Talmud this Shabbat: Self-Care or Selfish?

As summer blooms, everyone is talking about plans. Plans for summer adventures. Vacations. Goals for self-care. Time for self-reflection.

And yet, as we go off to our vacations, there are so many in our community who are struggling. So many who wonder about where they will find their next meal. So many who worry about how they will pay their bills.

Are we responsible for the vulnerable in our midst? To what degree?

After surviving the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel had every reason to retreat to his own world. After so much suffering, he would have been within his rights to carve out his own pocket of happiness. To focus on self-care for the rest of his life.

But he did not. He spent his life’s energy going around the world to build compassion and uphold justice. Professor Wiesel taught his students to find their voice, to draw on the strength of history, and to use their hands to shape a better world.

How do we balance our need for rest and relaxation with the needs of the world around us?

See you tomorrow at 8:30.

Shabbat shalom,

Shabbat Talmud Study: God? A New Old Idea

When I talk about God, one reaction I often get is: “I am not a God person. Can you talk about community instead?”

Why is that? For 21 years I have wondered why much of my teaching on God does not land. And then this week, while listening on line to a lecture by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer of Hadar, I had an epiphany.

Tomorrow I think I have a game changer, Rabbi Kaunfer’s sources and ideas, a paradigm shatterer, a conversation that might make God real for people who had never seen themselves as God people before. Rabbi Kaunfer’s idea will be provocative, might be shocking, might well offend some, but after that it may even help.

Can’t wait.
Shabbat shalom,