It’s Friday morning.

Because, in many ways, every day at camp feels exactly the same, I consult my calendar every morning to double-check the day and date.

In some ways, though, Friday morning is different. Knowing that Shabbat is imminent, I feel eager to start the day.

In just a few hours, the rhythm of the day will shift and there will be an undercurrent of energy in the air as campers and staff begin Shabbat preparations. I’ll finish teaching campers an hour before lunch, and I’ll clean the studio and shut it down for 36 hours.

After lunch, I’ll head straight to my room to make Shabbatograms to deliver at Kabbalat Shabbat, the service just before sundown when we welcome the arrival of the Sabbath. We’ll light candles before sunset and sing Psalms. The energy will shift once again–the buzz of anticipation replaced by an easy calm–as the relentless pace of daily life at camp is disrupted by joy-filled celebration.

Shabbat at camp bears no resemblance to Shabbat at home, or anywhere else in the world.

“And the skies and the earth and all their array were finished; and God finished on the seventh day the work God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work God had done.” (Genesis 2:1-2)


The Precipice

The car is packed. The dog is walked.

I brew coffee for the long drive. I set a playlist on my iPod.

I am standing on the precipice, ready to leap into summer, ready to create art with campers, ready to mentor counselors.

I look back on my accomplishments and–unlike the song writer–I can find them. I spent the first five months of 2015 being a rabbi, teacher and parent. I worked with colleagues to protest RFRA, I sat with friends in grief, I stood with a family as they welcomed their baby boy into the covenant and gave him his first blessing as a Jew.

I am standing on the precipice, ready to leap into summer, ready to celebrate new accomplishments, ready for whatever awaits.


School’s Out

The last three weeks of the school year are a complete blur, not only because my glasses broke one Monday morning. Snapped in half at the bridge and fell right off my face. There were other funny things that happened, and quite a few serious things.

I spent a lot of time reading Psalms and singing quietly to fill the painful silence. I didn’t mean to stop posting to this blog; I didn’t mean to leave words of shock and grief on the front page of this website for three weeks.

Now school’s out and I’m returning to myself, clearing my mind every morning while walking the dog, challenging my mind every evening with crossword puzzles I’ve been saving for “when I have more time.”

Now school’s out and the rhythm of daily life shifts. “I lift my eyes to the mountains; from where does my help come? My help comes from God.” (Psalm 121)

Knowing this, I begin to write again.

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walking the bridge b-wIf you missed my latest post on the Rabbis Without Borders blog, please follow the link below. I am humbled by the responses on Facebook, where it was shared by many friends, and I am grateful to and 70 Faces Media for sharing it on the Facebook page of and mentioning it in the “What We’re Reading” section of yesterday’s JTA Daily Briefing.

Crossing the Bridge: We are walking along a busy, suburban street that runs mostly parallel to the highway connecting our town to the city immediately to our east. The sidewalk begins at the bridge…Read more →