Because God

It is this, my blogging project, which truly makes daily shul attendance tolerable. It is the reading, the feeling, the thinking, the learning, the weaving… Suddenly, I’ve realized: my study and reflection sustain my practice. What shall I do with myself when kaddish has ended? What shall I do with my Judaism? -'Skeptic's Kaddish' (#25),… Continue reading Because God

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 37

Traditional Jewish prayer is fast-paced, and there's too much of it. Not only do I fail to derive meaning from reeling off prayer after prayer after prayer as quickly as possible in an effort to keep up, but doing so in fact detracts from my ability to find meaning in those prayers I do recite.… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 37

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 36

https://youtu.be/_4vFrZwF3hs Several weeks ago, my four-year-old daughter decided to once again start coming to shul with me on Saturdays for mincha and ma'ariv services. Last autumn, this became impossible for her when daylight savings time ended, as the timing of her afternoon naps wouldn't allow it (blog #22). Now, as the days lengthen steadily, my child has already recommitted to… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 36

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 35

https://youtu.be/mNzUH-FskpY My kaddish journey has been uneventful recently. I've settled into my commitment, and the days are going by. On Tuesday, I saw a poster on the building opposite ours indicating that a neighbor had just died. She was a very elderly woman who would often sit on the patio between our buildings in the… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 35

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 34

Spring has arrived, as my allergies attest, but the last few weeks of Winter in Israel were cold and rainy. The season did not go quietly, but idiosyncratic as I am, I wore my waterproof Source sandals despite the weather - even when schlepping to shul through rain torrents in trench coat and rain pants. At one… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 34

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 32

This year is pregnant with meaning for me, as well as with something else: an extra month. In Hebrew, we call a 'leap year' a shanah (year) meuberet* (pregnant) - שָׁנָה מְעוּבֶּרֶת. Whereas the Gregorian calendar adds a single day to the calendar during leap years (once every four years), the Hebrew calendar adds an entire month on leap years… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 32

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 29

No small number of the memories evoked for me by my father's death are those of his most oft used expressions, but his voice is fading from my recollections. I am struggling to hear the sound of him; but his turns of phrase, textured with his rhythm and inflections, are looped and shuffled. Nearly all of… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 29

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 24

"I just finished my yud-aleph chodesh at Shabbat mincha," he said, catching my shoulder as walked towards the sanctuary, "It feels strange... You should lead ma'ariv." It strikes me that for most of my life, I would have had no idea what this gentleman was talking about, but now I'm in the know. To different… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 24