Category Archives: SBlog

Noise & Quiet

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
January 12, 2015

We have more stimuli than ever. According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans between the ages of 18-24 check their smart phones 53 times a day. How can we pause to think and reflect when there is an incessant flood of emails, text messages, and non-stop social media? Scientists have proposed a name for one More »


Be Still, and Know that I Am God (Psalm 46:10)

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
January 5, 2015

We live in a world starring extroverts: outgoing, gregarious, opinionated types are the ones who make a stir, succeed in job interviews, and win political campaigns.  Even synagogues are run by dog-rabbis, rather than cat-rabbis.  The success of the mega-church movement is predicated on a culture of welcoming, in-your-face friendliness, and ubiquitous “greeters.”  In fact, More »


This too is Torah

Rabbi Ben Goldstein
November 18, 2014

There are intimate moments that we share with our friends, moments with our families, and there are moments that can be just between us and God[1]. I recognize that I am saying this as a rabbi, and as many people have pointed out, my private life is not exclusively my own. I know that there More »


A Shared Existence

Rabbi Sara Brandes
November 13, 2014

I have just moved from the suburbs of Los Angeles to Kibbutz Hannaton in the Lower Galili of Israel.  While a series of economic miscalculations and blunders actually sunk the first wave of Israel’s kibbutz movement, it was arguably the inability of kibbutzniks to strike a healthy balance between openness and privacy that drove the More »


Embracing loneliness

Rabbi Joshua Kullock
November 11, 2014

The realm of reshut hayachid (private domain) seems to be on its way out. The kingdom of reshut harabim (public domain) is growing as never before, engulfing in it almost everything without any constraints. Is there any way to stop this trend? There are many ways to explain this current phenomenon, but I want to More »


The Illusion of Privacy

Yael Roberts
November 6, 2014

Recent events in the Jewish world have reminded us that even when we think we are alone, someone may be watching. We may think we have personal space and privacy, but even that belongs to someone else. It is difficult to stomach that what appears to be one of the most intimate and private spaces, the More »


Can You Lie to God?

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
November 3, 2014

At Beit T’Shuvah, a rehab in Los Angeles, we began work with addicts by asking simply, “What are the lies you tell yourself?” I often thought, how would I possibly know that?! Surely, we all lie, even more that we realize or admit.  In The Little Drummer Girl, John LeCarre describes Kurtz, an Israeli spymaster, More »


A Blessing from Brokenness

Naomi Less
October 31, 2014

February 18, 2014 was the day I came out. That’s what my friends told me, at least. I associate “coming out” with news from friends who came out as gay or lesbian, who wanted to stop repressing or hiding parts of themselves. My “coming out” was different. I posted something personal on the Sh’ma blog, “S Blog,” which touched a More »