Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chag Shavuot Sameach - Happy Shavuot!!

Wishing you all a Chag Shavuot Sameach - a Happy Shavuot.

Shavuot (meaning "weeks") is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the giving and receiving of Torah - the Five Books of Moses - on Mount Sinai. Why "weeks?" Shavuot falls on the day following the counting of 7 weeks (a week of weeks) since Passover.

So, theoretically, the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt 50 days ago, and they have been on a journey all this time towards the foot of Mount Sinai. These have been their first tastes of freedom in 400 years, and I would imagine that they were scared, elated, confused, and traumatized. Now, they stand as a community and as a new people,below the mountain, and Moses has ascended to receive Torah.

In these few weeks, we move between two of God's greatest acts: the redemption from slavery, and now the revelation at Sinai.

I will be attempting an all-night study session tonight - there is a tradition of "Tikkun Layl Shavuot," in which Jews study texts and learn together all night, until sunrise. I will be attending a terrific session at the local JCC, which is offering study, dance, meditation, learning, and plenty of food and coffee.

Wishing you meaningful moments of learning and revelation in your own lives!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am decathecting.....


Pronunciation: (dē"ku-thekt'), [key]
to withdraw one's feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss: He decathected from her in order to cope with her impending death.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

Yep, it appears that I am beginning to decathect from my current job. I described it as "senioritis," but then I learned that there is a psychological term for it: to decathect. These have been a really tough few weeks, especially since we held my big "Farewell Shabbat Service" over a week ago. So, like, the congregation said goodbye to me, but I still have a month left before I actually go.

In addition, I am so excited, and so ready, to begin my new position in Wantagh. So many meetings have already taken place, and there are so many wonderful things to come. It is hard to be in this state of limbo - between one place and another. A transitional space, like the Israelites wandering b'midbar - in the wilderness. There is much uncertainty, much mourning for the job that I am leaving, but also much anticipation for the new chapter that is beginning shortly.

So, I am just trying, REALLY hard, to be where I am. To just appreciate the journey, even though it is a long, drawn-out goodbye. I want to appreciate all that this particular synagogue has meant to me, personally and professionally, before I rush to move over to the new one.

Any suggestions?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Boo Hoo, Moo Moo

Well, I've just learned that I am officially banned, for life, from donating blood. Why? Because I have bovine material swimming around inside of me. You may recall that when I had my spinal fusion surgery back in December 2007, the surgeon used cadaver bone, bovine material, and even some synthetic material.

I was hoping to donate as part of my synagogue's big Mitzvah Sunday event - the whole community was coming together to do all kinds of mitzvot (good deeds) to help the temple and the world around us. One of the ways that I was looking forward to participating was to be a good role model by donating blood.

I now learn that those of us lucky enough to have cow parts are not allowed, permanently, to donate blood.

However, when I kvetched about this to my sister, she wisely answered, "Well, which would you rather have? The ability to donate blood, but be in pain? Or your life back and be totally healed?"

Well, when you put it that way.... :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Support Gay Marriage!! Get a Free Sticker!!

After a lot of years of devastating setbacks in the fight for marriage equality, it seems like the country is finally moving in the right direction. With marriage legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine, and the fights going strong in New Hampshire, New York and California, this movement is gaining more momentum every day, and I'm excited, as a woman, a heterosexual, a Jew, and a rabbi, to be a part of it. It is up to each and every one of us to stand up for equality for all!

To that end, I wanted to let you know that CREDO Action is giving away some awesome stickers about supporting gay marriage - I think you'd really like them. I just got mine - if you have a minute, click this link to check out the stickers and get one of your own (for free!).


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Moment for Poetry

"The Earth in Spring" by Judah Halevi (1075-1141)

Then, day by day, her broidered gown

She changes for fresh wonder;

A rich profusion of gay robes

She scatters all around her.

From day to day her flowers' tints

Change quick, like eyes that brighten,

Now white, like pearl, now ruby-red,

Now emerald-green they'll lighten.

Now she turns all pale; from time to time

Red blushes quickly cover her;

She's like a fair, fond bride who pours

Warm kisses on her lover.

The beauty of her bursting spring

So far exceeds my telling,

I think sometimes she pales the stars

That have in heaven their dwelling.

(translated by Nina Davis)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back in the USA

I'm back from Mexico, my friends. I had an incredible time - this was, BY FAR, the nicest place I have ever been, and it will probably always maintain that distinction. The wedding was held at the Banyan Tree Resort in Mayakoba (near Riviera Maya and Cancun). Most unfortunately, many of the guests canceled, but I can certainly understand their fear about traveling to Mexico right now (even the NY Times referenced the difficulty of holding weddings in Mexico right now - the wedding I officiated at was even discussed in the article). But, for me, it was never a question to go. Yes, as you know, I was concerned, and I took many precautions. But, a flu? I'm not scared of a flu.

So, now, let's enjoy some pictures from my trip to paradise....

A picture of one of the many rivers that flow through the property. Each guest had a private villa, with his/her own pool, huge bathroom, king size bed, and more.

The bed, after the housekeeping staff had readied it for sleep. They left a tray with goodies, the remote control, and a robe. Slippers were even set out for me!

The private, outdoor bath. Huge enough for five people. A wall of candles behind it (which I lit), bubble bath, bath salts, and bath oil.... I starred up at the stars as I soaked. Laying in water, next to fire, feeling the air gently blow, outdoors among the earth. All four elements surrounded me. It was a profound, powerful, spiritual moment. Wow.....

The wedding itself went off without a hitch - this was one of the most beautiful couples, and they are so happy together. Everyone there was a mensch, and the couple was clearly enveloped by love and support.

What a treat! And, now, back to work. Wishing you a happy Monday!!