Part of a periodic Torah series on graceful masculinity and Jewish values. רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַחַיִּים וְאֶת-הַטּוֹב, וְאֶת-הַמָּוֶת, וְאֶת-הָרָע. See, I set before you this day, life and goodness, death and evil. (Deuteronomy 30:15) The word “HaYom” is famously understood to be an allusion to Rosh Hashanah – the day that humans were […]
About Rachel Barenblat
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Background The custom of kapparot dates back to the Talmud. According to this tradition, on the day before Yom Kippur, people take a chicken, swing it three times above their head, symbolically transferring their sins to it before the chicken is slaughtered and then donated to charity. There is something powerful about observing the ritual […]
Here is a new retelling of the book of Jonah, for three voices, drawing on the past year’s events to open up the book’s timeless wisdom. Here’s how it begins: Jonah 1, God and Jonah 2 face the congregation in a line, from stage-right to stage-left, so Jonah 1 appears to be standing on […]
Part of a periodic Torah series on graceful masculinity and Jewish values. וְהָיָה, כִּי–תָבוֹא אֶל–הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה; וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בָּהּ. It will be when you enter the land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance, and you take possession, and dwell, in it. Deuteronomy 26:1 Like the Israelites in […]
Right now there are 15 tallitot in my house. How did I get here? One tallit is my son’s bar mitzvah tallit; one is the “girly” tallit I sometimes wear; one is the giant wool tallit I sometimes wrap couples in under the chuppah. The stories these tallitot tell are clear and known. Ok, what […]
כִּי תִבְנֶה בַּיִת חָדָשׁ, וְעָשִׂיתָ מַעֲקֶה לְגַגֶּךָ; וְלֹא-תָשִׂים דָּמִים בְּבֵיתֶךָ, כִּי-יִפֹּל הַנֹּפֵל מִמֶּנּוּ. If you will build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof, so that you will not place blood in your house if one who falls, falls from it. (Deuteronomy 22:8) Our bodies house our souls and this […]
Top row: T-shirts courtesy of Steve Silbert; the Bayit Board meets onsite and online; kayaking on the lake. Bottom row: morning davening gear, and our morning davening spot. When we gather at our VRBO, the first thing we do is kasher the kitchen. We do a massive grocery run at a nearby kosher market […]
These offerings (new from Bayit’s Liturgical Arts Working Group) are bookends for the Days of Awe. Here are poems, prayers, and artworks for Selichot and for Ne’ilah, the near and far thresholds of this holy season. May they help these holidays lift our spirits and open our hearts. And may the new year bring blessing […]
Builders Blog is a go-to portal for Jewish ritual and spiritual innovation, design thought, and practical tools for Jewish life. We share ideas in progress, reflections on what didn’t work and why, and tools for cultivating spiritual innovation. We aim to lift up teachings, spark ideas, share practices, and try out new and renewed ways […]
Judaism’s ancient New Year for the Animals — Rosh Hodesh Elul — can remind us that we’re all stewards of the Earth and all her life. It can remind us that we too are animals, part of the web of life. It can remind us of the special love we feel for companion animals – […]