When Leaders Need Chaplains

senior couple

An important aspect of spiritual leadership is ministering to people in times of stress and pain as chaplains do. Below is an “imagination verbatim” written during a summer hospital chaplaincy internship in the course of my rabbinical studies at Yeshivat Maharat. Writing this verbatim engaged and thrilled me as it was a perfect interweaving of my love of text study together with my practice of “being there” for others.

Posted on July 20, 2015

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Why the Jewish Community Needs to Discuss Sex Trafficking

we were slaves

“Sarah” had a pretty average childhood, growing up in an Orthodox Jewish home in New York City with her mother, father and several siblings. She went to a Jewish school in her community and took part in local clubs and activities. All of this changed however, when “Sarah” became a victim of sex trafficking.

Posted on July 15, 2015

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A New Day for P’sak

authority

“Question authority!” was the mantra of my peer group when I was coming of age in the late ’60s. How that jibed with my evolving commitment to Orthodoxy was not something I questioned at first. I knew that Torah was the source of religious authority, because it came from God, and rabbis were the designated interpreters of Torah. The ordinary Jew could decide which rabbi or rabbis to turn to, and the ones I encountered were mostly modern, liberal, and pretty much on the same page as I was. Asking for a p’sak, a halakhic decision in response to a question, felt more like a consultation than an imposition of authority.

Posted on July 13, 2015

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Yes, She Wore a Kippah, But Not to the Kotel

Linda-Kippah2

She wore a kippah as she opened her gemara. We were a somewhat diverse group–I come from an Orthodox background, and found myself sitting around a table with women rabbis from across the Jewish spectrum. We spent two hours each week at the same dining room table gathering as a chabura, study group, to study gemara, Tractate Pesachim to be exact.  Linda wore her kippah as she shared her perspective and understanding of Rashi, the medieval commentator, and the Tosafot, later medieval commentators. I was blessed to study with this learned group on a weekly basis.  While our initial intention was to study, expand our knowledge and understanding and to keep our skills fresh, so much more was accomplished during this time.

Posted on July 7, 2015

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