Monday, November 16, 2009

Beautiful Autumn Moment

Well, so much for NaBloPoMo - I missed a bunch of days due to a wicked stomach flu I had last week. Finally feeling better today, and eating regular food. I think I probably caught something in Toronto or en route.

On my drive in to work this morning, I had such a fun, meaningful, autumn moment - the wind was such that fallen leaves were all over the parkway, and they were blowing in beautiful patterns across the lanes.

At one particular instance, they seemed to be dancing at the exact tempo of the song I was listening to on the radio! They were spinning, leaping, and floating in time with the music.

It was one of those lovely "in tune" moments, where the whole world seems to be jubilant.

Brought a big smile to my face, and it was a great way to start the day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home sick

Bleh, got a stomach flu. Be back soon, all!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November - A Month of Monumental Moments for Marci

On my drive home from work last night, I found myself contemplating all of the huge moments that have taken place, in my life, in the month of November.

A few of them, in chronological order:

1) November 28, 1976: My parents' wedding date! I certainly wouldn't be here without this celebration :)

2) November 4, 1984: The date upon which I "skipped" first grade. I had been in first grade up until that point, but, following months and months of testing and being removed from my classroom, I finally officially entered the second grade. I acclimated easily, both socially and academically, but the true ramifications took years to appreciate. The classmates I "left behind" never really forgave me, and our friendships were strained from then on. I was always younger, and always had to explain why, which became a source of shame (the usual response from the other person was, "Oh, so you're smart or something?"). I wasn't able to feel comfortable with the skipping, on a deep level, until rabbinical school, when I was no longer the youngest person in my class. However, even now, as a rabbi, I am still dealing with being perceived as a "baby rabbi." I am in no rush to be older, at least now, but for years I felt like I had to rush everything.

3) November 11, 1995: The night of the "Screw Your Roommate" Dance at Brandeis, during my freshman year of college. Met my college boyfriend/fiance that night, fell in love, and dated him for the next five years. Learned so much about myself throughout. We split up during my second year of rabbinical school (and never married). Realized that I was most comfortable "mothering" someone, but that this wasn't fair to myself or to the other person. Began to search for a relationship that would allow me to be an equal, and to be cared for by the other person as much as I want to care for my partner.

4) Thanksgiving, 2001: The time during which I traveled out to Arizona to visit one of my best friends, Todd, who later passed away in 2002. The days were idyllic, surrounded by the Southwest US in autumn. Visited the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff (Route 66!!), and celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Phoenix. It was a helpful way to heal from the horrors of 9/11. I will always treasure those precious days.

5) November 7, 2004: As I mentioned a few posts ago, this was the date of my car accident, an ordeal that finally culminated in my successful spinal surgery in December, 2007.

6) November 21, 2009: The date upon which I will fly out to California to visit an old OSRUI friend of mine, Mike. Totally excited to see him, catch up, and enjoy some California sunshine. My first official vacation starting work at my new synagogue. By the way, Mike is a HILARIOUS, TALENTED film critic (in addition to his many other skills - directing, editing, composing, acting, singing, etc.), and you can watch his entertaining reviews on each week's biggest films.

Guess November is, in general, a pretty good month for me :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Funny thing happened on the way to dinner....

Just had a share a really funny thing that happened while in Toronto:

Lindsay had some free time, finally, on Saturday night of the convention. She hadn't been outside of the hotel for DAYS, so we decided to take a walk and find a nice sushi restaurant. The concierge had recommended a place called "Ki," and it would take about ten minutes to walk there.

So, we head off, using one of those helpful "Tourist Map" things that they hand out at the front desk. We got our bearings, walked for a few blocks, and began to feel more and more confident that we were heading in the right direction.

Finally, we got to a street that seemed like the next street we were supposed to turn onto: We were looking for "Bay Street."

However, the street sign read: "Locust Street."


Luckily, there was a policeman right there, so we asked him where Bay Street was.

"Right here," he said.

"What??? But this says, 'Locust Street.'"

He smiled and replied, "Actually, it is Bay Street, but they are filming a movie here, so the crew changed the street signs."

At which point, Lindsay exclaimed, "Wait a minute - how do we know you're a real police officer?!?!"

Laughing, he answered, "I am a real cop, don't worry."

Passers-by were so interested in our conversation, that we had an audience for this whole exchange. With much gratitude to the (real???) cop, we went off on our way and found our restaurant shortly thereafter.

