Category Archives: Current Issue

‘Hayom Harat Ha-olam’

September 1, 2014

The verse, ‘Today, the world is born,’ inspires an “exquisite corpse,” or collaborative poem After the water, the surge. After the surge, the pain. When they came, I rocked, elbows firm on the kitchen counter, each one a revelation, my life contracted, splintered to make way for what was to come. Something has to rip More »

‘Terrible, Wonderful, Awe-Inspiring’

September 1, 2014

Leaving the hospital after giving birth, I held my newborn daughter in my arms. As we were wheeled past the admissions area to the labor and delivery unit, I had an eerie feeling. I remembered walking by this spot just two days earlier as one very large person, and now my daughter and I were More »

First Encountering God

September 1, 2014

I don’t remember God ever not being in my life. But I do have a memory of when I first became conscious of my relationship with God. I was twelve years old, in the 7th grade at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. A local rabbi came to speak to the middle school about More »

The Meaning of ‘Be-reishit’

September 1, 2014

Zev Farber: Explicating the first three words of Torah, “Bereishit bara Elohim,” “In the beginning, God created,” Farber offers three different ways to imagine God: The God who creates with primordial material and lives in this world; the God who creates the worldex nihilo; and the God who makes use of words and wisdom permeates the universe with divine emanations. More »

Nobody Leaves the Funeral Home Unchanged

September 1, 2014

For years, the small havurah that is my community had taken care of its members throughout the lifecycle. We thought we were pretty good at supporting each other. Then, Marian got sick. In her 80s, she was a longtime member who had no children of her own. The community rallied around her in myriad ways, More »

On First Encountering Doubt

September 1, 2014

Shoshana Olidort: “By the time I recognized doubt for what it was — a feeling of uncertainty, a lack of conviction — there was no return to the kind of religious belief I’d been raised on.  It wasn’t so much the question of whether God exists or not that wreaked havoc with my mind, as what those ideas — God, existence — even meant.”  More »

‘Tefillin’: As Beloved as the First Time

September 1, 2014

I grew up as a beneficiary of the historic 20th-century shift that invited women into the world of Talmud Torah. It has been an amazing and complicated gift. As women learn Torah for the first time, we often encounter passages that force us to confront our position as outsiders. In the Talmud (Eruvin 54b), Rabbi More »

On Being New: Lessons from the Universe

September 1, 2014

Is anything really new? Can we experience it as a “first”? Or are the things we imagine to be new just recycled fakes. In the book of Kohelet, we read, “Nothing is new under the sun,” a provocation coming just weeks after Rosh Hashanah (on Sukkot). The cosmos itself (although, strictly speaking, not “under” the sun) More »