While Juneteenth marks an incredibly important step in Black American rights, it was just that – one step. Juneteenth celebrated slavery becoming illegal, but it did not do away with racism; not even close. And yet, the history and spirit of Juneteenth make me hopeful.
Related Blog Posts on Spirituality
The enormous question for me, then, has always been: Is God watching? When I began to understand computers, I realized that, yes, one thing could follow billions of people if those people were nothing more than data points on a revolving planet with polar icecaps.
Some Jews have extended their mystical journey into the world of tarot – like Heather Mendel, a Jewish mystic, author, artist, and speaker who has spent her life exploring this connection and has written extensively about it.
Gathering in grief gives us a window into the blessings of life. Jewish tradition does this so well – which makes it all the more difficult to cope with loss in the time of COVID-19.
Not knowing if I would be shunned or accepted, I decided to give my religion another chance. I was not prepared for the warm and welcoming atmosphere I found at temple, where being gay was as acceptable as having brown hair.
I do not believe that God sent us COVID-19, and I do not believe God will cure it. That is for humans to do, using our God-given intellect and ambition to develop the vaccines and treatments that will help stop the spread of this natural virus.
In a time as devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic, people heal in many different ways. For Cantor/Rabbinic Pastor Lisa Levine, healing comes in the form of music and poetry.
One year, on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, we were shocked to find the doors of Temple Israel of Hollywood locked. It was news to us that most Reform congregations observed only one day of the holiday.
For the first time this year, High Holidays will be conducted remotely for our community – but it will show us that we can, as Rabbi John Rosove taught, truly “overcome the past for the sake of a better future.”
If the High Holidays were to be pared down to their very essence, what are some words and phrases that might come to mind?
Belonging. Connection. Memory. An accounting of the soul.
These are just some of the words that drove the creation of the URJ