Category Archives: Current Issue

Mikveh: Both Private and Shared

November 1, 2014

Six women — colleagues in a chaplaincy program — arrive separately and congregate in the lobby of the mikveh. The women share their hopes and intentions for their immersion, and then they scatter to separate preparation rooms, each with her own personal reflection in her heart. The women emerge from their preparation rooms in robes More »

Opening Our Home to the World

November 1, 2014

We do not covet privacy; rather, we open ourselves with love to the outside world, and in so doing, we — along with the Jewish students who visit us — are transformed. More »

The ‘Mussar’ of Openness

November 1, 2014

How open to be, how much of our private lives to share with others in the public sphere, is a question that looms larger and larger in our culture today. Confessions, on the one hand, and personal revelations on the other, have become daily occurrences. Negotiating between the private and the public is something that various streams of Jewish tradition have wrestled with. More »

Privacy & Transparency

November 1, 2014

1. What needs to be private? Who needs to know what? What is the appropriate balance between the sharing of information for reasons of security and our right to privacy as citizens? Is surveillance incompatible with a democratic and free society? 2. Does God keep secrets? What does God reveal to all and what to some? 3. Have we become More »

Toward a No-gossip Life

November 1, 2014

Lashon ha-ra” literally means “evil speech,” and it refers to a group of laws found in Leviticus 19:16. Essentially, the Torah prohibits speaking ill of someone to a third party. The Torah exhorts us not to peddle gossip within our communities, even if the gossip is true. We are told to keep private what is More »

Reflections on Privacy

November 1, 2014

Sh’ma asked several people to reflect on how they weigh matters of privacy in their personal and professional lives — when privacy and intimacy overlap, and when revealing something private is helpful or not. Two of those reflections are printed here; others are found on shma.com and in our digital edition. Keeping Secrets Carnie Burns More »