Rabbi Jordana Schuster Battis
Rabbi Jordana Schuster Battis is the associate rabbi of Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, MA. Previously, she served as rabbi-educator of Temple Beth Shalom of Needham, MA, where she helped to develop the nationally acclaimed Mayim and Etzim supplementary learning programs. She is an alumna of Williams College and Harvard Divinity School, in addition to rabbinic and education degrees from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is happy to talk Torah, YA literature, cultural change, poetry, theology, and other life quandaries with equal enthusiasm.
The day the Israelites stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, preparing to encounter God, is understood in midrash as the day of marriage between God and the Jewish people.
Events on the 17th of Tammuz, and others that also have been ascribed to this date, are the reasons it has long been observed as a day of mourning in Jewish tradition. Though the day and the rituals of this time of year are not often marked by Reform Jews, traditionally, the 17th of Tammuz begins the “Three Weeks,” a period of mourning lasting until the 9th of Av.
Rosh Chodesh, like many things in Judaism, has three hands.
On one hand, Rosh Chodesh is a simple acknowledgement of the visible stuff of the cosmos.