Slow Down to Speed Up

With sunset tonight we welcome not only Shabbat but the first night of Passover. It is a seemingly interesting juxtaposition: the weekly day set aside for rest and slowing down, and the annual celebration of the Exodus, of movement. Indeed, unlike the challah we eat on Shabbat, which takes time to rise and bake, the …

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Don’t Just Mark the Jewish Holidays, Mark the Jewish Intervals

This post originally ran on the Rabbis Without Borders blog. You can read the original here. The Jewish calendar is a bit interesting since we also live on Gregorian time. The fact that it is a lunar-based calendar means that every year the Hebrew dates shift vis-a-vis the “regular calendar” so that certain holidays, while …

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Counting Cards

In the Jewish calendar we are currently in the period of the Omer. Originally, in the Torah, the Omer is a means to mark harvests. An omer is a sheaf of barley, and we are told to count the days between the festivals of Passover and Sukkot, to count the time between harvest seasons. As …

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“Thank you for the simple egg”: An invocation at the Washington State Legislature

On April 20, 2017 I delivered the following invocation in the Washington State House of Representatives: Source of All Life and Blessing, thank you for this season. We as a human family are witnessing the awakening of our world, as nature comes alive once again in spring. We delight in the buds on the trees, …

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For Passover and the Exodus, think Rivers not Seas

This column first appeared in the Rabbis Without Borders blog on My Jewish Learning. You can read the original post here. It’s spring break in our school district, so we are taking a road trip. We left our home in Olympia on the Puget Sound and drove to Boise, ID, where we have family. We …

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Over the Hump

Today is the minor holiday of Lag B’Omer, the 33rd Day of the Omer, the seven week period that spans the weeks between Passover and Shavuot. There are a few associations for this holiday. One is that it is the traditional yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a Talmudic rabbi known for his deep knowledge …

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Why I Created a Petition to Change the (Future) Dates of Olympia Arts Walk

Last week it felt like two simultaneous preparations were happening. People were prepping for Passover, getting boxes of matzo, choosing recipes, sending and accepting invitations to Seder. And people were prepping for Olympia Spring Arts Walk, hanging art in downtown businesses, tuning up instruments, putting last minute preparations into Procession of the Species costumes. And …

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The Child We Think We Should Be, and the Child We Ought to Be: A Reflection for the Seder

The Seder is the story of a journey, and the Haggadah is the guidebook. Through engaging with symbolic foods and meaningful text, we retell the story of the Exodus. There are fourteen parts to the Seder, each one its own step in the journey. The section "Maggid" (“telling”) is dedicated to telling the story in dramatic …

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