Related Blog Posts on COVID-19, Health and Wellness, and Jewish Values

Measuring Demons in the Wake of the Pandemic

Jacqueline Jules
December 8, 2022
I spent months hiding inside my home after Covid-19 was declared a global health emergency. During that time, the Talmudic description of evil spirits resonated with me. It was certainly how I felt, surrounded by invisible threats just outside my door. Since I am a children's author, I channeled these fears into a picture book featuring a supernatural spirit.

An Invitation to Return

Rabbi Josh Brown
Rabbi Danny Burkeman
September 7, 2022
As we look out from the pulpit, we know there are good reasons that some faces that were familiar before March 2020 are now missing. We have embraced technology at every opportunity. The quality of our livestreaming worship, even in smaller synagogues, is excellent. Many congregants have grown accustomed to praying from the comfort of their couch.

The Heroic Work of Repentance

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
September 6, 2022
This time of year, we hear again and again about how much emphasis Judaism places on the nuances of how to address harm of all kinds. I am convinced that the steps of repentance and repair outlined by the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides make sense not only in our individual lives when we harm our coworkers, friends, family, and intimate partners, but also in reference to the communal, cultural, and national levels.

Awakening with Gratitude

Lee McPhillips Radlo
August 31, 2022
Judaism encourages us to awaken each day with thoughts of gratitude. I recite the Modeh Ani each day to thank the Divine for returning my soul. I was recently asked where our soul goes while we sleep. This poem is my response.

Why Pray?

Rabbi Sandra Cohen
August 11, 2022
The reality is, one never knows whether someone else is suffering from an acute illness. A broken leg is obvious; a broken spirit, not so much. Many of us contend with invisible illnesses, whether physical, such as Multiple Sclerosis or chronic migraines; or mental, like anxiety or schizophrenia.

Combatting Stress: Encanto as a Lesson in Community Support

Crystal Hill
March 30, 2022
As a mother of a one-year-old son, I’ve watched Encanto more times than I can count. Around my second time watching it, I realized that “surface pressure” is an amazing metaphor for the struggles I face as a parent. Especially as a parent preparing for both my and my son’s first Passover, the preparation of cooking and cleaning before the first seder is certainly stressful.

B'nai MItzvah (Bar and Bat Mitzvah) Tutoring: Pandemic Style

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
March 10, 2022
After two years of teaching remotely and watching far too many movies and television series on Netflix on the same computer screen I use to interact with these students, I wonder if I feel less connected to these "virtual" students than the hundreds of young people I taught in person over the past decades.

Taking a Breath for Life: the Union for Reform Judaism's Actions to Build Resilience

Ruben Arquilevich
January 19, 2022
On Tu Bishvat we celebrated trees and a season of new growth. I've been doing lots of thinking about trees, as I frequently do, and the role they play in providing oxygen for the planet. At the Union of Reform Judaism, we provide oxygen to our communities by creating compassionate spaces for our participants to grow and thrive. We can respond to current and future challenges by fostering resilience that reflect our Jewish values.

A Jewish Take on New Year’s Resolutions

Dasee Berkowitz
December 27, 2021
New Year's Day and the traditional resolutions that accompany it invite us to take stock of our lives. Are we living our lives to the fullest? Can we imagine a future in which the commitments we make for ourselves (e.g., healthier habits around eating and exercise) actually come true? What will it take this year to really change?