Category Archives: Cultivating Spiritual Intensity


Rabbi Sara Brandes
April 11, 2014

I dream of Sinai. Each night, I fantasize that God would reach down         and in         that we would not be alone. I am driven by my dreams of Sinai         haunted by them. I believe it possible that          the God More »


Don’t Williamsburg my Judaism!

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
April 9, 2014

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a neighborhood known for at least two groups: Chassids and hipsters.  These days, it seems like every idea floated to “save” liberal Judaism has its origins in one of those two communities: either Judaism should become Indie, or it should become neo-Chassidic, or both. Personally, I am not seeking neo-orthodox minyanim where More »


What Megachurches Know About Spirituality

Emily Goldberg
April 8, 2014

When thinking of spiritual intensity, I cannot help but bring myself to my countless experiences sitting in church pews. Growing up in a sheltered Conservative Jewish community, I lived a spiritual bubble–complete with Hebrew day school, religious summer camp and two sets of silverware. I learned how to chant the biblical Hebrew words printed onto More »


Does this count?

Franny Silverman
April 4, 2014

It’s a Tuesday, 8ish pm, mid-March in Brooklyn, and I am lying on my back staring up at the stars, the Big Dipper and Orion twinkling at me.  Well not exactly twinkling. Does this count? Shemaaaa…yisraaa-ehhhl… I’m trying to commune with the universe and my assignment began with the instruction to look up at the More »


Questions, Not Answers

Rabbi Dan Horwitz
April 3, 2014

“We will do and we will listen” — still relevant for Jews today? Not in how many of us make our choices… Especially in a world where leisure time is cherished and Judaism is competing in the marketplace of extra-curricular activities. Most contemporary Jews reject the traditional “commandedness” structure of Jewish life, so how can More »


Open Your Heart to Me

Rabbi Ben Goldstein
April 2, 2014

I don’t like to go to the gym. I exercise about five times a week, but I cannot remember the last time I got to the gym or the pool, and felt excited to spend the next 45 minutes to an hour there. The only thing that compels me to go to the gym[1] is More »


The Fear of Bondage and the Bondage of Fear

Jared Gimbel
April 1, 2014

A true spiritual awakening can come every time you visit a new land. For Jews, this awakening can be magnified by experiencing Jewish worship in other countries—knowing that there are many customs and methods used to serve God and celebrate the holidays from around the world. One of my most vivid memories at Hebrew University More »