Matryoshka

Braving a New World – Part 3

Woman: The First Conquerer The following is Part Three of a three part series. Its launching point (click here for Part I and Part II) was an analysis of the commandment to “be fruitful and multiply” spoken once to Adam and a second time to Noah. Through careful exploration of the two, numerous conclusions about…

Leader.2

Braving a New World – Part 2

Finding the Leader Within The following is Part Two of a three part series. Part One, “Braving a New World: Noah, the Flood and Transformation,” analyzed the commandment to “be fruitful and multiply.” It was spoken once to Adam and a second time to Noah. Now, Part Two compares and contrasts the specific language in…

Wave in Light

Braving a New World – Part 1

Noah, the Flood and Transformation The following is part one of a three part series that examines the different modalities of men and women. Its launching point is an analysis of the commandment to “be fruitful and multiply.” It was spoken once to Adam and a second time to Noah. Through careful exploration of the…

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Sukkah for the “Homeless”

The Sukkah That Gave Me My Home My friends know how driven (and desperate) I was to move out of our apartment. Aside from being a one-bedroom (and we were a family of six at the time), our landlord had to have been one of the most arrogant, selfish and stingy people I’ve had the…

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Slums and Stones: A Favella and a Sukkah

The Fragility of the Sukkah More Permanent than Steel I landed in San Paulo, Brazil between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The shape of South America had intrigued me from grade-school and so too the curvaceous border of Brazil. Somehow, their voluptuous boundaries reminded me of Africa, the continent of my birth. Each had a…

Sukka and Vine JLem

The Sukkaleh’s Song: Don’t Worry

This is a beautiful Yiddish folk song about the Sukkah and how its fragility is analogous to the Jewish people’s mysterious survival despite thousands of years of oppression. Video here and the Yiddish words with English translation below. Yiddish English A sukkaleh a kleiner Fun bretelach gemeiner Hob ich mihr a sukkaleh gemacht. Badecked dem…

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The Butcher and the Bone (Or When NOT to Say, "I’m Sorry"

There are more people who won’t talk to me – nay look at me – than I care to think.  Truth be told, even one is too many.  No?  Well I have a handful.  But not for lack of trying to repair the breeches.  I’ve apologized.  In one case, make that fourteen conciliation attempts.  Now…

Leonard Cohen

Who by Fire?

“Personalize your prayer,” is easier said than done. Particularly the rarefied peaks of prayer on the lofty day of Yom Kippur. How to proceed? The Yom Kippur digest for the Happy New You teleconference series includes exercises and Suggested Steps on how to access the prayers U’netaneh Tokef (Who by Fire) and Ki Hinei Ke’Chomer…

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4 Steps to Healing our Relationships with our Mothers and Ourselves

A Not-Your-Mother’s-Day Reflection 1: Let go of insisting on perfection About a year ago I spoke to a group of women, where the topic was, “Will the Real Jewish Woman Please Stand Up?”  The energy was already upbeat and intimate by the time I made reference to the famous text, “Woman of Strength” which Jews…