to rest. The heat of the sun... + read more
Feb
17
If you have been watching the night sky, perhaps you saw the first sliver of the new moon last week. In the Jewish world, we’re moon-watchers, because each new month begins on the new “moon-th.” In early Spring, or sometimes even late winter, we celebrate the New Moon of the Hebrew month called Adar, the month whose motto is: “With the month of Adar, Joy increases!” Why ? – because winter is winding down, and the festival of Purim is coming! One month... + read more
Sep
02
Our Jewish traditions offer a deeply meaningful way to walk the mourner's path – a walk that is part of life. What is shiva? After a funeral, mourners of a parent, sibling, spouse or child stay at home until the morning of the seventh day and are fed, nurtured and cared for by friends, neighbors and members of the community. Usually a mourner does not go out, go to work, or do anything in public so that the time necessary for personal grief is not interrupted by having to put... + read more
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