Category Archives: Life

Shavuah Tov

Shavuah tov – a good new week to you and yours.  I hope that you had a good Shabbat.

I am beginning my week by making some blog changes that I’ve been considering for some time.  You may have noticed that I edited the title of this blog from “Thoughts from a Rabbi” to “Amelah’s Blog (Thoughts from a Rabbi.)”  I’ve done as part of the transition from keeping this blog on WordPress.com to making it part of my personal website.  I have also added my twitter feed in the side bar.  The site will continue to evolve over the coming days and I welcome feedback.

I hope that this week will be a good one for you and yours.

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Blessings of Life in My Corner of the World

Yesterday I experienced one of the blessings of life in my little corner of the world. I rent the house in which I live, and while downstairs in the (wonderfully cool) basement cleaning and doing laundry yesterday, I noticed a pool of water under the furnance/blower. I called the landlord and they sent over a tech. He showed me what to do if/when the drain hose clogs in the future, how to clean the filter in the air cleaner (I have the equivalent of one of those air cleaners through the whole house when using the heat/ac/fan) and gave me advice on one other little problem. What a nice guy.

After he finished the repair we stood on the front porch chatting and it turns out that he knows one of my colleagues. We chatted, shared some stories (while staying away from lashon hara) and wished each other a good holiday weekend.

This morning while running errands (dry cleaning – the local one runs 40% off pre-pay orders on national holidays), I saw him while pumping gas and we took our conversation a new direction. Such a nice guy. It is nice to have routine contact with folks, seeing people more than just when they do something for us or we do something for them.
Such is one of the nice things about where I live.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

[The following is for bloglines – feel free to ignore it.]

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Official Vatican Homophobia

NPR reported today that Gay men will not be accepted to study for the priesthood nor become priests. More legislation of bigotry.

Two of the liberal streams of Judaism, Reform and Reconstructionist, ordain out-of-the-closet rabbis who are gay and lesbian. The conservative movement is struggling over this issue – has been for years.

Too many people get hurt by hatred and close-mindedness.

May all find courage and hope even in the face of discrimination.

More Pain and Anguish

More pain and anguish reside in lives today. There has been a devastating train accident in Pakistan and a suicide bombing in Iraq killing over 24 children.

When is the world going to learn that war perpetrates war and hate perpetrates hate?

Wishing all shalom, salaam and peace.

A Thought or Two on Wild Weather

Wild weather – tropical storms, hurricanes, tornados, fire-storms, blizzards, floods are sadly all too common around the world. We here in the USA were focused on Hurricane (now tropical storm) Dennis for the past few days (and those who are and will get flooding rains from the storm will continue to be focused on it).

Such weather can prompt questions of “why does G-d do this to us” or “why to those on the gulf coast again, so soon after Ivan” or “why do we have such violent weather?” Clearly there is no definitive answer. Many things seem to factor in – how we treat the planet (weather cycles have a GREAT deal to do with what we put into the atmosphere, ground water and etc [remember the rain cycle from elementary school?]), the long-term time schedule of our planet (human time, earth time and Divine time are clearly not the same), and G-d G-dself.

We find many stories in biblical and rabbinic literature related to weather – the flood at the time of Noah, the prayers for rain by Akiva during drought (which are directly connected to the format of some High Holy Day prayers) and other stories. In both the story of Noah and Akiva (let me know if you want more details of either), humans interact with the planet and with G-d and there are consequences. Just as G-d long ago promised not to flood the entire earth all at once, we humans have our own end of the promise – to not be absorbed in blood, warfare and base human instincts and to take care of the earth.

Can we control the weather, of course not. Do our actions contribute? I belive that both science and Judaism say yes.

May all of those affected by violent weather find strength, courage and hope in a difficult time.
May each of us learn to take responsibility for the world’s physical (and spiritual) health.

Another New Link

Through site-meter, I found Contemplative Activist, an interesting looking blog. Read and enjoy.

Shalom, salaam, peace,

Helping those with Addictions

One of the difficult realities of the Jewish community is that some Jews (like all others) struggle with addictions to alcohol, drugs, hate and other things that damage their lives. The Central Conference of American Rabbis has prepared materials to help rabbis understand the realities and difficulties of addiction. Download and read the document Resources for Rabbis Dealing with Addiction and Recovery Issues.