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American Guild of Judaic Art New Vision. New Website. New Year. This new “virtual” home for the Guild was created by dedicated  members from all over the country with different talents and skills, who worked diligently to make the site easy to use, informative and—most importantly—the best venue to display AGJA members’ art.  I stand...

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Rabbis Without Borders Imagine the most diverse group of rabbis you can. Take a moment and summon a visual in your mind. Now compare it with this group: 22 men (some clean-shaven, others bearded) and women (one pregnant, another gray-haired); single and married; gay & straight; several recent graduates of seminaries and a few approaching...

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Pamela Jay Gottfried is a rabbi, parent, teacher, artist and author. An inveterate Scrabble player and New York Times Crossword Puzzle fanatic, she credits her love of words to her parents, who encouraged her to develop her vocabulary through reading and using the dictionary at an early age. Since her ordination from...

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Celebrating Pride

header-rabbis-640x97I’m blogging over at Rabbis Without Borders on the My Jewish Learning website this week:

God Appears in Atlanta: While I pray for all of my children–for their health and happiness, and their safety in an uncertain world–I found myself unable to pray for anything in the days following the Orlando attack. I found solace only in the recitation of psalms, in Read more →

 

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Taste & See: More than a Book Review

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In case you missed my post and review of Ginny Kubitz Moyer’s new book on the Rabbis Without Borders blog at My Jewish Learning, here is another way to find it:

Awakening the Senses: Nothing has been more meaningful in my journey toward the High Holidays than reading Ginny Kubitz Moyer’s latest book from Loyola Press, Taste & See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with our Five Senses. This book — listed in the Ignatian Spirituality section of a Jesuit publishing house — is a source of inspiration in my search to elevate everyday experiences and imbue them with holiness. Read more →

I’m still thinking about how to engage all five senses and be fully present as the high holidays approach.

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Letting Go

Having left you here, I prepare to make the journey home. I am alone, yet you are still with me.

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I sit in the airport, scrolling through pictures on my phone and scribbling ideas in my notebook. I think about how you–perhaps more than your siblings–taught me a parent’s sense of control over a child’s life is pure delusion.

Once, when you were most intimately a part of my life, when I was your life support, your growing form sustained me as I mourned the loss of life. It is nineteen years to the day (if I’d delivered on time) that another child might have been born. Then you would not have been, my child, my teacher. I might not have learned to let go.

I look ahead–about to enter the High Holiday season in the Jewish calendar cycle–and prepare to let go of outmoded ways of thinking and being, which restrain me from becoming my best self. As your parent, the one who has left you in this place far from home, I trust you possess the strength to become yourself apart from me.

In this month of Elul and through Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, we recite Psalm 27 daily. The words resonate in a new way this year: “My heart says, ‘Seek my face and I will seek your face,'” and while I know the psalmist is addressing God and using God’s face as a metaphor for God’s presence in his life, I believe your presence in my life has helped me face challenges, seek justice and pursue peace.

In the days ahead, I will seek your face and gaze at your face in my mind’s eye, to be reminded we are always letting go and becoming who we are.

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