Category Archives: NiSh’ma

Self at the Center

May 2, 2014

“Initially, God’s intent was to create a world and hold it to a standard of strict justice, but God realized that the world could not thus endure and therefore gave precedence to divine mercy, allying it with divine justice.” — Rashi on Genesis 1:1 The commentator Rashi attributes to God an original but unfulfilled intent. More »

Noble Ideals

March 1, 2014

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” — Leonard Cohen, “Anthem” Leonard Cohen nails it! We can let go of striving for an illusion of perfection and embrace our brokenness. It is not a distraction from the path; it is the spiritual path of our everyday lives. But how do More »

Settled & Unsettled

January 21, 2014

“This uncertainty is killing me. And it’s the chase that keeps my feet on the ground.” — from the song, “Uncertainty” by The Wellspring The conclusion to one of the most personal of the Amidah’s blessings reads, “Baruch atah Hashem, shomea tefilla” — “Blessed are You, God, who hears prayers.” Whether or not we believe, More »

NiSh’ma – Empathy and Individualism

November 1, 2013

As I read Rabbi Andy Vogel’s words, I immediately recall the story of Rabbi Yissachar Dov of Radoshitz. He traveled to see his rebbe, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin. When Rabbi Yissachar challenged his rebbe, “Show me one simple way all of us may serve God,” the Chozeh replied: “One way? Are we More »