My invitations to 10 Downing Street come only because I am a rabbi. The last time I was at the prime minister’s residence, one of his advisers, her hair covered in Orthodox-married-woman style, popped into the room for a kosher bridge roll and a schmooze. Rabbis attended the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton,
Since the Arab Spring, an unsettledness has appeared on the global stage. And on a stage in Tel Aviv, Yael Tal’s play, A Donkey Eating an Orange, observes the particular idiosyncrasies of contemporary Israeli unsettledness. An original fringe play, the story offers the complicated reminiscences of an elderly Israeli woman. Her recollections are being told
Ein od milvado, there is nothing but God (Deuteronomy 4:35). Everything is God. Each of us is a unique aspect of the divine, and with each of us, God explores the concept of “more than One.” Our purpose is to realize what makes us come alive, and the purpose of religion is to facilitate this
1. What animates recent trends that find people leaving clear career trajectories for a hopscotch career that includes shorter interval jobs with less security and advancement?
2. How might we use liminal space — the doorways and gateways of Judaism — as a neutral zone for developing more fully as indi-viduals and organizations? What might those doorways look like? And what would they offer us?
3. Jews are often considered a “wandering people.” Is that true today? How does statehood, a sovereign national home for the Jewish people, change the notion of wandering?
4. What does the Jewish holiday cycle teach us about certainty, vulnerability, and being settled and unsettled?
Judith Rosenbaum: As I thought about career and family, I realized that though unsettledness seems like an absence — of clarity, of purpose, of direction — it actually requires great presence, the willingness and energy to inhabit the uncomfortable space of questions.
I have no savings, no spouse, and no children. I have lived in three different places over a period of four months — staying now in a spare bedroom at my cousin’s house. But settledness is relative. As I see it, my future is settled. I will be focused on agriculture and social activism, and the great problems that face human society.
I just had a great sushi dinner with my son who is applying to graduate school. We had a rich and interesting conversation about his application essay — exploring ideas, weighing the pros and cons of including certain experiences he’s had, and strategizing about what the readers would want to hear. Later tonight, I’ll edit
Maayan Ravid: My roots, stretched across oceans and cultures, are strong, nourished on Jewish values. But now, as a young adult in Israel with two passports, I don’t know where to go. The ideals I’ve grown up with clash with the surrounding reality. I feel ethically uprooted, unsettled, a person in movement — distanced from the country that helped shape my life.
This month’s exhibition features the work of Nancy Current. For centuries, Jews have experienced the constant ebb and flow of being both settled and unsettled. After long periods of being settled in a particular place, Jews have found themeselves repeatedly forced from their homes and lands, and cast into uncertainty. While these acts of persecution and dispersion might