Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun Things Rabbis Do in Their "Off" Time (From One of My Teachers in Rabbinical School) ...

Rabbis are lucky to have interesting work lives ... we never seem to do the same thing two days in a row ... but living in California (and in/near LA, in particular) seems to come with extra perks.  Click on the link below and check out how my Pastoral Counseling teacher got to spend his off time before this year's High Holy Days:

PS ... Here in Texas, we don't get as many opportunities for this ... but ... about six months ago, I got to help the set designers and costume designers with a movie being filmed in Smithville, Texas ... they needed some help making a Jewish funeral look authentic so I helped picking out a tallis for the dead guy and telling them how it was supposed to be used and found them appropriate kippot for the "guests" to wear at the funeral (some of our congregants were even extras in the scenes).  Just a little bit of the "out of the ordinary" ways rabbis spend their days!  : )

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Once Upon a Time in America, Men and Women Were (Supposedly) Considered Equal ...

Oyyyyy!  There is nothing worse than a professional woman writing about inequality for women ... the women who do this get labeled as being "feminists," which has sorta' become a dirty word for mainstream America.  Let me be clear, for years, I have said I am NOT a feminist ... no, I am an "egalitarian" ... I don't want women to have more rights than men, I simply want the same rights.   : )

Which means I was troubled when I read how Judaism is being used to segregate women, in the year 2011, here in the United States.  Didn't forcing people who were "different" to sit in the back of the bus end in the 1960s in America? 

Unfortunately, religious beliefs are being used to support the acceptability of segregation in Brooklyn.  Check out this article about how a publicly-awarded bus route is currently being allowed to segregate women riding the bus:

Judaism does not require that women be forced to the back of the bus - it simply does not require it - and extremist/fundamentalist views should not be allowed to even imply that this is acceptable.

Most of all, Jews have always followed the practice of "Dina d'malchuta dina" ... we are supposed to follow the laws of the land within which we reside.  This is not appropriate in the US ... solutions exist where those who choose to live in this way can not break the law ... perhaps it is time to find (and use) them.  Oyyyyy.   :(

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some Interesting Ideas About How to Save the Jewish People ... Yet Again ... : )

It seems like Jews have always believed in the imminent destruction of the Jewish people ... and today is no different.  Of course, far too often throughout history, imminent destruction WAS actually staring Jewish people in the face ... perhaps this is why we are sometimes so pessimistic.    : )

The article below is from one of my favorite websites regarding how and why Jews give to Jewish organizations ... updating where we are after one of the (many) recent books regarding how to save us (mostly from ourselves and our success integrating into the larger society).  Take a read ... there are more than a few good ideas discussed in it:

Let me know what you think.   : )