(it's funny that, with all the movie sets in and around NYC all the time, we've never had anything like this happen before!!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back in NYC

Always good to be back in my own bed, with my beautiful kitty cats.

Going to take a nap, so see you soon!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

5 Years Since My Car Accident

Wow, today was five years - how can that be? So much of it feels so recent... Other aspects feel like they've been part of my life forever.

I am so grateful for the healing and rebuilding I've experienced, but I will never be grateful for the accident, the pain, and the suffering. I wish I could've learned these lessons some other way.

What do you appreciate learning in your life?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 6, 2009

Girls on Pop: Everyone Loves a Rabbi

One of my bestest friends, Brooke Tarnoff, is a writer of PopEater, a really fun AOL pop culture website. (Brooke and I were partners-in-crime in college, and we wrote some of the best sketch comedy in the history of the world. Really.) She makes these fabulous podcasts with a group of cool gals who talk all things pop. In the latest episode, Brooke name-drops me throughout! The title, "Everyone loves a rabbi," refers partly to me! Apparently, I need to be giving out "Rabbi Relationship Advice." Crazy!! Check out the video below (I get mentioned around the 15:00 mark).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mini-Update from Biennial

Hello from Toronto!

I'm having so much fun meeting people, running into friends and colleagues, learning and laughing. This gathering is uplifting in so many ways.

It is so amazing to be surrounded by so many enthusiastic, energetic Reform Jews from all over the globe. There is a palpable excitement among the group here - people who feel connected to their faith, friends, and congregations.

Hanging out with my sister tonight - she has some time off, so we will probably try a local restaurant for dinner.

More soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Off to Toronto!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

As the Interfaith World Turns....

As part of my new position here in Wantagh, I have had a new, wonderful opportunity to be a part of two local interfaith clergy councils: Massapequa, the location of one of our merged congregations, and Wantagh.

In my previous five years as a rabbi, I hadn't yet had a chance to do much interfaith work. It's not that I wasn't interested; rather, the learning curve of entering the rabbinate was so steep that there was only so much I felt I could do.

Now, as a solo rabbi in a smaller community, I can really get to know the other clergy in the area. And, boy, are they wonderful!! I have already enjoyed meeting other people of faith, who are so dedicated to their religious communities, to helping people on their spiritual quests, and to appreciating a sense of the divine in our lives. The group serves as an important reminder of all that we have in COMMON, rather than the differences that may divide us.

I had lunch yesterday with the current president of the Wantagh Clergy Council, Father Christopher Hofer, who seems to be a clergy person with a very similar M.O.: bringing joy and love back to our religious experiences. Feel free to check out his terrific blog and learn more about him and his community, The Church of St. Jude (Episcopal).

We have a big Interfaith Thanksgiving Service coming up, on Wednesday night, November 22. Our synagogue is hosting this year, and it promises to be a huge event of music, togetherness, and gratitude. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting ready for WRJ Assembly!

In two days, I will be leaving for Toronto for a big convention: the 2009 Women of Reform Judaism Assembly. The Assembly runs side-by-side with the Union for Reform Judaism's Biennial, and together, the two events bring together thousands of Reform Jews from all over the world.

These conventions take place every other year, and I haven't been able to attend since 2005's Biennial in Houston. Lindsay, my sister, works for WRJ's national office, so she will be SUPER stressed and busy during the event. However, after hearing about how amazing the Assembly programming has been, year after year, I am really looking forward to attending the women's workshops.

Plus - I was asked to LEAD a workshop, which is always wonderfully exciting. I will leading a program on how to use WRJ's The Torah: A Women's Torah Commentary and the corresponding Study Guides that WRJ has put together for a number of the weekly Torah portions. I highly recommend this text as an invaluable addition to your Torah resources.

I'll be sure to update you from the Assembly/Biennial - stay tuned!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Here we go - National Blog Posting Month 2009!!!

Thanks to Deb for the beautiful NaBloPoMo badge!

I'm gonna do it, folks!! I am really ready to buckle down and get back to blogging regularly. Honestly, I miss it, and I think that using the structure of NaBloPoMo might just do the trick.

My lovely sister, Lindsay, is concerned that I am taking on too much by committing to a month of blogging, but I love it so much.

Anyone else gonna join me? Let me know, and I will include a post linking to your sites!!

Good luck!