Posts Tagged: God

Jewish Camp and Our God Journeys



“Camp Newman helps us feel closer to God”. This is how I opened my dialogue with our 2013 leadership staff at our annual Spring retreat. You could have imagined the response. Even some of our Rabbinic students felt uneasy about this language and its timing (opening conversation). “God” talk is scary for many of us.

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From Darkness to Enlightenment: Learning to Believe in God



by Rabbi Andrew R. Sklarz, MSW It was hours before I would step on the bimah and conduct the Erev Rosh HaShanah service. As the nation was reeling from the cataclysmic events of 9/11, I lay upon the examination table of the cancer ward. Was it just weeks earlier that life was normal? Young, carefree, […]

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A New Shema



In this recently posted video from Temple Israel of West Bloomfield, MI, teenager Anna Brooks performs a breathtaking new Shema she wrote herself (with a little help from Deuteronomy, of course). The video was created by members of the Reform congregation’s filmmaking class; some of Anna’s classmates appear in the video along with her. The […]

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Self-Care Is Not Selfish



by Cantor Susan Caro A tale is told of a well-known 17th-century Chasidic rabbi named Zusya, who, when he died, went to stand before the judgment seat of God. As he waited for God to appear, he grew nervous thinking about his life and how little he had done. He began to imagine that God […]

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Finding Blessings, Even With a “New Normal”



My husband Michael and I were big fans of the television show The West Wing. One could say that we watched it religiously. In the summer of 2001, one of the prominent storylines coursing through the weekly series was about President Jed Bartlet’s struggle with multiple sclerosis. It was while watching the show one night […]

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Ein Sof: A Poem for Sunrise



by Stacey Zisook Robinson there is not separation there is God whose spirit hovers like breath like life twined and waiting there is not beginning in this Beginning and no end to this earth that touches this heaven that laps at this sea that slips into this darkness that has no end that is ein […]

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Destiny and Morality



by Rabbi Andy Bachman Two salient ideas ground this week’s Torah portion, ואתחנן/Va-Ethannan. One, that through the human faculty of hearing (it is here, in this parshah, where the שמע/Shma is first revealed) we can learn of God’s oneness and unity of all things by listening, discerning, patiently absorbing without speaking. And two, that the […]

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The Fringes of Love: A Poem to Accompany the Sh’ma



by Stacey Zisook Robinson We call to one another Into the quiet Into the burgeoning clamor of the day We call To one another To come together Prayerfully.

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92nd Psalm: A Prayer for Shabbat



by Stacey Zisook Robinson And so we stand On the edge of this week Pebbles strewn at our feet The distance between us an endless heartbeat The difference like night Like day Like light and darkness Like God Who separates the days And brings us Ever and always To this holy edge

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“How Did You Pray When You Were Younger?”



by Rabbi Melissa Zalkin Stollman Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a morning with the URJ Kutz Camp’s Torah Corps major, which focuses on Jewish studies. I visited a major each day during my week on faculty, but this one was quite unique. The purpose of my being there, in addition to doing […]

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The Best Tool for Jewish Living and Learning



by Rabbi Eric Siroka Reform Jewish summer camping has something for everyone. From Judaica and sports to aquatics and hiking to nature and the arts, the programs offered at the URJ camps provide the opportunity for every one of our children to be enriched and flourish in a safe, nurturing, inclusive environment in which they […]

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The God Survey: What Do You Believe?



Does God exist? What does God do or not do? Last Yom Kippur, Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro sent a survey to his congregants at Sinai Temple in Springfield, Mass., to find out what they believe – and the results surprised him. In this summer’s issue of Reform Judaism magazine, Rabbi Shapiro summarizes his findings, and […]

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You Are Not Special. You Are Holy.



by Rabbi Evan Moffic Are you special? A Massachusetts English teacher recently made headlines when he answered this question with a resounding “No!” Speaking to graduates at an elite high school, David McCullough countered the words of Mr. Rogers and, for the younger generation, the friendly green dinosaur Barney. He said to the graduates, “You […]

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An Ode to Shabbat



by Stacey Zisook Robinson This has been a long week. Lately, they all seem long. The days push and pull at me, demanding my attention, my devotion, my energy. At the end of the day, when darkness gathers in small corners and the noise of the day skitters at the edge of consciousness, I lay, […]

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