On Inclusion: Parasha Emor

Let’s begin by reading a section from parasha Emor together: Leviticus chapter 21 verses 16-24). This part of Emor, is one that I find at odds with our present-day sensitivities about individuals who have physical challenges.  We no longer use the word, “imperfections” when speaking about individuals with varying abilities….

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On Holiness: Parasha Kedoshim

If I were to ask you to name some things that are holy, you might suggest that G-d is holy, life is holy, and the Torah is holy.  But then if I asked you for a definition of what the word “holy” means, you might feel less confident about your…

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On Healing: Parasha Tazria

Tazria is a very interesting Torah portion because it discusses the disease of the skin called Tzaraat which really is considered to be a physical manifestation of a spiritual state of the afflicted individual.  The person who is afflicted with tzaraat is taken to the Kohen, the priest.  The priest…

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On Shame: Parasha Shemini

Several years ago I had a conversation with an individual who had been accepted into the Chaplaincy Corps for the City of Lincoln.  He had been admitted based on his background check, letters of recommendation, past experience working as a spiritual leader, and his interview by a board of chaplains…

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Porcupine Warmth

Story for Friday Night Loosely based on a scenario by Arthur Schopenhauer Once upon a time in the middle of a very cold and dark winter, there were seven little porcupines whose parents were out and about far away searching for food in the vast snow-covered forest. The little porcupines…

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Nightgown Quilts

Once in a far-off time and place with no phone, no television, no computer, and no internet, there was a young girl named Lydia who had a very terrible disease that meant she could not walk or even stand up, and she could never never go outside—any touch of light…

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Take Heed

You may pray for answers I long for the questions whose answers are unknown You may pray for guidance I crave the strength to not need to be shown This is what I ask What I believe I need Courage for the task Take heed You may pray for comfort…

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Purim Celebration

The video below is the second half of the Purimspiel as retold by Shellen Lubin with the following players (in order of speaking): King Achashverosh – Daniel Neiden Chamberlain Charvonah – Shellen Queen Esther – Zija Lubin-West Ghost of Queen Vashti – Katherine Elliot and the congregants joyfully making noise…

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Three Mothers, a Reflection on MLK Day

NARRATOR:  Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was a little boy, he would play with children in the playground of all colors. He played happily with all his friends every day. Then one day, Tom and Billy didn’t come to the playground, and Martin went…

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Parashat: The Rape of Dinah

Isn’t it incredible how sharing the experience makes it easier to bear? Even when the burden is heavy, it’s easier to carry with others helping to hold the weight.We need each other. We cannot be our own witnesses and allies, we cannot be our only feedback loop. We need connection,…

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The Old Woman and Her Horse

Once there was an old woman who lived in a small village. Although poor, she was envied by all, for she owned a beautiful, white horse. A horse like this everyone wanted — such majesty and strength. People offered great wealth for the steed, but the old woman always refused….

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Parashot Toldot

Parashat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9), is the first chapter in the story of Jacob, which is very near and dear to my heart, because I wrote a play about Jacob–in Haran–but that comes later. This parashat is the first part of that story, about Isaac’s blessing. Actually, there were three blessings….

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Aesop’s “The Ants and the Grasshopper”

Aesop tells us the story of The Ants and the Grasshopper. You probably remember it. The Ants were spending a fine winter’s day drying grain collected in the summertime. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, “Why did…

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Mother/Daughter on Avram and Terach

SHELLEN: No matter how old we are, no matter how new or old the issue with which we struggle, the parent ​always​ goes half way with the child, the parent ​only​ goes half way with the child. Even when the parent is gone from the earth, even when our parents…

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